But what if the objective is to create a work of art with no actual functionality?
As part of a series of works with a similar theme, Wisconsin artist Lisa Gralnick made a plaster cast of a Power Mac G4 system, painted it with white acrylic, and fashioned solid gold inserts for the system unit's Apple logo and the mouse button.
Almost 6-1/2 oz of 18K gold was used - the idea behind Gralnick's 'The Gold Standard' works is that on the date of casting, the value of the gold approximately matched that of the original object.
"It was my intention that the fragility of the plaster would suggest and perhaps eventually yield, temporality. The fragments of gold would, of course, remain virtually unchanged for centuries," explained Gralnick.
The exhibition 'Lisa Gralnick: The Gold Standard' runs at the Bellevue Arts Museum until August 15.