If the only thing one had to judge the success of contemporary art were the literature produced for specialized publications, exhibition statements and class syllabus, one would have no choice but believe that contemporary art is radically effective in politcaly shaping the world we live in.
Artists and art writers make several claims about art’s significance, that is its capacity to effect changes in the world and the ideas through which artworks and exhibitions are able to do it. However, in attributing this capacity to the conceptual and aesthetic content of artworks, there is a overstatement of their significance insofar as that it promotes the notion that it is solely there where it lays the ultimate means of agency, and its most important reference point for critical evaluation. However, the claims about such consequence far outpace the actual consequence of contemporary art practices. To complicate matters further, CA is a market that circulates a lot of money, both public (though mostly in northern Europe) and private, here i am deliberately conflating market and institutional practices as they are intertwined. Whether one believes or not in free market as an optimized hub of exchange, it is safe to assume that the sums spent in the furthering of contemporary arte are seen as an investment — wether a direct one or subrepetiously cashed out throught indirect means such as furthering the tourism profile of a certain city. So that leaves us with a complicate question regarding arts claims and its imbrication with markets. In their work on political economy, Jonathan Nizpan and Shimson Bichler make the case for economic power as an index for political power, where more money = more power, however, CA seems difficult to be mapped onto this theoretical framework. While there seems to be at the very least a lot of money flowing into this particular market, the power that this money supposedly indexes, is not necessarily reverted to the politics that this money seems, on a first glance to support.
The question of parameters of evaluation have been always shifty throughout art history. The notion of historical development is tethered very much to this notion. Meaning: the history of art is in fact the history and dispute of modes of evaluation and narrative organization privileges underscored by shifting technical and cultural grounds. Arthur Danto gives credence to an end of history arguments via the apparent atrophied language development capabilities that contemporary art has exhibited since the 60's, and which roughly coincides with Mark Fishers argument about music.
However my perspective is that is a strategic move which functions as a guarantee for investors. Of course this is not about Illuminati or new world order level conspiracies. But rather we should think of these as strongly entrenched incentives not to change winning strategies, considering both its effectiveness as an investment and the way in which they afford not only economical but cultural capital.