Dr Elena Galimberti




Monash University, Australia


Dr Elena Galimberti is a research assistant in the Art Theory Program at the Faculty of Art & Design, Monash University. Her research includes spatiality in video installations, conservation of time-based art and with Prof Anne Marsh and Matthew Perkins the management of the Australian Video Art Archive (AVAA) [www.videoartchive.org.au]. She co-authored with Perkins 'Historical Continuums: Video Art at the George Paton Gallery' in Helen Vivien (ed), When You Think About Art: The Ewing & George Paton Galleries 1971-2006, Macmillan, 2008, 'Digital Archives and the Conservation of Time-based Arts' and 'Globalising Effects: Video and Documentary Codes' for the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand Annual Conference, 2008. In 2010, Dr Galimberti curated together with Perkins the touring screening program Video Void (Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, The Australian Experimental Arts Foundation, Adelaide and The Block, Brisbane) and the exhibition Video: Art from the Archive (Faculty Gallery, Monash Art and Design).

Paper title

Editions and Art Market in Video Art


This paper analyses the dynamics between reproducibility and distribution of video art by means of editions and the art market. Despite the non-commercial attitude of seminal video artists, over time video has been turned into a commodity. Currently, prices range from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars as video art is beginning to register in the competitive auction market.  Notwithstanding almost three decades of commercialisation, video remains less collectable than painting or drawing. The reasons for the difficulty of promoting videos in the collector's art market arise from two of its defining traits: the reproducibility and immateriality of video images.
A reproducible art object has proven to be less desirable to collectors aspiring to the exclusive enjoyment and ownership of artwork. Reproducible artworks may hold the potential for a democratisation of art. Nevertheless, artists' livelihoods have long depended on the marketability of their artworks, which in turn is tightly linked to the exclusivity of their access. Art galleries have addressed the limited appeal of reproducible artworks by means of editions.
The quality of immateriality is of critical importance as the feeling of possession driving many art collectors is deeply linked to the objecthood of the artistic product. In the case of video, the object owned does not have any intrinsic value. Besides, the relatively quick decay of the medium and the emergence of new video formats make the collector's enjoyment of the artwork time-bound.
In conclusion, artists creating video art today can avail themselves of different models and contexts, selling limited edition video works through a commercial gallery, disseminating Internet-based works online, and offering uneditioned video works through a distributor. The artist's choice becomes, in essence, a trade-off between the broad accessibility of uneditioned videos and the higher marketability of editioned ones.


Friday 30 September


1:30pm - 3.00pm








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