Coated with the new super-black, a $2 million diamond has become the gem that absorbs all light.

As you might glean from the smokestacks on the cover, this fall 2019 edition of the artnet Intelligence Report advances a thesis: that over the past 30 years, the art world has evolved into an art industry. Once the modestly sized province of connoisseurs, passion-driven dealers, and hobbyist collectors, the art business today exists as an interconnected global network dominated by multibillion-dollar corporations and swashbuckling, profit-minded investors who care about numbers as much, if not more, than they care about the art itself.

In a remarkable new mashup of art and science, an artist has used the blackest black ever created to make a 16.78-carat yellow diamond completely “disappear.” The result of the intensive 5-year long project called The Redemption of Vanity, the super-black diamond currently sits on view in an unlikely, but—as explained to artnet News—very fitting venue: the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street.

The project is a collaboration between German-born, Boston-based Diemut Strebe, an artist-in-residence at the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Center for Art, Science, and Technology, and Brian Wardle, professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, along with Wardle’s group, necstlab.

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