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Swedish gallery measures buyers' emotional responses to art pieces before selling

Retail

Swedish gallery Kosta Boda has held An Auction Based on Emotions, which sold glass sculptures only to those who had the most intense emotional reaction.

Money makes the world go round, and — in the case of a competitive auction — the lot will always sell to the bidder with the biggest bank balance. However, in the past we’ve seen Nike Mexico’s Subasta de Kilometros app enable joggers to win equipment simply by tracking longer running distances than their rivals in auction. Now a Swedish gallery has held An Auction Based on Emotions, which sold glass sculptures only to those who had the most intense emotional reaction.

Developed by Kosta Boda, a Stockholm gallery dedicated to art glass, the event invited members of the public to attend an auction of 3 artworks where no money would exchange hands. Rather than being able to see each lot before the auction, the pieces were kept secret and placed under a cover in a private viewing booth. The 303 visitors entered the booth one-by-one and were hooked up to GSR sensors and heartrate monitors. An assistant then unveiled the piece and the bidder was given 60 seconds to look at it. Their emotional response was recorded and assigned a value, which translated as their ‘bid’ for the item. The winner was the person with the highest bid.

Watch the video below to see what happened at the auction:

The artworks were worth EUR 1,900, EUR 8,500 and EUR 15,000 respectively, and each winner paid nothing to take them home. However, the nature of the auction meant the gallery could be safe in the knowledge that the pieces would be truly valued. Could other auctions use this technique alongside monetary bidding to ensure their goods are sold to the right person?

Website: www.auctionbasedonemotions.com

Contact: www.kostaboda.com/about-kosta-boda/contact-us

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