The inter- and transdisciplinary project “Art Experience in the (Post-) Digital Age { original | digital | virtual }” (OrDiV) aims to describe, to analyze, and to differentiate the particular perceptual qualities of original artworks, their digital surrogates, as well as digital expansions into the virtual space (augmented and virtual reality). The growing availability of digital tools for art education, such as online databases, smartphone apps and participatory exhibition formats has made the digital image into an essential part of our art experience. Art museums in particular, which mainly work with visual material, feed their accounts with digitized artworks and offer videos with guided tours, digitorials or virtual visits. By implementing such digital tools, art collections are immediately accessible to a much broader and more diverse audience. Against this background of new developments in the production, display, and dissemination of art it appears to be likely that its perception also reflects these developments.

We do not know yet what all this means for the art experience – for the ways we appreciate, perceive, and behold art. To understand art experience in the (post-) digital age it seems necessary to compare artwork presented in different media formats (original, digital, virtual) and investigate whether there is such a thing as a media-specific art experience. Based on Walter Benjamin's concept of the aura, we ask: Are there differences between image media when it comes to engagement with works of art – and how do these differences play out for different visitors? We aim to address these questions with a mixed methods approach including eye tracking, questionnaires, and an online-survey one week after the participation, integrating qualitative and quantitative methods to grasp the complex relationship between art experience and image mediality empirically through comparative studies.

The project is led by Dr. Hanna Brinkmann and based at the Center for Cultures and Technologies of Collecting at the Department for Arts and Cultural Studies of University for Continuing Education Krems. National research partner is the Belvedere Research Center in Vienna with Christian Huemer Ph.D., and Dr. Johanna Aufreiter.

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Duration 15/03/2024 - 13/03/2027
Funding FWF

Department for Arts and Cultural Studies

Center for Cultures and Technologies of Collecting

Principle investigator for the project (University for Continuing Education Krems) Dr. Hanna Brinkmann, M.A.
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