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I Don’t Make Objects, I Make Projects: Selling Things and Selling Selves in Contemporary Artmaking
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1357-3516
University of Toronto.
2017 (English)In: Cultural Sociology, ISSN 1749-9755, E-ISSN 1749-9763, Vol. 11, no 2, 234-254 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

What role do artists play in the valuation of their activities? Theoretical perspectives on art have assumed that such value is closely linked to the prices of art objects and have minimized the place of content providers in the creation and definition of value. Through analysis of the writings of American, Canadian, and Swedish artists from 1967 to 2015, we find that artists move discursively from an object-oriented market logic to a market logic based in the provision of services, promoting new ways of accounting for value as they do so. Our findings suggest new ways to look at extant literature: 1) dominant theories treat artists as either structurally or intentionally insulated from the pricing of their work, while we show how artists act to define the value of artistic practice; 2) we show how terminology may remain stable while underlying meanings and institutionalized strategies aimed toward the accomplishment of goals evolve, and argue for the analysis of discursive practices beyond the search for stability or change in the usage of key terms; and finally, 3) we argue that analysts should look beyond price when aiming to understand the valuation of artistic practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 11, no 2, 234-254 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-316645DOI: 10.1177/1749975517694300ISI: 000402615100005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-316645DiVA: diva2:1078593
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2017-03-06 Created: 2017-03-06 Last updated: 2017-08-30Bibliographically approved

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Gerber, Alison

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