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WHAT'S OUR GOAL?

We aim to understand how known categories such as gallery, exhibition, museum, and auction are re-invented or used in novel ways via virtual places and how economic value is created and distributed in the crypto art domain.

We are interdisciplinary, at the crossroads of business and economics, digital humanities, art, and law.

We need your voice and crypto insights, take a few minutes to participate in the survey!

RESEARCH PROJECT /
WHAT DO WE DO?

HOW, AND TO WHAT EXTENT, ARE TRADITIONAL ART MARKET CATEGORIES USED OR RE-INVENTED VIA VIRTUAL PLACES BY CRYPTO ART?

We seek to understand what these categories mean in crypto art and how this virtual community is re-inventing them to new purposes while maintaining some of their original meaning.

HOW, AND FOR WHOM, IS CRYPTO ART CREATING AND DISTRIBUTING ECONOMIC VALUE?

Crypto art is often produced with the explicit aim of distributing economic and cultural value more equitably. For  artists,  this  means  receiving  fees  for  secondary  sales.  Moreover,  it  can  mean  creating incentive structures that aim to fund new artists or reward display in public spaces for galleries.

We aim to understand how economic value is created and distributed by surveying the different business models that crypto art galleries rely on.

RESEARCH PROJECT

With this project, we study the crypto art community and market to better understand how shifts from material to virtual place-bound features affect the use and interpretation of categories and the extent to which such modifications impact economic value creation and distribution.

Using categorization as our theoretical lens, we study the extent to which the meaning of categories in one market context may evolve or change when there is a transition to digital place-bound features in another market that uses the same categories.

We study this relationship on the crypto art market, where digital artworks are exhibited in virtual galleries and sold to collectors on a blockchain. 

Comparing business models developed on this market to traditional art markets enables us to systematically study the extent to which meaning-making processes of established categories interact in the digital crypto art market. This project is a research exploration of a global and fully virtual art ecosystem that may signal the precipice of changes-to-come in traditional art markets.

METHOD / HOW DO WE DO IT?

We are conducting a large-scale survey among crypto art stakeholders to couple it with in-depth interviews. This will allow us to assess how different stakeholders conceptualize the  focal categories and existing (gallery) business models. We will interview stakeholders from  the traditional art market space to complement our results with an outside perspective. Then we will use data-driven analyses to assess the economics of crypto art galleries. In particular, we will explore the use of auctions versus direct sales, the state of the secondary market, and quantify the distribution of profits among users, distinguishing among collections, investors, and artists. For this part, we plan to use available data from two leading galleries: SuperRare and KnownOrigin.

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