Digital Dilemma: Will the Art Market Embrace Blockchain’s Promise of Transparency?

Written in collaboration with Lindsay Moroney, COO of Artory

Furthering the cause of transparency and establishing trust are the ideals expounded by blockchain enthusiasts, but efforts to implement this technology in order to create a digital registry for artworks will certainly take time. Will the market resist, and will increased transparency improve the market and make it more efficient, or will it scare away vendors and buyers?

According to Lindsay Moroney, COO of Artory, a secure registry of artworks, about 85% of art buyers want a certificate as proof of ownership.

The Fine Art of Storage

Written in collaboration with Kevin Lay, director of Operations at ARCIS

Moving along in our series about how new technology impacts the art world, this week we look at the art storage and logistics industry. Since the year 2000, decades-old (even centuries-old) hand-performed methods and procedures have gone the way of the dodo.

“When I started in this industry 22 years ago there was virtually no technology,” says Kevin Lay, director of operations at ARCIS, a 21st century art storage center in Manhattan that opens in spring. “You had a sprinkler system; a rudimentary HVAC system providing humidity or taking humidity out of the air; and a central station type security keypad with motion detectors; and that was about it.”

The Power of Technology at Christie’s

Written in collaboration with Marc Sands, Global CMO of Christie's

Image courtesy of Christie's Inc

Each of the world’s top four fine art auction houses has more than 220 years of service under their belt, and until a decade ago little had changed how they did business. Well, exactly how is new technology changing the auction world? Christie’s is the first major auction house that we’ll look at in order to answer this question.

“From top to bottom, inside and out,” said Marc Sands, Chief Marketing Officer at Christie’s. “I can’t think of an area in the company not impacted by new technology. This is a brick and mortar business coming to terms with the new world.”

While the 251-year-old auction house is looking at every aspect of its business, the main areas impacted so far by new technologies are: bidding, research, and relations with consignors and buyers.

Can Artificial Intelligence Become a Tool to Detect Art Forgeries?

Written in collaboration with Ahmed Elgammal, professor at Rutgers University

Learned art experts have long used the study of brushstrokes to help authenticate questionable paintings by the great masters. But acquiring a sufficient level of expertise took many years, if not an entire career. In the end, the few such sophisticated art scholars were only found in prominent art institutions and universities.

That’s all about to change.

Quite soon, almost anyone will be able to instantaneously access art knowledge and experience that previously took a lifetime to acquire.

On February 2 in New Orleans, the 32nd AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence will hear from Rutgers University Professor of Computer Science, Ahmed Elgammal, head of the Art and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.