With the rise of the Information Age and the development of digital technologies, the art world has been slow to the uptake. The art industry’s apathetic efforts within the cyber sphere is surprising; an online audience has the potential to be a thousand times larger than the crowd that visits museums in person, and a large social media following is becoming more valuable to artists than gallery representation. Today, the art world needs technology more than ever, as both industries are at the forefront of innovation.
The art world is an old-school, relationship-driven industry, but new technologies have the potential to streamline how the art world works, making it more accessible than ever to the general public. Technology can enable digital art collectors to become more active, connect artists to galleries and museums virtually and expand the industry’s stagnant analog business.
Art startups have recently come to fruition, capitalizing on the digital realm as a platform for gallery space. Artsy, a venture-backed startup, works as an online resource for art collectors and galleries. Saatchi Art, a leading online art gallery, works to circumvent physical galleries altogether and sell art directly to collectors.Artbinder is a leading digital app and platform that enables galleries to showcase artwork remotely.
These are only a few among the handful of art-tech companies that venture capitalists have invested in recently. Additionally, companies have tapped into the “affordable art” market, with companies like Artsicle and Artfinder designed as digital marketplace platforms for fine art.
While the art and technology industries seem to occupy different universes, it is not surprising these worlds are finally colliding with the rise of e-commerce and disintermediated culture. Artists are always looking to adapt a new medium—to invent—which is also the basis for the ongoing development of modern technology. Divides have existed in the digital art world due to the traditional nature of the art industry as an exclusive world reserved for the elite.
But as art and technology have recently joined forces across a multitude of sectors, the once unapproachable art industry is becoming more public and increasingly welcoming to the art world neophyte. Museums like the Smithsonian and the Met have begun to digitize their art collections, and artists such as Rafael Rozendaal are even creating public work for private collectors, which can live virtually in every computer or smartphone in the world.
As technology has started to infiltrate the art industry, these two fields are combining to bring the world’s art out of its traditionally private community and onto our screens, forging a revolutionary movement of creativity.