Art Basel Miami Beach Apps Bring Clarity to Art’s Complexity

Perhaps it’s the Miami Beach touch, but Art Basel, which takes place this weekend, has taken a color all its own. The show, now in…

Perhaps it’s the Miami Beach touch, but Art Basel, which takes place this weekend, has taken a color all its own. The show, now in its 10th year, will showcase some 2,000 artists and 260 galleries from almost every continent, with buyers snatching up near-classics at characteristically high prices. Consistently unmatched, Basel, which is first held each year in Switzerland, the event makes it clear that the industry is neither bubble-prone nor succumbing to contemporary society’s general contempt for classic forms.
That being said, a balance needs to be struck to bridge generations. Today’s buyers will someday pass, and their children will bequeath their collections and, if all goes well, their taste. But others will make their fortunes independently and need an open door, an access point that is once transparent and inviting. The complexity and abstract quality of fine art is without a doubt intimidating, and Basel is in a league all its own - every major gallery in the world in one place, a Wall Street feel of density and energy. Finally, though, understanding the role of technology in our consumption of information, as well its ability to increase accessibility, is a gift Basel’s planners and partners have bestowed upon us.

The Art Basel Miami Beach Guide

The Art Basel Miami Beach Guide is better-than-standard fare that replaces the often-lost maps and hard-to-handle exhibition guides of years past. The in-app three-dimensional guide of the convention center follows your path by GPS coordinates, not only displaying the name of exhibitors and pieces, but also allows you to make favorites, search, and sort exhibitions and artists. More impressively, though, it allows you to make direct contact with galleries within the app, ensuring the type of quick exchange that turns browsers into buyers.

ArtCapture: Miami Basel Edition

ArtCapture: Miami Basel Edition builds on ArtCapture’s image-recognition for Basel-specific exhibitions. When a user snaps an image of a piece through ArtCapture, he or she is provided a breadth of information about the work, the artist, and the gallery. The app also allows users to add notes to their images, dispelling the need for lugging about a pen and pad, document their own collections, and then - somewhat optimistically - envision the work on display in their homes by way of augmented reality. If the fit is a good one, they can then share across Facebook and Twitter.


Collectrium, the creators of ArtCapture, is considered by many to be the preeminent leader in art-world technology, with a commitment to connecting buyers and sellers and keeping them engaged. For galleries, it serves as a user guide, promotional tool, and iCloud-enhanced inventory manager; for collectors, its an online database, online gallery producer, piece-specific data provider, and financial appraiser. For Art Basel, it’s everything rolled into one: a photo app, video camera, information source, scheduling tool, and interactive map. Scope, as part of Basel, has employed Collectrium specifically, using its technology to expedite the flow of traffic on both a physical and financial level.

Moving forward, it will be the technological capabilities of industries like that of fine art - timeless but potentially dated - that ensure their continuation. Regardless of their current state of being, mobile engagement is a defining quality of future buyers’ upbringings, and a disconnect between methods of communication and access to goods could slowly unravel a potentially harmonious relationship. Basel, as well as its related independent apps, have made a statement in embracing technology often blamed for overzealous consumption of low-quality creativity, a subtle nudge of younger generations to step forward into the past.

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