Four global trends impacting our artworld eco-system

18 Oct 2018

The world is changing significantly right now. Many artists and gallerists, and even collectors are feeling uneasy with the changes, not sure where we are going. It sometimes feels like the old rules aren't applying anymore, but the new ones are not yet clear. Is it all doom and gloom, or could the future present some great opportunities? Lets explore four major trends and what they might mean for our artworld ecosystem.


First). Experience economy

Immersive (participation) experiences will drive an evolution of art fairs, galleries and museums providing greater opportunities for performance, interactive installation and virtual reality artists.


3D environments

Stories with opt-in paths and endings

Sensory restriction or enhancment

Direct audience involvement

Cross-discipline collaborations


Second). Disintermediation

Social media has already shifted power in the artworld. Artists are marketing themselves on Instagram. Collectors are contacting them directly to purchase works. Social media platforms will launch new online-shopping technologies to further this trend. 

Galleries will have to adapt their business models, and this does not just mean taking to online selling themselves, no, they have to redefine their PURPOSE.


New kinds of relationships for artists and galleries, agents and advisors

New compensation models

More sales through e-commerce

Virtual galleries, fairs and auctions


Third). Decentralisation

Mobile technology and globalisation combined have made it possible, and desirable to work remotely. This will have a huge impact that has just begun, the generation entering the work market now will make the major impact felt.

They will work for companies whose offices they never visit, while they live in the mountains or on an island. We run a software-driven business without an HQ, our six full time staff live in three different cities, not even on the same continent, two of them I have not met in person.

It will become easier for galleries and artists to be based anywhere and succeed.


Virtual staffing

Outcome-based measures

Shifts towards funding for decentralised projects


Fourth). Artificial Intelligence

Yes the robots are going to take our jobs! They are even going to paint and sculpt. They will be better at copying than creating. More people will have more leisure time. People will need help adjusting.


Increase in creative jobs and amateur artists

Video and VR games

Cultural travel

Return to galleries (but grouped and experience-packaged)

Increase in art forgery / decrease of trust in the work of art itself

More art advisors, more regulated as an industry

Increase in the coaching profession, coaches for artists 


If you're interested in a deeper dive into these trends and the strategies you can employ to best position yourself for success in the future, contact me at tamzin@talkingsense.co.za 

Four global trends impacting our artworld eco-system