Friday, January 6, 2012

Virtual Security

Next week, cultural security will extend in the web with a new technology for on-line art auctions. The introduction of Artfire, an offering of Artprice, reportedly “offers a 100% guarantee of security and payment for buyers and sellers” who trade art over the web. Such technology has the potential to further globalize the art trade.
As on-line auctions establish and gain trust, what are the implications for the institution of the auction house, which has been a significant part of the culture of the art world? Does security of on-line trades threaten the traditional culture of the art world? On the other hand, through integration with stolen-art databases, such as that of INTERPOL, the on-line auction might bring greater transparency, which increases perceived security. It seems that pursuit of due diligence and trust in transactions may ironically compromise the institutions that traditionally offered that sense of security.
The image depicts the “burning man” of the festival by the same name held annually in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada in the United States.

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