Art for Space 
Digital Art Exhibition

Art

for Space

TwoFiveEye Multi Pillars, Stefan Stignei

“Your success isn’t about you and your performance. It’s about us and how we perceive your performance.”

Albert-László Barabási

Curatorial note 

In order to investigate the overlap of the intersection of prestige and success in art, a group of art experts and artists were invited to select a small number of artworks that they deemed valuable. They had to choose among the works on display in the crypto art gallery, SuperRare, in September 2019. Their selection was then matched with indicators of market success for such works. The research found that prestigious artworks selected by art experts and artists are also successful in the gallery marketplace, revealing an interesting link between prestige and success, despite the early stage of the movement. 

 

​This is the premise of Art for Space, conceived of as a collective experiment by data scientist, Massimo Franceschet, who invited the MoCDA curatorial team and the SuperRare gallery team and artists to examine the dynamics underpinning the relationship between appreciation and appraisal of art. The current exhibition pairs some of the artworks selected by curators with the most successful ones according to their market value.

​“When Massimo told me about his intention to investigate the correspondence between prestige and success of the crypto art present on the SuperRare gallery, I realised how important and disruptive such research could prove to be, given the relatively recent - although very active - community in the crypto art movement.” said Serena Tabacchi, CEO and founder of MoCDA.

The research offered an opportunity for the MoCDA curatorial team to challenge their views on crypto art. Regardless of the artworks’ monetary value, curators had to provide Franceschet with a selection of only ten works that they deemed worth saving for future generations. This selection was to be submitted with a statement about why they believed the artworks to be of importance, and such statements are now used as captions for the exhibited works.

The outcome of Franceschet’s research was somewhat surprising: curators tend to identify themselves with the viewers and, in doing so, they anticipate the tastes of the masses whilst also discovering the unique trait of an artist who is more likely to be appreciated by a niche audience. Finding a balance between popularity and artistic talent is something curators are naturally attracted to and can identify before it becomes a widely recognised art phenomenon.

Franceschet’s findings are to be acknowledged as proof of the rapidly-growing crypto art market and as a prefiguration of the weight that curatorial insight can play in this context. With the growing interest of the role of curators in crypto art, their vision can prove to be a significant factor in influencing social engagement and the taste of collectors and art enthusiasts by identifying and supporting talent within the community.

 

The crypto art movement has its own rules and curators are finding their way to tune in and help the talent spread further. Similarly to Imprint 93 by Matthew Higgs - a pioneering curator who sent out a series of artist’s editions by post in the 1990s - Art for Space research foreshadows the importance of disruptive curatorial insights on the crypto art movement for which art critics and curators are challenged to contribute meaningful values, education, and structure.

About the exhibition

The artworks in this exhibition are a collection of the top ten works selected from the categories of success and prestige. The first is a collection of the highest sales made from the opening of the gallery in April 2018 until the 15th September 2019. The second is a selection of works made by the participating curators, chosen from the same range of works available on the platform up until the 15th September 2019. 

The artworks here have been paired and marked according to their selection category. The same couples were posted on social media (MoCDA Instagram and Twitter accounts) during the months of February and March 2020. The count of likes and social appreciation have then been collected and compared to the previous selection based on the market value and curatorial selection. The findings of this research have been, in most cases, coherent with the public response from the social networks; the number of likes was often close between the art couples shared. In some cases, the curator’s pick had a higher count compared to the market success selection but, occasionally, the opposite was also true. 

When visiting the exhibition, you will notice a blue and/or an orange dot next to the artwork. These works have respectively been grouped under the categories of:

 

success and prestige

 

 

This exhibition is in collaboration with SuperRare

Art courtesy of the artists, the collectors and SuperRare  

 

Research published in the Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage by data scientist Massimo Franceschet (aka hex6c)

Participating Curators: Jason R. Bailey, Chiara Braidotti, Eleonora Brizi, Chloe Diamond, Stina Gustafsson, Fanny Lakoubay, Judy Mam, Serena Tabacchi and Tom Van Avermaet.

 

Participating Artists: artonymousartifakt, Jörn Bielewski (aka shortcut), Ophelia Fu, Hackatao, Bård Ionson, Marko Zubak (aka MLIBTY), XCOPY, Neel Yadav, Zack Yanger.

Exhibiting Artists: Robbie Barrat, Ethan Tyrer, Mattia Cuttini, Adrien Le Falher, hex6c, Rah Crawford, XCOPY, Thato Tatai, 0xbull, Hackatao, Anna Louise Simpson, Ophelia Fu, David Young, Coldie, Stefan Stignei, Bård Ionson.

 

Exhibition curated by Chiara Braidotti and Serena Tabacchi

 

Special thanks to An Rong and Jonathan Perkins at SuperRare and Martin Lukas Ostachowski

© 2020 MoCDA Museum of Contemporary Digital Art 

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