"The Return of the 90s. The Art Market in Times of Crisis"

Introduction 1: Howie Chen (read)
Introduction 2: Jason Kakoyiannis (read)
Olav Velthuis "The Return of the 90s" (read)

Dutch academic Olav Velthuis speaks on the cultural economy of art fairs and the shifting sands of symbolic value and market prices. After a period where the marketplace seemed the ultimate arbiter of value, we find ourselves at a time when there is much talk about 'returning to the home base’. In other words, the focus is again on accumulating symbolic rather than economic capital as the latter has become scarce.

Friday, March 5, 5pm
548 West 22nd Street
New York

Organized by Howie Chen and Jason Kakoyiannis
in conjunction with Columbia University’s Center on Organizational Innovation

This is the first event in a series of programs, Juicing the Equilibrium, organized by New York based curator Howie Chen (Dispatch, NY) and artist/attorney Jason Kakoyiannis to assess how sociological and cultural economic approaches to art world debates can augment artistic critique.

Special thanks to Justin Rubich for transcriptions.

Olav Velthuis

Olav Velthuis is Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Amsterdam. He is the author of Imaginary Economics (NAi Publishers, 2005) and Talking Prices. Symbolic Meanings of Prices on the Market for Contemporary Art (Princeton University Press, 2005), which won the Viviana Zelizer Distinghuished Scholarship Award for the best book in economic sociology (American Sociological Association 2006).

Velthuis has a Master Degree in Economics and in Art History from the University of Amsterdam and studied Sociology at Princeton University. In 2002, he received his PhD at Erasmus University Rotterdam. In his dissertation he studied prices for contemporary art in Amsterdam and New York from a sociological perspective. Subsequently he worked as an Assistant Professor at Konstanz University (Germany) and spent one year as Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP) of Columbia University.

Velthuis left academia for some years to write on globalization as a Staff Reporter for the Dutch daily de Volkskrant. In 2008, he returned to academia. Recently, he completed a book on the financial crisis (in Dutch). Currently he studies the globalization of markets for contemporary art. His writings on art markets have appeared in among others Artforum and the Financial Times.

Center on Organizational Innovation

COI is one of eight centers at Columbia's Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP). The Institute's core mission is to catalyze and produce pioneering social science research and to shape public policy by integrating knowledge and methods across the social science disciplines. COI promotes research on organizational innovation as well as new forms of collaboration, communication, and coordination made possible with the advent of interactive technologies.

Juicing the Equilibrium: Critique, Value, Markets, Prices

Juicing the Equilibrium is a series of programs organized by New York based curator Howie Chen (Dispatch, NY) and artist/attorney Jason Kakoyiannis to assess how sociological and cultural economic approaches can help art producers generate new critical demands and leverage within the space of cultural production. How can the robust analytical tools and models of the social sciences—whether they be data driven, behavioral, network, or quantitative—be utilized to mend the deteriorating ability of critical practice to narrate its own complex reality?