The auction world has been abuzz in recent times courtesy of the announced collaboration between eBay and auction house Sotheby’s. The partnership will see the upmarket auctioneer have a dedicated section on the online giants site to help them sell medium range items. I’m not an avid eBay user, but do monitor the cycling category, and that in particular seems awash with Chinese knock-offs, especially for bikes and carbon fibre accompaniments. I have to say, it’s a risky strategy on the part of Sotheby’s, but time will tell how success it is.
A slightly more innovative, and much less heralded announcement has come from a Swedish gallery that is taking a novel approach to selling art work. The project was launched by Kost Boda, a Stockholm based gallery, in an attempt to connect the emotional attachment of visitors to the art, and subsequent purchases.
The project, known as An Auction Based on Emotions, is dedicated to art made of glass. It features an invitation only event whereby participants were asked to attend an auction of three pieces of art, albeit an auction with a twist, as no money would exchange hands. Indeed, the pieces of art were not even on public display for people to view at their leisure.
Instead, each individual was taken into a private viewing booth. From there, they were connected to GSR sensors and heart-rate monitors, before each piece of art was unveiled for just 60 seconds for their private viewing. The emotional response of each person was recorded, and a value assigned to it based upon the intensity of their emotional response. This emotional response then formed the basis of their ‘bid’ for the work, and the person with the highest emotional ‘bid’ would walk home with that work of art.
It’s a fascinating approach, not least because each piece was valued at several thousand Euros each, with a highest valuation of €15,000. Despite this, each piece was ‘sold’ for nothing to the person who, emotionally at least, valued each piece the most.
You can see a clip of the auction in action below. Suffice to say, with each piece going for free, this approach is only likely to ever have a place for those looking for a quirkier way of ‘selling’ their art, but it was nevertheless an innovative approach.