10 Ways New Technologies Are Impacting the Art World

November 8, 2023

The impact of new technologies on the art world is multifaceted, challenging traditional roles of galleries and museums, and democratising art. We explore the key areas of change.

Museums in particular are adapting to the digital sphere, redefining their roles in a rapidly changing landscape. This article takes a deep dive into some of the key findings debated during a panel at the FT Business of Art Summit on the impact of these emerging technologies. Speakers included Bettina Korek, CEO of Serpentine, Tim Marlow, CEO of The Design Museum, Sebastien Montabonel, CEO & Artistic Director at The Island, and Josh Berger, Chairman and Founder of Battersea Entertainment.

1. Technology is Expanding the Art world:

New technologies are challenging the very idea of traditional notions of art, broadening out who an artist is, of who art collectors are, and fostering new creative approaches.

2. Transparency and Ownership:

Digitalisation increased transparency in ownership of art. The traditional roles of intermediaries like galleries and museums are being questioned.

3. Museums' Comfort with Digital Sphere:

Serpentine CEO Bettina Korek reflected upon the idea that museums are more comfortable embracing the digital sphere than galleries. For example, museums includinre actively integrating AR, VR, and blockchain technologies into their programming, recognising that these are a means of engaging new audiences.

4. Mixing Digital and Physical Experiences:

Tim Marlow argued that museums, including the Design Museum, are evolving into more participatory models.

5. NFTs and Democratisation:

NFTs opened up a new market for art, democratising access to art. Damien Hirst's project, The Currency, 2022, for example, challenged the insular nature of the art market, widening access to a new generation of art collectors.

6. The Collaborative Benefits of Blockchain:

Bettina Korek referenced Arcual as a strong example of collaboration between existing artworld power players, LUMA and Art Basel, demonstrating the power of blockchain in the art market. She highlighted how blockchain-based certificates of authenticity can benefit artists and galleries over time, enforcing resale royalties.

7. The Next Phase of Blockchain Technology:

The art world is moving on from the moniker of “nft” which came to represent a speculative approach to this technology. Bettina Korek emphasised that we are now witnessing the potential offered by blockchain technology to build community and patronage, and ultimately, for empowering artists.

8. New Business Models for Museums:

Museums are exploring decentralised membership opportunities. They aim to support long-term engagement with artists and emerging technologies.

9. Changing Art Market Dynamics:

Technology is reshaping the art market through changes in certification, authentication, and ownership transfer.

10. The Importance of Museums in the Age of AI:

As technology enables infinite art production, the role of curators and museums is becoming ever more important as curation and discovery channels.

Stay tuned for more from Arcual Blog! Image credit: Business of Art Summit 2023, by Financial Times Live.

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