Box With the Sound of Its Own Making
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This one goes out to all those who’ve ever said that modern art is presumptuous and pompous because Robert Morris feels the same.

His work, Box with the Sound of Its Own Making, is just that. It is a box made out of walnut wood on a pedestal, accompanied by a 3.5 hour soundtrack of the noises that were made while it was being made. What’s the point, you may ask? That’s just the thing about this work: there is no point.

Robert Morris wanted to make a point about modern art to modern art fans. The point was that all of their works with obscure meanings, like Yves Klein’s Blue Monochrome or Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, were lost on their viewers. By making something as pointless as a sealed, useless box that can’t be used for anything, Morris points out to his viewers that this sculpture really isn’t a work of genius. The box says nothing about life and it holds nothing helpful or valuable. Then, by playing the sounds of the box being made, Morris reminds the viewer that this box is just a box. It’s not inspired by a muse and nothing special happened while the box was being made. It just got made.