Global Digital Art: Perspectives on Categories, Place, and Economic Value in the Crypto Art Market
This project brings together scholars from various disciplines around the central questions of the intersection between categories and place, and of the creation and definition of economic value in the crypto art context.
Crypto art refers to born-digital or digitized artwork purchased and distributed by using non-fungible tokens on blockchains. The key feature of this amalgam of digital art and tokens is the possibility of uniquely identifying and thus exclusively owning data, in this case, digital artworks. It is the possibility of creating digital scarcity through the technological features of blockchains that enables the crypto art market.
Our work emerges as one of the first academic studies of this rapidly expanding phenomenon. We aim to understand the extent to which digital art markets use or re-invent known categories such as gallery, exhibition, museum, and auction in novel ways to create economic value.
Both traditional and crypto art markets operate globally and rely on analogous categories of stakeholder organizations along the value chain. Nevertheless, there exists substantial differences, linked to the opposition between material and non-material places, which make the comparison of the different markets interesting. We argue that this distinction underpins fundamental differences in traditional and crypto art markets, despite their use of seemingly similar categories. With this in mind, we are developing an interdisciplinary approach centered around the conception of a large-scale survey, interviews and other data-driven analyses to help us reach conclusions.