Hans Neuendorf and Bill Fine, CEO and President respectively, of artnet, announced in an email press release yesterday an ‘Exclusive Partnership’ with Art|Basel and their intentions to bring the Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach art fairs completely online. Their statement reads:

We are pleased to announce a new service on artnet!

artnet, the leading online platform for the art market, today entered into an exclusive partnership with Art Basel, the world’s most important art fair. Beginning in 2007, Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach can be visited online. From the last day of the fair onwards, visitors will be able to navigate the fair with an interactive ground plan and find pictures of the exhibited artworks and the booths.

For two months after the end of the fair, both visitors to the fair as well as collectors who were not able to travel to Basel will be able to “visit” Art Basel on artnet.

Yours Sincerely

I’m most-intrigued by the phrase ‘interactive ground plan’ and what that could entail. Of course I’ve had an obsession for some time now with the function-space of the fair booth, and have even made some work in response to these concerns. There’s a lot of potential in these spaces – their temporality, movement of viewers, partition construction, etc. – that unfortunately a lot of artists don’t take into account, or aren’t concerns of their production or display at these events, even though the fairs themselves are starting to dictate market vectors and the approach to sales. But I digress, and we’ll have to wait until 2007 to see what becomes of this online experience.