orgtheory.net

post-curator art, part deux

At Conceptual Fine Arts, they raise the question of post-curator art, which means that the job of selecting art is decentralized and de-institutionalized:

 Therefore, what does it happen if the artworks, that once circulated mostly thanks to art magazines (supported by gallerists) and exhibition catalogues, are now instantly available online to everyone?

A preliminary answer to this difficult question would be that a lot of people will simultaneously recognize a same kind of “physiological” beauty. Then they will try to buy it, if they can, driven by the idea that they are not alone, but part of a relatively large number of people who love that artist’s work. That is why – as not only Claudia Cargnel says – the request of certain artworks is extraordinary high, even if the curriculum vitae of the artist has no exhibitions, prizes or bibliography on it. It could be just a trend, due to the internet surfers’ appetite for money, but it may also mean something else. It could be the evidence that social networks, blogs and auction houses’ web sites are now informing art people definitely more than traditional art magazines and museums (generally supported by collectors).

Indeed. One can get a pretty decent education in contemporary art by just reading a few blogs and magazines obsessively. The art world may be getting ready for the next stage of evolution after the rise of the art fair model.

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Written by fabiorojas

January 3, 2014 at 12:06 am

Posted in culture, fabio, markets

2 Responses

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  1. I think the evolution of public libraries could offer a vision of what art galleries might look like in the future. Like art available for viewing online, most text need not be delivered via bound books, either. Yet, public libraries adjusted and survived–in part by adding new services that are seemingly unrelated to their original mission (like knitting classes).

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    kenkolb

    January 3, 2014 at 3:42 pm

  2. Indeed indeed. A few things: I would suggest that you can get about as good an education of contemporary art by reading some magazines and blogs as you can get an education of sociology by reading orgtheory and Contexts. That is to say, maybe some! But probably not very much. But then to turn around and say that this suggests sociology is being ‘de-institutionalized’? No.

    Second, the CFA post also uses ‘art market’ too loosely to be useful, conflating some exchanges/purchases of art and an art market. Specifically, there are two problems with this (and with your use of it). First, there will be exchanges of art based on preferences, and even some crowdsourced/network effects. This is not the same as ‘the contemporary art market.’ Just because there are art sales, doesn’t necessarily mean much to the contemporary art market. It doesn’t necessarily say anything at all about art market dynamics. Second, the idea that this is driven by aesthetics (which the internet is picking up on, before curators) would be pretty surprising. And by surprising, I mean that it gives too much theoretical valence to aesthetics, which are, you know, culturally and historically contingent, constructed, subject to class dynamics, etc., etc. And yet, of course artists, art curators, gallerists, all talk about the aesthetics of the art. What the hell else are they going to say?

    Finally, I think it is possible that you could mean that ‘the job of selecting art’ may be becoming de-professionalized. But saying that this is a form of de-institutionalization is almost nonsensical (or at least almost completely outside of how anyone in the literature uses that word). And that is kind of weird coming from someone writing on an orgs blog.

    Because having disruptive outsiders can sometimes change entrenched practices, and sometimes not. But the fact that they are outsiders does not mean anything in an of itself. It would be like saying that the election of Al Franken to the senate de-institutionalizes the senate because he’s a comedian. That’s a pretty silly argument to say the least.

    I think it’s possible that 2014 is the year that orgtheory turns officially into ‘someone is wrong on the internet.’ Depressing.

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    Peter Levin (@plevin)

    January 4, 2014 at 6:51 pm


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