ATC Lecture – Sarah Thornton — “Four Thoughts about the Impact of Globalization on Artists”

Last night, art world ethnographer Sarah Thornton discussed the increasingly decentralized art industry and how the forces of globalization are both creating opportunities for a truly global art presence while also allowing artists to use nationality and boundaries in new ways.  Thornton explored how conceptual and contemporary art play with technology while pushing back against digitalization with decidedly physical works.

Thornton recounted how her relationship with the art has evolved and the difficulty and importance of maintaining value neutrality in examining art.

Check out photos from the event and what people had to say on social media below:


2016 ATC Thornton



Photos will be uploaded soon.

thornton-1080x700Sarah Thornton is a writer, ethnographer and sociologist of culture. Described by the Washington Post as “the 
Jane Goodall of the art world” and by the Financial Times as a “skillfully nuanced” writer whose prose is characterized by “verve, insight and authenticity,” Thornton is the author of three books and hundreds of articles. Her narrative non-fiction best seller, Seven Days in the Art World, is available in eighteen foreign languages. Her latest book, 33 Artists in 3 Acts, which the San Francisco Chronicle claimed would “startle even art-world insiders,” is a behind-the-scenes investigation of artists’ lives and credibilities. Formerly the chief writer on contemporary art for The Economist, Thornton is now a contributing editor of Cultured magazine and a contributor to many other publications, television programs and radio broadcasts. Thornton holds a BA in Art History and a PhD in Sociology. Her PhD was published as Club Cultures: Music, Media and Subcultural Capital. She was the co-editor of the first edition of The Subcultures Reader. Thornton was born in Canada. She lived in London, England, for many years and now resides in San Francisco. For more information: