TIAMSA CAA 2020 CFP: Selling and buying anonymity: How does the art market deal with indeterminate works of art?

TIAMSA Workshop at the CAA 2020 Conference: Selling and buying anonymity: How does the art market deal with indeterminate works of art?

Chicago, February 2020, The International Art Market Studies Association’s Workshop at the CAA – College Art Association Conference, chaired by Anne-Sophie Radermecker, Université libre de Bruxelles / B.A.E.F Fellow at Duke University.

Deadline: November 15th, 2019

The artist’s name is one of the most significant parameters that determines pricing in the art market – so how are unattributed or indeterminate works of art marketed and sold? The notion of ‘indeterminate artworks’ (Lupton 2005) covers all kinds of works of art, cultural objects and crafts––from any period of art history and geographical area–– whose author’s name and/or origins are missing, unknown or (intentionally or not) kept anonymous. Based on a cross-disciplinary approach, this session aims at better understanding the inner workings of this understudied market segment which, however, concerns a large number works and transactions. Contributions addressing the following subjects are particularly welcome:

  • Supply side: Business and marketing strategies developed by auction houses and art dealers to increase the perceived and/or the market value of unattributed goods (e.g. identification strategies used to label anonymous artworks, discourse strategies, advertising campaigns, sales modalities), etc.
  • The art object itself: Do indeterminate works of art suffer from negative views that may affect their market value? What are the main direct and indirect quality signals of these goods? Are the notions of quality and artistic merit presented differently for anonymous artworks? Etc.
  • Demand side: What are the buyers’ profiles and incentives to purchase indeterminate works of art? Is anonymous art potentially interesting for investment purposes? How are collections exclusively made of indeterminate works created? Etc.
  • Price formation mechanisms: Difference in willingness to pay for branded and unbranded goods; market and price analyses of sub-segments particularly concerned with anonymity, etc.

This one-hour TIAMSA meeting is open to all participants at the CAA conference, as well as the general public. The main goal of this seminar-style workshop is to ignite a scholarly exchange on indeterminate artworks. It will offer the opportunity to discuss various issues specific to the sale of these artworks (with uncertainty and asymmetry of information playing a key role). It also aims at connecting scholars and professionals to create, in the long-run, an international network dedicated to the study and understanding of this market segment.

Researchers and art market professionals interested in actively participating in the meeting are invited to respond to this CALL FOR PROJECTS (7-minute presentations). Speakers may present both ongoing and past research.  To participate, please send a short abstract (max 500 words) and a short bio (max 300 words) by 15 November 2019 to Anne-Sophie.Radermecker@ulb.ac.be or as.radermecker@gmail.com. Selected projects will be announced by 15 December 2019 alongside the guidelines for the short presentations, which must be submitted by 15 January 2020. Please note that TIAMSA will unfortunately not be able to provide travel funds.