FINANCE AND SOCIETY, Vol 2, No 2 (2016)
Special Issue on ART AND FINANCE
Edited by Suhail Malik and Gerald Nestler

25 January 2017, 6–8pm

Presentations by :

Emily Rosamond (research article contributor)
Laura Lotti (research article contributor)
Q&A, moderated by Patricia Margarita Hernandez and Gerald Nestler


João Enxuto, Erica Love, The Institute for Southern Contemporary Art (ISCA), video, 16:20 min.
Sylvia Eckermann and Gerald Nestler, WHISPER. Status code: No entity found, 2k-video, 4:49 min.

“The editorial premise of this special issue is that the adage ‘art and money do not mix’ is now wholly untenable. As detailed in our extended interview with Clare McAndrew, the art market has grown rapidly over the last twenty years, leading to systemic and structural changes in the art field. For some, this growth of the market and its significance for art is an institutional misfortune that, for all of its effects, is nonetheless inconsequential to the normative claim that art and money shouldn’t mix. This commonplace premise looks to keep the sanctity or romance of art from the business machinations of market mechanisms, as eloquently summarised by Oscar Wilde’s definition of cynicism (‘knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing’).

This issue repudiates that normative moral code, and precisely for the reasons just stated: by now, the interests of the art market permeate all the way through the art system. The interests of the art market shape what is exhibited and where; what kinds of discourse circulate around which art (or even as art) and in what languages; and what, in general, is understood to count as art. In short, the art market – comprising mainly of collectors, galleries and auction houses – is now the primary driver in what is valuable in art.

We can add that our editorial stance is to bring to the forefront the interaction and manipulation of art and finance on both sides as a positive condition for the changes wrought by finance as a sectorial, technical and operational system. We have purposely not solicited contributions that provide allegories, figurations, metaphors or other mythifying caricatures of finance, though these approaches are arguably more common in contemporary art and certainly more prominent in the conventional critical stance on ‘finance societies’. For us, such critical renditions serve to further mystify finance as a sector and a technical apparatus in the broader cultural space, as well as maintaining art’s putative exteriority to it. We take as the primary political and epistemological aim of this special issue to contribute to the demystification of not only financial operations as practical possibilities that can be multifunctional, but also of how finance and its operational logics of accumulation extend well beyond its narrowly defined markets into the very practices that claim to be utterly distinct from them.”

—Excerpt from Introduction: ART and FINANCE, Suhail Malik and Gerald Nestler

Journal link:

Finance and Society is an open-access academic journal devoted to interrogating the social substance of finance.

Journal editors:
Nina Boy (Peace Research Institute Oslo) | Angus Cameron (University of Leicester) | Nathan Coombs (University of Edinburgh) | Amin Samman (City University London).

This issue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 UK: Scotland License. This journal is hosted by the University of Edinburgh Journal Hosting Service.

With the generous support of NYU Stern School of Business.