A crisis of faith: is Big Data the art world’s new religion?

The promise of data’s revolutionary power within the art market has reached a religious pitch. One has only to survey the analytic prognostication in something like the UBS Art Basel Art Market Report, a catechetical tome published annually reporting numbers, percentages and sale figures for industry insiders looking to justify their beliefs.

Meanwhile, many online sales platforms and databases are busy penning the catechism for the laypeople, issuing user-friendly “intelligence” reports, listicles and explainer articles to “demystify” the marketplace with a missionary zeal. At the core of these missives is a seeming schism. On the one hand there is the traditional density and elitism of the art world, and on the other, a new democratic ideal based on shared knowledge and decentralised authority.

Author: Margaret Carrigan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s