Reflecting on my earlier post 'Where is the sublime, how do we evoke it,and how much does it cost?' I have being considering how culturally ingrained ideas about value can be shifted from the artifact to the idea, therefore allowing reproductions to operate with the same validity and worth as originals. My first thought has been usefulness! A computer programme is useful because it can perform a function (for example Adobe Photoshop can be used edit an image). While there are hundreds of thousands of copies of the same program value is held through it's usefulness. The product is good at its job, and therefore Adobe know they can charge high prices and still sell thousands of copies.
If art could be proven useful to the human condition, not viewed with such suspicion by the majority the revelation that arts worth is in the idea and not the artifact may be revealed. However the subjective nature of art means I cannot perceive any way of measuring arts vital role other than through phenomenological tests of worth. Because phenomenological testing relies on experience rather than data the validity of results will always be called into question, and therefore is unlikely to precipitate a great shift in social perceptions.
However if a test to measure/prove arts worth to society and the individual could be developed it may be enough to precipitate such a cultural shift.