Monday, December 14, 2015

"Beyond a price tag, the market in fine art is a method of knitting together the elite of the global ruling class around an alternate reserve currency that only the most privileged, a supreme clientele of billionaires, may access.

"Globalized and financialized capitalism has brought the ruckus to firms and sovereign currencies alike, and so a highly mobile, ultra-wealthy class seeks to park its profits in vehicles independent of corporation or nation-state. Today, the most stable store of value is that which is defined by its lack of functional use: art. While wealthy art patrons of the past often donated or loaned their collections to prestigious museums, today’s billionaires are walling off their works, enclosing the cultural record within private galleries. This is both a social milieu and a bulletproof wallet, an economy insulated from crisis.

"The most valuable work of art is the one never seen; the most expensive record is the one no one can hear. The most valuable corporations don’t own assets or directly employ workers. Value, pulled through the wringer of haute bourgeois social relations, is not only severed from use, but begins to seem hostile to it." - Gavin Mueller

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