Gabriela Campos ︎

Image: Reproduction.  

How the internet made the arts go off its high pedestal?

Whoever despises, deep down, just needs to buy. How does the internet, which for many devalued art, now appear as the only way to save the world’s art market?

Monumental palaces located in large centers have protected for years what was considered by some “art in its real sense”. Bureaucracies to visit, to consume, to produce. But, apparently, the structure built to make art and the imaginary of the distant future from a more plural narrative, seems to have its days counted. Thing is: the digitization of the collections by the main museums in the world, established in the first half of 2020 shortly after the beginning of the pandemic COVID-19, as the main resource of approximation between public and collection, allowed other perspectives to be seen in the process of democratization of art. However ...

Even before facing the [temporary or not] closure of several institutions due to social isolation, the valorization of post-internet art still lacked form / aesthetics and its decorating capacity, which for a long time was questioned and considered hampering on the process of  a more expressive positioning of these productions in the auction market and commercialization of art in the world. And in addition: BRIAN DROITCOUR wrote in 2014 for ART IN AMERICA, that apparently all that the internet would do in relation to art would be to expand the ability to communicate the works of each artist and / or expand the possibilities of an installation. Little did he know, the art market has the most current backwardness.

The year is 2020 and when in March of this year the scenario produced by the pandemic enabled an unexpected turnaround due to limitations, both in terms of artistic production and in terms of commercialization, 230 leading agents and clients in the world’s art market met at ART BASEL virtually, forcing a new trade model to emerge as the main means of continuing to make the business happen. And like HONG KONG, several other individual galleries are opening virtual rooms and sustaining the art market during social isolation. Online galleries redefine geographical boundaries for those who offer and those who consume art: art now seems to be moving towards a more universal perspective. Somehow, the traditional credentials in the race for artistic recognition and appreciation (as in how to participate in biennials, galleries or have the work validated by collectors) fall apart when in fact those who decide what they like or dislike are the public: who can no longer find barriers when it comes to participate in the market. And so, the internet added another important thermometer in the era of digital relationships: “she went viral”.

Today, the online/offline lives are already blended. Everyone is online, here and now: and for everything. [since we don't leave the house or at least we shouldn't leave]. Everyone is online and the internet is nobody's and everyone's land at the same time. Art, as a communicative manifestation that uses the most varied tools to express contexts, conditions and possibilities, can count on yet another artifice in an attempt to document the multiple facets of what art is. If it is to register, reflect and disseminate that be it through art. Even if you need a pandemic to understand the urgency of this flexibility, in a search for a more plural participation. And that the internet is a tool, to anyone who may be interested.