Exploring everyday encounters with street art using a multimethod design

Authors/others:Mitschke, Vanessa (Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg); Goller, Jürgen; Leder, Helmut
Abstract:In a combination of an outdoor and a laboratory study, we tested how people encountered sculptures and graffiti in an everyday setting. To accomplish an ecologically valid design, we let twelve participants engage in a free exploration walk at the Danube Canal in Vienna equipped with a mobile eye tracker. To further investigate our field measures we conducted a follow-up laboratory session, in which the participants commented on first person videos from their own walks. After watching the video, participants rated various views from their walk for aesthetic liking and interest. We found that participants spent up to 50% of the overall fixation time exploring aesthetic objects and artworks. Further, aesthetic liking and interest for certain views predicted gaze behavior during the walk. The free exploration task gave the participants the freedom to interact with the environment and yielded valuable results about the modalities of attention deployment in a real setting. Our study shows that the combination of field and laboratory testing is feasible and can be beneficial for a more ecologically valid study of empirical aesthetics. Furthermore, our findings illustrate the importance of art displays in everyday life and encourage the use of art, supporting the urban art movement and its stance as a public asset. Keywords: eye tracking, empirical aesthetics, graffiti, urban art, multi-method
Date of publication:8.2017
Journal title:Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
Peer reviewed:true
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/aca0000131
Publication Type:Article