Point of Sale

Chris Combs2020

The United Nations

The United Nations
New York, United States

Using a vintage VFD screen from a cash register, also known as a “point-of-sale” or POS system, this artwork displays a series of messages to you, changing over time. The text addresses themes of environmental devastation, consumerism, and pandemic hoarding.
Chris Combs' artworks respond to pressing themes of surveillance, artificial intelligence, and algorithmic failure—and to the viewer, using facial recognition and motion sensing.
He employs a wide range of practices to create circuit boards, software, and enclosures for interactive and time-based wood, metal, and found-object sculptures, which both embrace and question technology. Their custom circuitry is engineered by the artist and hand-soldered with millimeter-scale components.
Chris Combs's sculptures address changes in our built technology environment—changes that often occur before we understand their implications. His artwork makes these macro-scale changes tangible, letting us consider them anew.


  • Title: Point of Sale
  • Creator: Chris Combs
  • Date Created: 2020
  • Location Created: Washington D.C.
  • Physical Dimensions: h 22.86, w 13.97, d 39.37 cm
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Artist Copyright
  • Art Form: Sculpture
  • Support: POS system
  • Depicted Topic: Vintage POS VFD display terminal. Aluminum case. Computer and hardware
  • Exhibition: Global Conversation 2020

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