Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Transactional Arts - Art as the Exchange of Values and the Conversion of Capital
Daniela Alina Plewe
2nd Author
3rd Author
Number of Pages
Sorbonne Paris 1
Thesis Supervisor
Anne-Marie Duguet
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Lab for Arts and Medias
Languages Familiar to Author
English, German, French
URL where full thesis can be found (partly)
Contemporary Art, Media Art, Interactive Art, Art and Business, Relational Aesthetics, Transactional Arts
Abstract: 200-500 words
Transactional Arts - Art as the Exchange of Values and the Conversion of Capital This thesis is situated in the discourse around “art and business” and interactive art. We propose the concept of “transactional arts” as art formswhere some sort of value is exchanged within the art piece. Artists not only reflect, but apply economic principles and therefore interactions become transactions. We explore the relevant concepts such as value, money, capital, agents, exchange and gifts and draw from disciplines like economics, philosophy and aesthetics, sociology, aesthetics and business literature. We conclude with a unified approach stating that within the artworks and different forms of capital, such as economic, cultural, social and symbolic are transformed into each other. We then analyze more than sixty contemporary works, mainly media art in order to extract common characteristics. The transactional nature of the medium internet seems to facilitate this genre. We observe that in transactional arts the rationality of the involved parties plays a constituent role and that incentives become artistic material. Sometimes even a profit is made, apparently contradicting Western aesthetics which is based on the premise of the autonomy of art. Deals and contracts can actually become more or less explicit parts of art works. The actual resources over which the involved parties command, add an existential dimension to transactional arts. Often artists try to overcome their social position by gestures of self-empowerment and thereby transcend the legal or purely fictitious space. We find there is great potential for the artistic exploration of creative deal-making and strategic forms of creativity beyond the artistic arena. As such we consider not only business practices and value creation in general, but finance in particular as a highly influential domain of our society. The theoretical part is followed by some practical transactional works including an online platform for deal-making and various e-businesses. They are inspired by financial techniques of so called risk management and transfer them to other contexts: is a service supporting changes in life. As an insurance-like product it offers assistance leading to new beginnings. Victor Novus Capital is a “boutique investment firm for multi-dimensional banking”. As a highly exclusive investment firm offers banking in various forms of capital and their conversions. is a “attention-provider” in the form of a call centre preventing damages of social capital. allows hedging our love life and facilitates “innovative in relationship design”. A summary of this thesis was finalist at the Transmediale theory award 2010.