Art Investment 2014-AA1 is an investment vehicle that responds to the increasing abstraction of the art market through financialization.
The securitization of art to be packaged and sold in complex financial products and the new arrival of art indices that track the art market have made it possible to separate the artist from the market. Like the effect of financialization on other industries, the artist is no longer the sole producer of art investments. That is to say, you can now invest in artworks or the art market without buying a work of art.
One such innovation is the Skate’s Art Stock Index (SASI) that tracks the stocks of publically traded companies in the art industry allowing investors to gain “exposure to the art market without having to buy art assets.” This abstraction from the physical object, now commonplace in finance and emerging in art investment funds, serves to alienate the artist from the market. With an art index, any potential impact an artist or their work may have on the industry is reduced to one part of an aggregate, a data-point that is averaged alongside the expected quarterly profit of major auction houses.
We have responded to the SASI by creating Art Investment 2014-AA1, an art asset that visualizes and tracks the companies listed on the SASI by assembling data-feeds scraped from different sources and displaying the current and historical values in a candlestick graph. By using the visual, linguistic and technological forms of financialization, the ‘asset’ is engaging the financial class in their own vernacular, and familiarizing outsiders to the tools, language, and concepts of value specific to high finance. Our hope is that it can open up a dialogue—that so far has been relegated only to experts within finance—to all who may be impacted by these new financial instruments.
Art Investment 2014-AA1 is not a financial abstraction, but the embodiment of an abstract financial market in an art object. This work is a collaberation with Jennifer Gradecki.