Lindemann's Art Basel blockchain conference; Andy Hall regulated your art market; What Jho Low does for the Chinese; Does David Zwirner fixate on Gagosian?This commentary by Marion Maneker is available to AMMpro subscribers. (The first month of AMMpro is free and subscribers are welcome to sign up for the first month and cancel before they are billed.)
It’s not fair to draw conclusions about events that you only experience third hand through social media. But the quotes and video coming out of Adam Lindemann’s art and blockchain symposium held at the Faena Forum yesterday before the opening of Art Basel’s VIP vernissage were so striking they can hardly pass without comment. Skeptics point out that blockchain technology has yet to produce a real-world application beyond Bitcoin no matter how many IBM ads you are forced to sit through. Some blockchain enthusiasts simply don’t see the art world applications. Others wonder if there’s a utopian fantasy that has allowed many to project upon the blockchain their own fervent agendas. The Wall Street Journal’s Kelly Crow tweeted from the conference including this gnostic gem from Stuart Comer, “differentiating the difference between value and values is the key tension now.” This is the art world. So perhaps the best way to understand how the fantasies about decentralized fractional ownership can be much harder than it sounds is to watch what happens to a work of art. On hand at Lindemann’s conference was artist Kenny Scharf who created an original work on a substrate of 150 tiles. At the end, there was a frenzy of interest among the attendees to walk away with a fraction of the whole work. Lindemann himself complained in a tweet after that even he didn’t get to keep one of the tiles. As this video shows, the break-up was a free for all, aptly becoming a metaphor for the decentralized blockchain. Does anyone think it will be easy to re-assemble the pieces, let alone in some semblance of order that recreates the work of art? Does anyone think the individual tiles have value, monetary or artistic? Does anyone think they can be put back together without someone coordinating it like perhaps buying up all the pieces at a discout? Then why does anyone think de-centralized ownership will work? Please don’t say the blockchain will solve it all unless you can describe the process in detail because that’s not how the blockchain actually works.
“Blockchain is a digital common space, a shared room where members can gather and see stuff.” @RealZandy on how the people who fractionally own art could get together to see shared performances or experiences or get to know each other#experientialart #artofblockchains @ArtBasel— Kelly Crow (@KellyCrowWSJ) December 4, 2018
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