Few would argue that there is not a great deal of money to be made in the art world.
From recovered paintings seized by the Nazis during World War II to more recent pieces fetching some $90M at auction, some might go so far as to ask, why are artists still referred to as starving when they make more than professional athletes?
Answer, and as with most business transactions that involve a value stream or transaction from business to consumer (B2C) or buyer to collector, is that there are middlemen that tend to reap most of the benefits.
Just consider the above example regarding David Hockney and one soon realizes that the artist not only saw zero profit from one of the most lucrative art auctions of all time, but will continue to see no return on his creative endeavours for all eternity.
In looking to avoid such injustices, many companies are trying to reduce the cut that such brokers as Christie’s receive and to ensure that artists, be they classically trained or operating in a more modern medium, see at least 10 percent from the initial sale as well as additional income from resales between customers, or C2C.
In order to achieve this aim, though, such firms fail to consider the importance of simultaneously tracking key features of the asset that could reduce the value of the painting or work of art due to poor storage techniques, inappropriate shipping containers, or exposure to drops, spills, or theft.
Collectors and creatives should guard against this, of course, by adopting time-tested RFID technology that will not only monitor location of the item as well as its state, but also ensure that it remains as authentic as the day it was first conceived.
As mentioned, RFID is a classic technology that relies on a constellation of 24 satellites to monitor the location of any asset, big or small.
While not as popular as cryptocurrency or other blockchain technology that also monitors the entire value stream for when art goes from creator to collector, it is arguably more secure and easier to adopt for those not entirely familiar with 1’s and 0’s.
Take for instance Hanhaa’s hardware and software solution that pairs a physical RFID tracker with software that easily operates across more traditional platforms such as Microsoft Excel in order to ensure accuracy of inventory for both the collector and creator.
What’s more, Hanhaa will scale their training to help out larger artist colonies, galleries, and small auction houses better sync their inventory so that not only can they maintain authenticity (see below), but also ensure artists get their due course, credit, and cold, hard cash.
Making data beautiful:
ParceLive helps ensure that artists and creatives understand the data they can monitor when it comes to selling, shipping, and seeing the maximum profit on their piece in a myriad of ways.
Consider, Hanhaa’s technology will track, monitor, and collect the location, temperature, humidity, orientation, and other key factors when an artwork is on the move so as to guard against the threat of theft, a claim against authenticity, or similar dispute by providing an airtight (literally!) chain of custody.
Artists who turn to ParceLive, then, are afforded an additional layer of security in that they also have the ability to customize what gets monitored and managed in terms of data, which could also include the title of the work, the artist who generated the piece, the date it was sold or resold, the medium on which it was created, the region it was found or rediscovered, and the like.
Lastly, Hanhaa is able to afford the colony or gallery with the ability to monitor shipments both large (think the size of an entire container) and small (a mail-box letter sized package).
Thus, there really is beauty in data that protects not only actual property, but also intellectual property over the course of years if not decades.
Sustainable and secure:
As mentioned, and especially when it comes to works of art that go for millions upon millions of dollars, security is key when moving an item from creator to collector to gallery.
Not only can ParceLive monitor for any opened boxes, but should a dispute arise between either party (remembering here that there is no longer a middleman involved), the artist can provide a clear chain of custody and root cause precisely where the shipment was targeted for theft.
Lastly, each of the RFID trackers is easily reusable and recyclable, which means that regardless of whether an artist’s works move quickly, or hang on a gallery wall for decades, there is a clear means in which to ensure the creator gets paid when a re-auction happens or a sale occurs after the initial purchase.
RFID tags can also be monitored when the artwork finds its final home by simply alerting the collector to how best to return the tracker, which would see him or her merely drop the hardware into the nearest post office box for, again, ease of reuse.
There is big money in the art world, but there is, arguably, just as much injustice in this realm when it comes to ensuring that starving artists finally get the credit and cash they so deserve.
While blockchain technology and other mediums are gaining in popularity when it comes to monitoring the movement of art, there is no better means in which to ensure an asset’s validity and, therefore, value, than by adopting RFID technology paired with complimentary software systems as epitomized and executed flawlessly by Hanhaa.