News and announcements from the art market’s pioneering analysts. Here’s what’s on our mind.
Art+Auction: Finger on the Button
Read the whole story by Judd Tully in the October 2014 Art+Auction
ArtNews: Go Pro: The Hyper-Professionalization of the Emerging Artist
"Understandably, they approach their new interest in high-yield contemporary art with the same sharp business acumen that they have brought to their other investments. To this end, services like ArtRank have sprung up. ArtRank claims to offer charts “quantifying the emerging art market” by declaring which artists are worth buying under price points of $10,000, $30,000, and $100,000; who to sell because their prices are peaking; and which names can be classified as “early blue chip” or “undervalued blue chip.” This company’s quarterly published projections purport to allow speculators to “collect smarter” by making informed purchasing decisions about emerging markets."
Read the whole story by Daniel S. Palmer at ArtNews
Finance and Society: Contemporary art, capitalization and the blockchain: On the autonomy and automation of art’s value
"With respect to art’s valuation methods, there is a parallel between the increasing automation of the financial sector – aimed at the maximization of differential accumulation through the elimination of the human element5 – and contemporary tendencies in the socio-cultural realm. This is made evident by platforms such as ArtRank and Artsy. ArtRank is an art market analysis platform that uses data mining and machine-learning algorithms to inform subscribing collectors and institutions, upon payment, about the latest collecting opportunities. In doing so, it reportedly facilitated a 4,200 percent return on investments over a 16-months period (ArtRank, n.d.: para. 2). In contrast to the social interaction required by post-Internet art in the attention economy (see Moss, 2013; Troemel, 2013), ArtRank short-circuits the valuation process by ranking artists directly on the basis of their sellability. It does this through complex correlations among datasets that involve Google Trends and Instagram data, in addition to “Internet presence, auction results, market saturation, market support and CV data – education, representation, et cetera” (Goldstein, 2015: para. 58). In other words, ArtRank treats artists’ names as commodities, and sorts them according to hype on the basis of the circulatory logic of the market. As Bloomberg puts it: “ArtRank gives art the stock market treatment” (Altman, 2015). In this way, ArtRank exacerbates the condition of ‘Artists Without Art’ identified by Brad Troemel et al. (2012: para. 4). This is the condition by which artists are clustered into homogenous groups according to the activity of sorting, ranking, and matching algorithms, ultimately turning contemporary art into self-referential closed loops, so that “the artist-viewer and other artist-viewers are caught in a sphere of perpetual reception and distribution” (Troemel et al., 2012: para. 6)."
Read the whole journal article by Laura Lotti at Finance and Society
Widewalls: The Meaning of Art Lists in Today's Day and Age
"Art lists seem to be a quick fix as rankings suggest structure and organization, which give the illusion that the art world is somewhat manageable. Rankings and statistics are the metrics on which economics run and how we predict trends or certain developments, they became the currency to buy reputation. The lists fit very well in our attention economy, where content has grown increasingly abundant and attention becomes the limiting factor in the consumption of information."
Read the whole article by Anabel Roque Rodriguez in Widewalls Magazine
artnet: Why You Can’t Trade Art Like Stocks (and Other Insights)
"2. “All the current art market models and start-ups deal with existing big data information, which only takes into consideration auction results.” This is blatantly false. ArtRank has been synthesizing data science with on-the-ground intel from an expert network since at least 2014, as founder Carlos Rivera clarified in this interview two years ago. Artsy‘s new analytics initiative under Hugo Liu sounds like it will do something similar. True, neither of those platforms is currently trying to run an art stock market."
Read the whole story by Tim Schneider at artnet.com