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All My Life for Sale

In the year 2000, in need of funds for a move, John Freyer began to list nearly everything he owned on the auction website eBay: kitchen cutlery, personal hygiene products and Star Wars Sheets. He purchased the domain and designed a website that emulated eBay’s commercial aesthetic, indexing the photographs, descriptions, and sales histories of over 600 auctioned items.

Once the auction ended, Freyer informed the highest bidder of each object about its personal history and his project, and asked that they send updates, written feedback, and photographs. Then, he set out on a cross country trip to visit each bidder that replied. Freyer’s encounters with these objects and his interactions with their new owners were recorded in a travelogue preserved on the website In 2002, Bloomsbury published the book All My Life for Sale, which details these accounts.

On August 11, 2001, The University of Iowa Museum of Art paid $107.50 for the very last item sold in Freyer’s online auction: the domain name itself. A few years later, in 2005, the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York reassembled and exhibited many of the items Freyer sold, with the solo show, "Aftermarket: Art, Objects and Commerce."

All My Life for Sale is an archive not only of Freyer's material possessions, but also of the way in which goods circulate through online marketplaces. It is a record of buying, selling, and ownership at a moment in which the internet was beginning to play a central role in US material culture.