The $1mm Dash Button

Project installation proposal.

Summary:

Allow museum visitors to order $1mm of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese; enough to completely fill a small gallery.

Materials:

  1. One 800 square foot room, (approximately 28' x 28'), with 10' ceilings. Walls painted white, recessed lighting, flood bulbs. Entry to the room through a typical double-width door frame, without doors.
  2. One Amazon Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dash Button, mounted just inside the door on either the left or right wall, at light switch height.
  3. One Amazon account with the Amazon Dash Button configured to order the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Three Cheese, 7.25-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 8)tied to a Visa check card connected to an account with $1mm. (Based on box dimensions of 3.52" wide, 1.58" deep and 7.14" high, an estimated 347,784 boxes will fit in the room. The Dash button can be configured to order a pack of 8 boxes at a per pack cost of $22.23, for a total cost of $966,406.)
  4. Museum staff available to unbox incoming Amazon packages.

Process:

  1. Visitors are allowed to press the Amazon Dash Button as often as they’d like.
  2. As packages arrive, they are unboxed by museum / gallery staff and stacked in the room, from the opposite wall forward, until they eventually encroach on the gallery doors.
  3. The exhibition closes when the room is full of boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and visitors can no longer press the Amazon Dash Button.

Update: My friend Michael Ducker reminds me about Amazon’s order protection feature. As Amazon states on their site, “Dash Button Order Protection doesn’t allow a new order to be placed until the prior order ships, unless you allow multiple orders.” Assuming zero shrinkage due to theft or other lossage and a baseline of one 8-box pack shipped per day, the installation would run for 119 years. An exhibition of that length would require (a) expertise in hardware & software maintenance (including potentially application virtualization; will Amazon.com survive the next 120 years?) to keep the Amazon Dash Button itself operational, (b) a logistics and delivery infrastructure to reliably deliver one 8-box pack per day, (c) Kraft Foods to continue to produce the product, and (d) installation expertise to overcome the obvious challenges of maintaining a decades-lived one room store of mass manufactured food product. Thus, configuration of the “multiple order” variable should be left up to the institution in order to fit their curatorial time horizon.