Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Emergent Digital Practices

First Advisor

Rafael Fajardo

Second Advisor

Shimelis Assefa

Third Advisor

Timothy Weaver


Art history, Art market, Blockchain, Computational philosophy, Cybernetics, Networked cultures


During the digital tide of the last several decades, the material, metaphysical and economic properties of art have evolved in response to the ever-accelerating growth of cybernetics. The contemporary art ecosystem (CAE) has long been considered “the last unregulated financial market”; then cryptocurrency was invented. Now, blockchain technology has entered the cultural zeitgeist and could radically innovate numerous industries, including the art market. The CAE itself is a network, a system that operates within fundamental parameters and, in that sense, it shares much in common with the philosophies underlying computation, such as systems theory, complexity theory and emergent consensus mechanisms. However, as the venn diagram of art and tech converges on itself, certain philosophical and technical questions arise: What constitutes “value” when digital reproduction is a given? Can the aura be hacked? What are the new interfaces through which society can ethically and emotionally experience art, and how are these defined by bourgeois or avant-garde ideologies? By combining contemporary art market research with techno-cultural criticism and socioeconomic theory, this thesis will track the effects of the burgeoning digital renaissance on the art market and offer solutions to embolden a more equitable, sustainable and ethical art world.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Emilie Trice


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

110 p.


Web studies, Arts management, Art criticism