The price as an artistic challenge
History of Art
Each visual artist dealing with art prints, must - apart from any limitations of the printing process - also deal with two fundamental questions:
When an artist decides on the size and the numbering of his edition, this basically determines the prints" price.... and so on
This is because regarding the price it makes a huge difference whether there are going to be 50 or 100 or 10,000 copies, and whether an individual print has a low number such as 6/100 or a high one such as 87/100 or 9,354/10,000.
Often artists do not answer these questions from an artistical but from a business perspective., Finally it"s about image and marketing: How do I position this print in my previous work, my œuvre? Am I working for an exclusive group or do I want to position my prints oin the mass market? How many prints can I sell at which price? What price per square centimeter have I reached so far, and shall I stick to it in terms of my prints too?
Furthermore, the gallery plays a major role in determining the number and thus the expected price. Ultimately, however, the market price is set by supply (= size of the edition) and demand.
For us, this market-based approach became unsatisfactory, especially since the edition and its number are part of the artwork, often individually signed and guaranteed by the artist. We - perhaps traditionally - believe that every element of the art work shall be argued artistically and not within conventional market terms.
We therefore quite intensively engaged with the process of determining both the number of the respective issue and the price, and wondered whether it would be possible to not only define a price (-range) by the edition, but to set a very specific price. To what extent can an artist affect the price - especially in the field of art prints? How to bring about a paradigm shift from the price as an element outside, the external act of creating the art, to something inherent, part of the process of the work of art itself?
The bottom line
Can the price be justified solely artistically, regardless of the market?
Our artistic solution
We reached a conclusion by including a third element, which can be found next to the number and price: the date. We created something that is powerful enough to avoid being co-opted by the market, something that can sustainably hold its own in the market through its "artistic" price. Therefore we use what is called the “quantum entanglement”.
Instead of the price being the result of the market"s demand and supply, we entangled date, number and value - as in physics, creating a quantum entanglement. When one of these elements is measured, the state of the other two changes - instantaneously.
For example, if we want to create the next art print, which is the next number, we have to do this on the following day, because that’s the artistic rule: If you change one element, like by adding 1 to the number, one day is added to the date and one to the value; in currency ten cents - without delay.
In other words: the art work itself determines the financial value, instead of the artist, the gallery or the ups and downs of the art market.
For the owner the interesting point is, although the price is “created” in quite an unusual way, the outcome is marketable and saleable like any other artwork or commodity.
What might be new is the price and the pricing became an important and essential experience of the art, part of the aesthetic experience!
Christopher Temt & Eugen Kment
Date Number Price (€)
Cheapest 01.03.1995 93.889 64,60
Today 19.06.2013 93.7574 665,20
Tomorrow [DATE+1] 93.7575 665,30
PS: A visualization of our money-art concept can be found on our welcome-page.