Monthly Archives: January 2015

NIAS workshop on the New Cultural Commons

NIAS Workshop photo

On 18 to 20 November 2014, we organised an international workshop at NIAS in Wassenaar on the topic of ‘The New Cultural Commons: The Art World, New Media, and a Democratic Promise.’ We were able to attract a wide range of leading thinkers from the US and across Europe as well as emerging scholars to collectively investigate how and under what circumstances the internet gives rise to new and democratic forms of art product consumption and knowledge circulation, and how the specific characteristics of the digital medium, the audiences and the cultural contexts contribute to this novel phenomenon. This was a deeply interdisciplinary approach with academics from wide ranging fields such as art history, communication and media, anthropology, computer science, cultural economics, and sociology of the arts. Our workshop explored contemporary trends on digitization in the art world and market of the twenty-first century and focused on the visual arts they are exhibited, discussed and traded online. We approached this via four thematic clusters: 1) Evaluation and expertise, 2) Democratization and audiences, 3) Commercialization and new markets, and, 4) Globalization and hierarchies. It was a very exciting meeting for us, with much food for thought. For instance, it became clear that the concept of the ‘commons’ is more in alignment with museums but challenged the notion of the art market, which we see as an opportunity for further nuanced investigation. Therefore, we will plan a second meeting as a follow-up to continue this conversation, and we are thinking about publishing an edited volume of critical essays that we intend to have as open access.

Location NIAS workshop The New Cultural Commons

NIAS Workshop Photo 2

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