Kunstautomat - Art Vending Machine

By German artist Lars Kaiser


Venue: South Quad

A unique piece of international art can be yours for the same price as of a pound of butter.

A new Kunstautomat – art vending machine – has been installed in the South Quad and is the first of its kind to make its way to these shores.

The machine is the invention of German artist Lars Kaiser who has been repurposing old vending machines in Europe for several years Kunstautomaten I Konzept  

Instead of junk food or drinks, the Kunstautomat is filled with cigarette box-sized art that people can buy for $6 a pop (3x $2 coins). 

The idea of bringing the Kunstautomat to Christchurch began when Christchurch City Council Arts Advisor Zara Potts first spotted the machines on a trip to Berlin.

Lars Kaiser was supportive of the idea and designed a machine specifically for Christchurch as well as reconfiguring the machine to take New Zealand money.

“For that price you get a piece of handcrafted art which could be a painting, tiny sculpture, photograph, drawing, a cartoon or any other type of art you can imagine,” Zara Potts said.

“There’s something exciting about not knowing exactly what’s about to come out of the machine. They’ll be great pieces to collect and just a bit of fun.”

The Kunstautomat in The Arts Centre is the first of three machines arriving in New Zealand thanks to a partnership between Mr Kaiser, Toi Ōtautahi and the Goethe-Instuit NZ. 

The project is also an opportunity for local artists who can apply to have their own work included in the machine both here and in Europe. “We are super excited to be launching the first one in the Southern Hemisphere and the first one in Aotearoa. It’s going to be a great asset for our Christchurch creatives,” Ms Potts says.

“Work from local artists will feature in the machines around New Zealand in coming months, as well as being sent across the globe to machines overseas.”

Mr Kaiser has donated the Kunstautomat, and the price of the artwork goes towards supporting the artists and paying for their supplies.

The project is part of the city’s arts strategy Toi Ōtautahi which has been developed to support the growth of our local arts sector and creative community.

Location map

South Quad,
Worcester Boulevard

Market Square South Quad North Quad Registry Student Union The Gym Engineering Common Room Library Biology, Observatory and Physics Chemistry School of Art West Lecture Classics Rutherford's Den Clock Tower Boy's High Workshop Great Hall
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