Through Art Market & You, Art From Us provides you Analysis, Opinion and Factual Reports regarding the current on-goings of the Global Art Market. In this article, we explore the possibility of a Digital Future.
Our Director Divvya Nirula presents reports from the international art market with the view to assist our collectors, investors, and all lovers of art.
Impact of Coronavirus
If the spread of Coronavirus pandemic has taught us one thing, it is this. Life as we know it is extremely fragile. The wall separating regular life from complete chaos is alarmingly thin. And it can be brought down completely by a highly contagious virus.
In the short few weeks since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, every sphere of society has been impacted. The financial markets have crashed. Supply of goods and services is at a bare minimum. Apart from essential workers, all employees world over are working from home. And those are the one’s who are lucky. Thousands of workers globally have been sacked. Their employers simply cannot afford to pay them. As a human race, we all realise we must make some lifestyle changes in order to survive. And in order to come out stronger.
Problem & Solution
The art world is certainly ill-equipped to manage a situation like this. Art institutions worldwide have shut down entirely. Thus, museums are losing out on large amounts of revenue with each passing day. Further, galleries are also losing out on potential sales. Cancelled art fairs tantamount to major monetary losses for participants and organisers alike. So perhaps this is a wake-up call for the art market. But, what is the solution?
Before considering a solution, let us first consider the problem. The art world lacks appropriate infrastructure. The young and uninitiated have always accused art of being unfriendly to newcomers. This is absolutely true. However, rigidity, anonymity and privacy in art do much more damage than this. These are the core reasons the art world shies away from a digital futureThe Risk of Anonymity : Art Market & You : Art From Us by Divvya Nirula. Going digital implies greater accessibility and a more open market. However, it would also arguably make the market less susceptible to situations like this.
New Art, New Market : A Digital Future
We are in a new world order. The market is no longer pushed by container culture. The physical market is becoming a thing of the past. Thus, to keep up, we must embrace the digital – both in terms of product and presentation. This means, the market and the art both need to move to digital platforms.
For the last millennia the 2D surface has dominated the industry. The death of painting never came. But perhaps this is the time for a replacement. The ‘black mirror’ – the screens of our phones and laptops – may provide a solution.
The past decade has seen a tremendous shift in digital and AI generated art. Online art trading has also seen a steady rise. Investing in this trend wholeheartedly may be the only way for art institutions to survive the next few decades. Pandemic or not, the art world would not have come to a standstill if it went digital. Trade could be carried out through safe payment portals. Exhibitions would be accessed virtually. And the art would be digital – perfect for viewing on your computer.
So, is this the future of art? Will we just be able to buy works online and print them at home? Will the digital future really manifest? Perhaps it will be a while before that happens. But all we know is this. Every time the world has witnessed a plague, it has had to reset completely. We need a new way to approach economic spaces. And the art world could certainly benefit from some major changes.
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