Paying for art with your emotions

This art auction uses emotions as currency - whoever feels most strongly about the piece wins it. Fair, right?

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rich people retarded art
Maybe there wouldn't be much graffiti like this if we all bought art with our feelings via / Flickr (Hrag Vartanian)

Ever get the feeling that a lot of art gets sold to fatcat bankers with mountains of disposable cash to fritter on work that they don't really care for? If all art auctions were set up like this one, then maybe that'd be a thing of the past.

Swedish glass manufacturer Kosta Boda has hosted the world’s first auction based on emotions, giving people who cannot normally afford expensive artwork the chance to own it.

This is how it went down – GSR-technology and heart rate sensors measured over 300 people’s feelings about three different art glass pieces by Kosta Boda’s artists, with the only information revealed being the art's collective value of £25,000. The GSR-technology (Galvanic Skin Response) has been commonly used before for lie detector machines and was adapted here to measure emotional response to art.

Bidders were invited to step into an isolated booth, with the artwork concealed underneath a cloth. When the cloth was removed, the viewer was allowed one minute to absorb the piece and respond to it emotionally, with the physical reactions (heart rate and GSR) being measured by the sensors.

The subjects most physically moved by the artwork won the pieces. Simple.

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