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Important notice on the Ranking 2007

Thomas Hellstrom: Thereafter #6, Digital C Print 2000-03

Dear users, friends and clients of artfacts!

We would like to inform you about some crucial changes and updates we did in the ranking system and the equations it uses. So, please, do not be too surprised if the rank of your favourite artist changed overnight.

Since 2004, we have entered plenty of information but basically did not change the algorithms of the ranking system. Three years ago, we were ranking 10,000 artists; meanwhile, we have reached a number of over 100,000 artists. This enormous amount of data allows us a deeper insight into the behaviour of the ranking system as a whole.

After several requests from artists and galleries, we decided to put more emphasis on public institutions without any permanent collection (like PS1 in NYC or Kunsthalle Basel).

Furthermore, the role of the biennials is now weighted differently within the calculations. Participation in the "Biennale di Venezia" can add nearly as many points to the ranking as a solo show in the "Tate Modern".

In addition, private and public institutions are now clustered into sets. The sets of institutions (galleries, museums, etc.) are ordered in sequences such as 10, 20, 40, 80, 160, 320, 640, 1280, ... The institutions in each set share the same number of points. The points present an average of the points within the set. Set 1 gains the most, set 2 the second most and so on. To illustrate this we'll give you some examples. In the first set are museums like the Centre Pompidou (Paris), MoMA (New York City) and Tate Modern (London) in the second set are museums like Fondation Cartier (Paris), Kunstmuseum Basel (Basel), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sof√a (Madrid), Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (Madrid), MACBA (Barcelona), Museum Ludwig (Cologne), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City), The National Museum of Western Art (Tokyo), Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City) and so on.

The classification of museums and galleries is based on the information we have about their respective collection, and varies each time we receive a modified or updated list from these museums and galleries. So for example the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo could jump from the second set into the first set after we have added missing information.

It is very important to understand that the artist ranking reflects how the artist is seen by the 'eye of the curator'. Sales are not an issue. However, according to Bloomberg (Oct. 10, 2007), collectors said that museum and gallery shows made artists more saleable and raise prices. And this is not only expressing the opinion of collectors. In the past, numerous scientific publications have referred to the "Kunstkompass". The "Kunstkompass" is a German artist ranking system developed in the 1970s by journalist Willi Bongard. All publications have underlined that, as a matter of fact, there is a statistical relationship between exhibitions and auction turnover. Shows function as a consecration of the artist through curators, whereas auction sales are an important measurement for the price level of an artist or art work.

With the Artfacts.Net Artist Ranking we do not intend to make people follow blind indications provided by a machine. Machines are 'stupid', they have no understanding of the world and, therefore, will never be able to replace the human 'feeling'. However, machines are very efficient and good at following a given path.
No professional in the art world can overview the careers of 100,000 artists. But a machine can. provides the art professional and the art lover with a powerful tool revealing and clarifying what is going on.

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