American Studies HKU School of Modern Languages and Cultures HKU

BA Course

Elective Course
AMER2067 Making money: Art, culture, and economics
6 credits
Art and money circulate in (uncomfortable) proximity. The art world is not a benign entity; it is embroiled in games of speculation and valuation that play-out within many and varied intersecting and overlapping markets. This class considers the systems within which art circulates and is valued, as well as those creative endeavors intruding, interloping, and intervening into arenas of exchange. How is trust intertwined with the metrics of (cultural/financial) value, and how do creative endeavors mediate varying levels of complicity, ambivalence, intervention, and antagonism? This class will examine projects by artists/artist-groups including, but not limited to: Marcel Duchamp, William Harnett, J.S.G. Boggs, Donald Evans, Andy Warhol, Lee Lozano, Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway, Núria Güell and Levi Orta, SUPERFLEX, William Powhida, Paolo Cirio, Cassie Thornton, Michael Marcovici, Art Reserve Bank, Michael Marcovici, Caroline Woolard, and Femke Herregraven, among others. We will analyze whether and how art functions: as an asset, commodity, and even currency (exchangeable); as a password for radical maneuvers and experiments; and as the “dark matter” on which the art world depends. In other words, this class considers not only the economies of art, but also the artworks for which these economies as subject, content, target, and even the medium of expression.
Prerequisite: Nil
Assessment: 100% coursework
(Offered in 2021/2022, 1st semester)


American Studies HKU