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The Art Machine: Dynamics of a Value Generating Mechanism for Contemporary Art

Rodner V & Thomson E (2013) The Art Machine: Dynamics of a Value Generating Mechanism for Contemporary Art. Arts Marketing: An International Journal, 3 (1), pp. 58-72.

Purpose – This paper aims to deconstruct the validation process for contemporary art with a fresh take on the components and terminology of this process, here referred to as the art machine. Design/methodology/approach – Existing literature is analysed and key theoretical aspects combined to support the theory that an art machine exists that may process contemporary art for legitimation, sustainability and market success. Findings – Roles played by art professionals and institutions within what is pioneered in this paper as the art machine frequently overlap. Opportunities for success are maximised when and if artists, art schools, galleries, critics, auction houses, museums and collectors manage to work in unison towards the common goal of optimal symbolic and financial value for the contemporary art market. Research limitations/implications – A clear and intelligible deconstruction of the art machine’s interacting components should enable interested agents in both established and emerging art markets to better operate mechanisms towards short-term marketing objectives and long-term sustainability within the highly competitive and fluid art environment. Originality/value – Existing literature recognises layered spheres of activity that may combine for success in an art market seeking increasing symbolic and financial value and sustainability. This article innovatively pictures the dynamic, interlocking mechanisms in this on-going, one-way process of turning inconspicuous raw materials into a valued end-product: this is the art machine.

Contemporary art; Arts marketing; Art professionals; Art galleries; Museums; Auctions; Collectors; Art investment;

Arts Marketing: An International Journal: Volume 3, Issue 1

Author(s)Rodner, Victoria; Thomson, Elaine
Publication date31/12/2013
Publication date online17/05/2013
Date accepted by journal18/06/2012
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