Brooklyn Artist Auctions Off His Facebook Password on eBay

Photograph: Dado Ruvic, courtesy Reuters.
Photograph: Dado Ruvic, courtesy Reuters.

Brooklyn-based artist Nick Hugh Schmidt is auctioning off his Facebook username and password on eBay. For anyone who has experienced the joy of messing with a friend’s Facebook account, posting a silly photo or embarrassing status when he or she borrowed your computer and forgot to log out, the appeal of the My FB password auction is obvious.

“My personal Facebook login information will be presented to the winning bidder via USPS in the form of a written and signed document,” reads the item description on eBay.

The piece is a follow-up to Schmidt’s Unlock and Explore, in which he left his cell phone sitting on a beanbag chair in Brooklyn’s Art 101 gallery, allowing visitors free access to all his personal photos, texts, and e-mails for the duration of his exhibition “No Big Words.” The piece, Schmidt told Yahoo Tech, had two main effects: “my private life becoming a sort of public theater. At the same time, I experienced what it was like to be without a cell phone, and thus out of contact, for an extended period of time.”

Nick Hugh Schmidt, <em>My fb password</em>. Photo: Nick Hugh Schmidt.

Nick Hugh Schmidt, My fb password.
Photo: Nick Hugh Schmidt.

So far, there have been seven bidders, although none of them seem willing to shell out too much cash: the current price is stalled at a mere $7.50 (plus $5.99 shipping). Other unconventional art-related eBay auctions have been significantly more successful, such as the French artists who put themselves up for auction, or the 4Chan user whose photo of a post on the message board on the nature of conceptual art sold for $90,900 on eBay this past year (Art Students Sell Themselves on eBay and 4Chan Conceptual Artwork Reaches $90,000 on eBay).

We can’t help but think Schmidt’s auction must be breaking some sort of identity-related Facebook rule—this is, after all, the company that has banned paintings with nudity and New York Magazine art critic Jerry Saltz (see L’Origine du Monde Sparks Facebook Legal Battle and Jerry Saltz Got Banned From Facebook—About Time)—but the artist doesn’t seem like the type to care. His other work includes some clever, Pac-Man-themed Subway vandalism.

Nick Hugh Schmidt, "Subway Pacman." Photo: courtesy Gothamist.

Nick Hugh Schmidt, “Subway Pacman.”
Photo: courtesy Gothamist.


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