The Value of Art

“The Value of Art” is a series of interactive paintings by Laurent Mignonneau and Christa Sommerer dealing with the attention economy and value creation in the art world. Attention is the new currency in our media based society. But attention is physically limited and therefore has become very precious. Attention can also be turned into actual monetary value. For the “The Value of Art” series we buy existing paintings at auction houses and equipped them with sensors that can measure the exact time viewers spend in front of the painting. A small thermal printer is also attached to the frame. At the first exhibition the initial value of the artwork, including all expenses and the artists working time, appears printed out on the paper of the thermal printer. When the work is shown, it will start counting the number of visitors and the amount of time they spend looking at the painting. 10 seconds of user attention amounts to 1 Euro of value increase. The painting will constantly update its value, making the whole process of value creation for this artwork totally transparent. The more people look at the work, the more valuable it will become. “The Value of Art” deals with the working time value of the artists as well as viewers time value as they look at the paintings.