Research on the Perception of Art Launched

Sociological research by Dagna Kido?, a PhD student, into the reception of contemporary art using eye tracking technology is underway. Respondents are subjected to experiments in Warsaw and Lodz. During the sessions, they watch art installations, give interviews and solve tests. The qualitative and quantitative data obtained is intended to demonstrate how modern art is read and understood by visitors to galleries and museums. A Pupil Labs Invisible mobile eye tracker is used to measure eye movement.

The Perception and Audience Research Laboratory

The Audience Perception and Research Laboratory will carry out research on participants and creators of culture and other entities of the creative sector (CCI). A special research group will be the youngest viewers and the content created for them (especially animated films). The subject of the research focuses on the significance of new media both in the processes of creation, promotion and distribution, as well as participation in visual culture in its broadest sense. In addition to research using classical methods of identifying the processes of cultural reception, we will use research entering the field of neuroscience (including neuroaesthetics), based among others on ophthalmographic (eyetracking) or biometric emotion research (face reading and GSR). We will try to find answers to questions bothering both researchers and artists: how the processes of cultural reception take place and what are their conditions.

The studio will provide research support to all other Laboratories, and from 2020 will announce a call for two additional research projects concerning the film sector.

Studio manager:

Anna Zarychta,

Applications of new media in the activities of creative sector entities and in the decision-making processes of culture recipients.

The processes of value management in the cultural sphere, which include defining, shaping, communicating and offering it to cultural participants, are strongly influenced by new technologies. They expand the possibilities of realizing artistic and marketing visions and concepts, as the goal of technology management becomes the creation of a value spiral, in which what is possible in the sphere of new technologies will inspire what is advisable in the sphere of value management for the participant of culture, and vice versa. This is reflected in the concept of technological determinism, as well as in the ongoing changes in the behavior of cultural participants and the virtualization of participation in culture. With the development of technoculture, techno-optimism has emerged, but at the same time technophobia and anxieties about new technologies. In particular, they concern the quality of algorithms and the data that feed them, as well as the phenomenon referred to as the so-called filter bubble, which consists in Internet users closing themselves in isolated worlds and using content that is consistent with their existing attitudes. In this context, a research gap is revealed concerning the nature of the relationship between culture and technology, as well as the role and applications of the Internet in the decision-making processes of culture consumers and in the marketing activities of cultural institutions in Poland. Bearing in mind the need for a holistic approach to the studied problem, the research procedure has been based on the idea of triangulation of qualitative and quantitative empirical research, which is carried out among creators, chief executives, artistic directors/managers, marketing/promotion/sales managers and owners of cultural institutions, as well as cultural participants. So far, the research process has been carried out in the stream of qualitative research: 3 focus group interviews with cultural participants and 8 in-depth individual interviews with artists and managers of cultural institutions, and in the quantitative research stream: 321 computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI) with representatives of cultural institutions. A quantitative survey of cultural participants was also conducted; it was carried out using ePanel among 456 cultural participants.

Social determinants of contemporary art perception

How does a viewer view a work of contemporary art? How much does it depend on the type of exhibit and how much on the viewer themselves? What influences how we view paintings? The study, based on the achievements of neuroscience, also draws on cognitive science, showing the relationship of corporeality and perception to thinking.

The study aims to juxtapose previous research achievements with modern technology that can broaden knowledge and identify regularities in the patterns of art perception.

Since art is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon, it is reasonable that the analysis of its perception be interdisciplinary and combine perspectives from the fields of sociology, aesthetics and psychology of perception.

Modern technology, drawing on the achievements of neuroscience, will be confronted with the theory of conditioning the social reception of art, developed, among others, by Pierre Bourdieu. In this way, beauty as a concept with philosophical tradition will be included in the neurobiological considerations on the genesis of aesthetic pleasure.

The research is carried out within the PhD School of Social Sciences at the University of Lodz.

The aim of the research team is to answer questions that concern filmmakers for the youngest children about the form, subject matter and impact of film on children aged 4-6 years. The research plan for the youngest audience, due to the COVID-19 pandemic had to be adopted to existing constraints and take advantage of emerging opportunities to collect data related to children’s participation in online film screenings and events.

Given the increased risk of basing the research on homogeneous methods, it was decided to use methodological pluralism that would allow the research objectives to be met despite the sanitation regime situation.

Audience research will be implemented using an interdisciplinary approach, the primary methods used include:

  • literature studies,
  •  film analysis,
  • analysis of reports and research (desk research)

but also:

  • quantitative methods (analysis of statistical data on the reception of the film and the number of abandoned views in the case of online events),
  • qualitative methods such as individual in-depth interviews (IDI) and possibly focus group interviews (FGI), which can be conducted in small groups and with the use of instant messaging.

The implementation of research with the physical participation of children using biometric emotion testing tools (facereading and GSR) or ophthalmoscope has been postponed until 2022 due to the current unpredictable epidemic situation. The selection of different tools will allow us to confront the obtained knowledge from different perspectives (creators, recipients and supporters, e.g. educators or festival programmers).

The research conducted will be used for further work related to piloting the system of rating films for children. They can also be used in the work of psychologists and speech therapists using films as a therapeutic tool.