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We introduce Transactional Arts as art forms, where some sort of value is exchanged as part of the work. Artists not only reflect, but apply economic principles and interactions become transactions. In recent years an increasing number of contemporary artworks, especially media and internet-based projects display transactional features. The underlying notion of value, the participating agents, as well as the contexts, can vary in each work. The transactions involve not only economic and monetary capital but also social, cultural, symbolic or other forms of capital. 

One may say transactional arts explore the conversions of the various forms of capital into each other. For example, buying and selling become means of self-expression, marketplaces are transformed into online platforms, mesh-ups resemble online businesses or e-commerce sites, commissioning and other versions of division of labor become constituents of the artwork, personal finances, as well as the financial markets are artistically reflected. 

Most significantly, in transactional arts incentives become aesthetic material and artists create or facilitate all sorts of deal-making. Probably all leadership relies on some sort of creativity; through transactional works one may discover, that artistic creativity and strategic or business creativity may have more in common, than one may normally think. 

The concept of Transactional Arts was first introduced by Daniela Alina Plewe in 2008 and elaborated in her PhD thesis at the Sorbonne Paris. A short paper on the main ideas was finalist at the International Villem Flusser Theory Award at the Transmediale 2010, Berlin.

A symposium and online exhibition on transactional arts took place at the Marina Bay Sands Art & Science Museum in May 2013. This event was part of the Digital Arts Week Singapore.

Introductory Slide Show (Click to view full size):

A detailed documentation and analysis is available here:


Daniela Alina Plewe Transactional Arts - Art as the Exchange of Values and the Conversion of Capital.

Chapter III. Cases of Transactional Arts,

Characteristics and Conclusion.


This is the English Version of the original title: 

Daniela Alina Plewe

Les Arts transactionnels - L’Art Comme Echange de Valeurs et Conversion de Capital 

Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, 2010. 

Please refer and cite as such.  

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