“Dick For Sale”
A bathroom installation by Ty Marshal
Future Tenant Art Space, Pittsburgh
Future Tenant Art Space, Pittsburgh

In “Dick For Sale”, Ty Marshal explores the phenomenon of individuals posting “dick pics” on Craigslist as an attempt to attract a “date”, “casual encounter”, or “anonymous rendezvous” – or in more relevant terms, the free advertisement and marketing of one’s penis. 

This phenomenon begs to come out of the nation's closet.

Exploring the use of the penis as a commodity (a good for which there is a demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market), “Dick for Sale” also looks at the fungibility of the Craigslist penis – that is, the commodity whose individual units are capable of mutual substitution. The word “Fungibility” comes from the Latin fungibilis from fungi, meaning, “to perform”.

The installation includes posts and photos from the “casual encounters” section of Craigslist

Also displayed are individual, signed plaster molds of the artist’s penis, installed to reflect mounds of growing mushrooms.
Future Tenant  - Art Space for Art, Pittsburgh

Future Tenant  - Art Space for Art, Pittsburgh

Craigslist first started as an email list for events in San Francisco in 1995 by Craig Newmark. Every month, Craigslist gets more than 20 billion page views from over 50 million users in the United States alone.

Although sex is solicited in many places both online and off, the “Personals” section on Craigslist has been a major U.S. hub that has grown by leaps and bounds in the 15 years of the websites existence - offering to do for casual sex what the rest of the site does for apartment searches, jobs or free items. 

Like bathhouses or sex clubs, the personals section on Craigslist caters to the erotic underbelly of society, the lonely, and those seeking anonymous sexual encounters. Oftentimes, males post pictures of their penises in the personal ads resulting in a venerable jungle of penis that covers all 50 states, and outlying U.S. territories.

Gear Factory, Syracuse, NY
Prior to the Internet and Craigslist, individuals would post personal ads in newspapers, apply for a dating service, visit sex parlors or scratch their phone number in bathroom stalls to achieve their desired effect. 

Today, one simply has to post a personal ad on Craigslist, despite the website's claim that pornographic images are against the terms of use.

Update: In an attempt to curb sex trafficking, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), and the passage of HR 1864, amending a bedrock law (Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act) Craigslist has removed the personals section from their website. 

This installation is now retired.  

Thank you to Future Tenant and

(R)evolution Art Studio for the opportunity to show this work.

Future Tenant: a space for Art
819 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15

(R)evolution Art Studio/Gear Factory
200 S Geddes St
Syracuse, NY 13204