Wednesday 24 August
12:00 Lunch and Registration
13:00-13:15 Opening ceremony
13:15-14:30 Symposium I – Realities of Geometries
3D printing the geometry of sound
In his 1802 book “Acoustics”, Ernst Florens
Friedrich Chladni describes how to visualize different vibration modes using sand, a metal
plate, and a violin bow. His tours and demonstrations throughout Europe popularized the method
that the arising
patterns were subsequently called “Chladni Figures”. These figures originate by the violin bow striking the metal plate
and causing it to oscillate. Thereby, the sand is bouncing up and down, settling only in those
places where the vibration modes cancel each other out. To put it differently, the sand is
at those places where no sound can be heard. The patterns therefore visualize the “blind spots”
physical and mathematical formulations of Chladni’s figures can be lifted to three-dimensional space.
This can tell, e.g., architects of concert halls, where certain sound frequencies cannot be
which would make for a less enjoyable experience of a symphony. Visualization of these
three-dimensional geometries is not as easy as in Chladni’s original two-dimensional setup.
experiments are hard to design and execute. Here, computer graphics and 3D
printing techniques come in to help.
In the talk, we review the underlying
physical and mathematical formulations of Chladni’s figures. We will discuss how they span a
plethora of geometries in three-dimensional space as well as the difficulties of visualizing
Finally, we provide examples for 3D
prints of the structures, giving these virtual geometry their own sense of reality and allowing a whole new level of exploration
of three-dimensional sound patterns.
Hunyadi and Dave
Material Deformations of Penrose Tiling
Penrose tilings are ways to completely cover
infinite plane with perfectly fitting shapes, in a pattern that never repeats – they have
local symmetry, where it may look like they are regular and ordered, but on a larger scale, this
order is always disrupted. Adding deformations to the tiles creates a rich, generative space for
artistic exploration leading to several approaches to form, between digital and physical
generation, hand working and machine control.
As two practitioners from different backgrounds – sculpture and computer science – we
collaborate on a common ground: an interest in the growth of pattern and shape making.
In this talk we share our journey and explorations starting with Penrose Tiling. Our interest is
what happens when bringing this abstract mathematical pattern into the physical world.
We start with a simple generation of the tiling, and then explore a set of deformations that can
create a continuously variable space of patterns. This creates an interplay between the
the tools applied and the underlying geometry, allowing different relations to emerge between
pattern, perception and space.
Folding polyhedra inspired by Albrecht Dürer
Visualization of mathematical ideas has
important part of mathematics. It is interesting to see that also some artists have
developed new visualization tools for mathematics. In 1525 Albrecht Dürer published his
book “Unterweissung der Messung mit dem Zirckel und Richtscheyt”. In the fourth part of
this book we can find several plans of regular and semi-regular polyhedra. It is, as far as
we know, the first time plans of polyhedra were published. By presenting both the unfolded
and the folded version of the Platonic solids, as two drawings next to each other, Albrecht
Dürer visualized the relation between the 2D folding plan and the 3D final model of a
polyhedron. In this way Dürer describes the process of folding these polyhedra, which he
also explained in the accompanied text in the book. A process which we nowadays
illustrate using animation. The book is meant to be a source of knowledge and inspiration
for painters, sculptors and craftsman. Although it is published about 5 centuries ago, it still
is a very rich and interesting source of inspiration. Based on Albrecht Dürer’s publications I
started to make animations of folding polyhedra, both as a visualization of mathematics
and as an art project to show the beauty of the mathematics of polyhedra.
Hartkopf and Johanna
A VR journey through the geometry of space
The history of geometry is deeply connected
our perception of physical space. After Euclid’s “Elements” it became common belief that
the mathematical description of the space around us. However, the impact between perception of
and understanding of geometry was not unidirectional –
physical theories were strongly influenced by the prevalent, and for a long time unique,
foundation of geometry. When Newton distinguished rest and uniform motion from acceleration he
a Euclidean description of space. In highlighting them as the force-free state of a
physical object he even made this description absolute. The success of Newton’s mechanics
cemented this picture as a fact of pure intuition.
However, in the 19th century some doubt emerged: The independence of the parallel postulate was
discovered, non-Euclidean geometries were born and the
primacy of Euclid was questioned. Hilbert and Riemann further developed geometry from a mere
description of physical space to a theory of abstract relations. Suddenly, the geometry of space
no longer an intuitive fact but an open empirical question. One
physicist who tried to answer this was Einstein. He had the idea that every motion – even acceleration – is relative. This simple
thought led him to his General Theory of Relativity where gravity is no longer a force but a
geometric property of space.
In our talk, we will discuss the relation between geometry, space and our perception. We
Virtual Reality experience where the user gets a visual impression of non- Euclidean geometries
is encouraged to question their everyday perception of space, just as Einstein did. After all,
experience is the first and most natural access to our understanding of the world and therefore
14:30-14:45 Mini Break
Anne-Sofie Maerten and Derya Soydaner.
Art and machines: A tutorial on AI generated art
Ever wondered how DALL-E creates mesmerizing
images or how you can turn your vacation photo into a Van Gogh painting? In this tutorial we
discuss the recent trends on AI generated art. First, we will give a quick introduction on basic
concepts in deep learning. Then, we will introduce the most relevant deep neural network
architectures for vision science (including CNNs, GANs and Transformers). We will
present a variety of applications for each of these models to show how they can create artificial art. We will discuss questions such as “does artificial art have the same qualities as human-made art” or “is it necessary to be a human artist to create an artwork”? What is the future of art? The goal of this tutorial is to provide
practical guidelines for this new era on generative art and have a meaningful discussion on the philosophy
of art and science.
16:30-18:30 Symposium II –
How are the arts related to transformations in our everyday life? How can a visual science of art
capture this impact? An overview of the ARTIS project.
Fingerhut, Matthew Pelowski and Eftychia Stamkou.
Art and Transformation: An embodied, enactive theory of the arts and interpretation of recent
In this talk, we will
provide an introduction to the research themes presented in this symposium within the larger
conceptual scheme of the EU-H2020
project ARTIS (Art and Research on Transformations of Individuals and Societies). The focus will be on how cultural artifacts and artworks bring forth models of who we are and what kind of society we want to live in (Fingerhut, 2021). Art might occupy
a central role in this because successful artworks challenge our world views and
provide novel forms of perceptual, emotional, and cognitive access to existing societal
challenges. Art transforms us in a multitude of ways, by changing our attitudes and behavior
and by providing alternative realities.
We argue that we need an embodied, enactive understanding of art as a cultural artifact to capture this
power of art in a systematical theoretical approach. Such a theory should be embedded in the cognitive sciences and the humanities alike. This talk focuses on the psychological
processes and processing stages of art engagement (Pelowski et al., 2017), yet also briefly
explores the ways successful artists deviate from existing norms (Stamkou et al., 2018).
This will serve as a general introduction also to the forthcoming talks, with the idea that
we will return to this general mandate and line of argument throughout the forthcoming
Stephanie Miller, Joerg Fingerhut and
What are the shared ways we might respond to art? Network Modeling and Latent Class Analysis of
both big and small “arts engagements” in gallery and across multiple facets of everyday life
A constant argument throughout the
history of humans’ interactions with art is that we may have certain reactions that are both
notable and perhaps unique. Standing in awe at a
painting, gripped with thrill, anger, mesmerized by beauty, finding oneself transformed—these reactions stand as both a constant basis for the lasting interest in the arts from the humanities and science. Concomitant with the realization that these may often not occur, they are also key for understanding and applying art to societal and individual topics.
However, precisely because of the wide range of factors in arts engagement, empirical
investigations of the scope and range of experiences are scarce, leaving us without a firm
understanding of what kinds of reactions we might actually have, how these are explained at
basic psychological levels,
and how reactions might connect or even be shared across individuals and artworks.
We present evidence from two projects quantifying and comparing ways of experiencing art. These involved a large sample
of participants’ (N = 1000+) recollections of their most profound art experiences, using
qualitative reports and a scale-based list of cognitive-affective terms selected based on
theoretical models of arts experiences (VIMAP, Pelowski et al., 2017). Different
participants also reported experiences
with specific artworks in the museum. Although we employed and/or revealed a wide range of
media/contexts, network modeling and latent class analyses of the felt experiences suggested
a small variety of responses, largely similar for both
paradigms and also matching the VIMAP model, suggesting a compelling basis for future
application and research.
Corinna Kühnapfel, Joerg Fingerhut and
How do we move in front of art? Capturing, quantifying, and linking movement patterns, eye- tracking, emotion, and evaluations in an ecologically-valid gallery setting
Context and embodiment are increasingly
recognized as central components of how art is experienced. This is especially true for
aspects such as physical movement and presence in front of art, which are often argued to be
features that make real-life engagements most special and unique. However, in both
laboratory and in ecologically valid studies in the gallery, little attention has actually
paid to the way in which viewers move or engage with artworks. Less has been done to consider the interaction between movement—where we stand, how we approach, viewing distances—and how we feel or appraise art. Even less has been done to address whether there might be basic global patterns
of moving that could be shared across participants and come to define a key aspect of art
We present the results from a new paradigm for tracking viewer body movement that set out to
tackle these questions. This employed a mock gallery room with one abstract artwork combined
with a bespoke method of tracking movement
patterns via infrared camera. This was further combined with mobile eye-tracking to simultaneously assess patterns
of looking, and self-report questionnaire focusing on art appraisals,
cognitive-/emotional-experience, and subjective awareness of one’s
physical encounter. The results indeed suggest compelling evidence for relations between
movement dynamics and art experience. Even more, by using new methods distilled from animal
movement studies to differentiate global movement trajectories, we
provide evidence for shared varieties of physical engagement patterns that may provide a
template for future ecologically valid arts research.
Rohan Dunham, Gerben Van Kleef and Eftychia
Artists’ Motives for Creating Art and Their Impact on Social Perceptions and Aesthetic
Why do artists create art? Do different
motives for creating art lead to different impacts on the viewer? The reasons why artists
(should) make art have fiercely been debated among cultural policy advisers, politicians,
and art critics, but there is little empirical investigation so far of the actual
motivations. During this talk, PhD candidate Rohan Dunham will
present research conducted together with Gerben van Kleef and Eftychia Stamkou that sets out to examine these questions. In the first study, we conducted semi-structured interviews with professional
artists to identify motives for creating art. This culminated in the discovery of 24 motives
which we grouped in a 2×2 motivational taxonomy based on two dimensions: internal versus
external motives and self-focused versus other-focused motives. Next, we set out to develop
a method to experimentally manipulate motives along the dimensions of our taxonomy. We
created vignettes that resembled excerpts taken from interviews with
professional artists, each reflecting very different motives for creating art. Lastly, we conducted an empirical
study in which we aimed to establish how knowledge of an artist’s motives for creating art
would affect 1) social perceptions of the artist, and 2) evaluations of their artwork. Our
findings revealed that people’s perceptions of the artist and their work are indeed impacted
by information on the artist’s motives for creating art.
Mackenzie Trupp, Giacomo Bignardi, Eva Specker, Ed Vessel and Matthew
Who Benefits from Art Viewing and How: The role of Pleasure, Meaningfulness, and Trait Aesthetic
Responsiveness in Online Computer-based Art Interventions for Well-being
When experienced in-person, engagement with art has been associated—in a growing body of
positive outcomes in well-being and mental health. Today, on the other hand, art viewing, cultural engagement, and even ‘trips’
to art museums can take place in several modalities via internet-enabled computers,
smartphones, and even virtual reality. In a recent study (Trupp et al, 2021), our author
presented some of the first evidence that online art interventions, using an interactive art exhibition from Google Arts and Culture featuring waterlily paintings
from Monet delivered through the internet, viewed in individuals’ homes, could lead to
well-being impacts. In the present project, we replicated our
past findings, confirming the potential for art online to be a tool to support well-being by
improving levels of negative mood and anxiety, while
providing stronger evidence through a more rigorous design and pre-registered analysis
plan. Second, we find trait-level aesthetic responsiveness to be a
predictor of well-being effects, whereas those who are more responsive to art,
poetry, and music can benefit more from this online art intervention. Lastly, this effect is mediated by subjective experience
factors; pleasure and meaningfulness. We further discuss the importance of the participants’
experience during art interventions and the differential influence of each subjective
experience factor on each well-being outcome.
Yagmur Ozbay, Suzanne Oosterwijk and
Art Engagement on Interpersonal Outcomes: Does visual art facilitate social-cognitive abilities?
Art, as well as discussions about its
purpose, has been central to human experience and has shaped research in various
disciplines. Work in psychology and adjacent disciplines have tried to bring together the
pieces of the puzzling experience of art, including a better understanding of the myriad
emotions and unique cognitive
processes it evokes in individuals. Thanks to this research we have gained valuable insight into how we come to appreciate art and ways in which art comes to transform the individual experience.
Importantly, the transformative power of art can also move beyond intra-personal
processes and individual experience to the discussion of how art can transform
inter-personal processes, interactions, and relationships.
In this presentation, we discuss an extension from compelling
preliminary evidence that connected reading fiction with a range of positive social outcomes
such as increased empathy, theory of mind, and prosocial behavior (Dodell-Feder & Tamir,
2018; Mumper & Gerrig, 2017), and raising the question—Does this effect generalize to
visual art? Based on this earlier work, we
present recent findings tackling this question, through experimental manipulations of art
engagement, considering the effects of visual art engagement on interpersonal outcomes such
as social-cognitive abilities and prosocial behavior. While tackling this main empirical
question, we also discuss the role of different components of art experience, such as
features of the artwork (e.g., content), types of engagement (e.g., reflective), and
individual differences (e.g., aesthetic responsiveness), to grasp under which conditions
this effect occurs.
Reception at the upper floor of
cafe de Jaren
Thursday 25 August
9:00-10:30 Talk session I – Spaces and Senses
Christina Krumpholz, Cliodhna Quigley, Karsan
Leonida Fusani, Christoph Reuter and Helmut Leder.
Audiovisual interaction and integration of human attractiveness
When humans interact in social settings, they
typically encounter vocal and facial cues. Indeed, multisensory
processing of voice and face relies on their synchronous presentation. Psychological research
examined how facial and vocal cues influence judgements of attractiveness and sexual dimorphism,
health, and age. However, few studies have investigated the interaction of vocal and facial cues
under naturalistic conditions using dynamic, ecologically valid stimuli. Here, we used
of short audio tracks with or without videos of females speaking full sentences (Vienna Talking
Faces database) and manipulated voice
pitch to investigate cross-modal voice influences on facial attractiveness and related ratings. 106 male participants
rated attractiveness, femininity, age, and health of synchronized audio-video recordings or
only, with either original or modified voice pitch, in a within-subject design. We expected
stimuli with increased
pitch to be rated as more attractive, feminine, healthier, and younger. If auditory judgements cross-modally influence judgements of facial attributes, we additionally expected
the voice manipulation to affect ratings of audio-visual stimuli. Analyses revealed higher
pitched voices to be perceived as more feminine and younger, but not more attractive or
When coupled with corresponding video recordings, increased
pitch resulted in lowered age estimations, but did not significantly influence attractiveness, femininity, or health. This suggests our manipulation
of voice pitch has an impact on femininity and age judgements, but does not measurably influence
vocal and facial attractiveness in naturalistic conditions. Though this study addresses whether
information from one modality can influence another, it does not investigate whether and how
different modalities are integrated in the attractiveness judgement of a
person. Therefore, we will also present
preliminary findings on audiovisual integration which explore how information from voice and
are integrated when judging a person’s overall attractiveness.
Does Visual Music Have a Future?
For centuries Western experimenters have
visual stimuli with the emotional immediacy of music, but without sound. Most early experiments
presupposed a correspondence, noted by Isaac Newton, between the seven colours in the spectrum,
the harmonic scale. Celebrated figures include the Abbé Castel in 18th century France, and
Wilfred in 20th century Yale. Amongst 20th century artists the Lithuanian M.K.Ciurlionis
direct translations of musical developments into painting.
Though sometimes beautiful, none of the results convinced most commentators. The supposed correspondences between
colour and harmony fail in the face of the differences in both the physics and the perception of
light and sound. Nor can visual art rival the visceral immediacy that music
provides, through its intimate, ancient relationship to the voice and to dance. We cannot replay
our heads the development of visual forms, in the way that we can recall music, complete with
3D computer animation cannot avoid those restrictions, but offers new
possibilities, rivalling for example the beauty in nature of murmurations of flocking starlings.
Increasingly available so-called procedural techniques offer much of the power of
programming for animation, usually until now only possible for
professionals, to artists lacking coding skills. Procedural techniques extend the often manual on-screen construction of graphic,
wireframe-based animations, to allow an unprecedented range of effects. Animators will be able
readily to explore devices that have often mysteriously enhanced aesthetic effect in music,
painting and poetry, by confusing our usual perceptual strategies for making sense of the world,
through complexity, or forms that resist segmentation. Evoked movement and effects of light
provide expressive possibilities that music cannot offer.
But are we entering a new world of expressive possibilities, or just a plethora of striking screen-savers?
Theatre in the Metaverse: Reﬂections on the Realities of Distributed Performance
One of the roles of theatre is to transport
from the physical locality of an auditorium into a new reality being played out on the stage.
Theatre is also, by its very nature, a collaborative art; an active and live interplay between
actors and audience. In recent years, the ability to meet in a shared physical space for such
interplay has been restricted due to a global pandemic and we have been forced to explore
alternative options: many involving the creation of theatre in a distributed manner, using
technologies as a presentation stage and the Internet as a communication backbone.
In this talk, we ponder the questions: Is it possible to create a shared experience where each participant feels as if
they play an active part in the collaborative
process even though they may be in different physical
spaces? What it is that makes live theatre such a unique experience and can one recreate that
feeling in a distributed scenario even though it is experienced from different physical locales?
Using examples from works produced by the author over the past two decades, this talk explores these questions in the
context of liveness, perspective, and social presence and considers digital platforms ranging
Zoom Theatre, to Interplays, to theatre performed in immersive VR worlds.
Qasim Zaidi, Akihito
Maruya, Crystal Guo
and Erin Koch.
We demonstrate and analyze how experiencing
pictures such as Holbein portraits and Pearlstein figures from an oblique viewpoint is different
than from a frontal view. These pictures like many photographs,
paintings and drawings rely on perspective cues to convey the depth dimension, which defines
volumes, shapes, sizes and
poses by segmenting objects and retaining object unity across occlusions. Photos and pictures
be much less effective at conveying scenes if they worked only for a viewpoint that was
the “camera” position. When the oblique viewing angle is large, the projected retinal image is
different and distorts sizes and shapes in systematic ways. The reasons for the continuing
despite oblique viewpoints are partly topological and geometrical, and
partly due to the mental geometry that the visual system has evolved to make veridical inferences from real scenes. By using simple
scenes consisting of rectangular parallelepipeds lying centered on the ground, or inclined or
floating above the ground and placed off-center, we have shown that psychophysical judgments of
pose, size and aspect ratio can be explained by mental geometry that uses the optimal
from orientations and extents in retinal images to physical 3-D poses and sizes. Among other
effects, the mental geometry explains why
perceived scenes rotate towards the observer for oblique viewpoints. We show that this mental
geometry is quite complex because it involves
picking the correct back-transform for object inclination and viewing angle. Poincare stated that there is a group
structure across perspective views of the same scene that links the retinal images, and Whitney,
Koenderink & van Doorn, Tsao & Tsao have shown topological equivalents between the
of images and the structure of 3-D scenes. We apply these mathematical results to understand why
mental geometry can correct certain distortions and illusions but not others.
Jan Koenderink and Andrea van Doorn.
“Tafereel” is a Dutch word that has a complex
meaning involving aspects of “scene,” “depiction” and “stage. “It is formally at least
partly captured by scenography, which maps the infinite frustum of visual space on a finite
cuboid. As the box depth is set to zero one obtains a perspective rendering. The constructivist
Lissitzky proposed an intriguing geometrical account, involving
pan-geometry and imaginary numbers. Although this account is technically faulty and ambiguous, the core intuitions are very much to the point.
present a formal interpretation of these constructivist notions, so as to have them make sense.
of considerable interest in optical display design.
10:30-11:00 Coffee break
11:00-12:30 Symposium III – Unexpected realities: how uncertainty and imperfection inﬂuence perception and interpretation in digital visual studies
Poetic Contingencies: Uncertainty and Imperfection in AI Art
From a small and largely obscure community of
pioneering artists who experimented with artificial intelligence (AI) in the 1970s, AI art has
expanded, gained visibility, and attained socio-cultural relevance since the second half of the
2010s. With its topics, methodologies, presentational formats, and implications closely related
AI research and business, AI art is affected by cognitive inadequacies, conceptual challenges,
conflicted paradigms, discursive issues, ethical, and socio-political problems of AI science and industry.
This presentation aims to diversify the existing critical discourse of AI by exploring the roles of uncertainty and
imperfection in shaping the expressive features, cultural identity, and political impact of
contemporary AI art. The discussion covers the mainstream, experimental, and tactical areas of
art, focusing on the works that exemplify poetic complexity and manifest the ambiguities
of a broader milieu of contemporary art, culture, economy, and society. We are interested in
uncertainty and imperfection both as the intentionally introduced methodological or aesthetic
factors, and as the unintended generators of unforeseen, often undesirable, sometimes comical,
always epistemically valuable outcomes. Ranging from cogent and serendipitous to inept and
exploitative, these contingencies are important for both the creative
processes and cultural positioning of AI art. In a wider perspective of the AI art’s systemic
pervasive digital technologies and socio-economic trends, the critical consideration of its unexpected
realities within proper contextual frameworks offers distinctive insights into our AI-influenced
Imperfect tools – When uncertainties of automated recognition reveal pictorial peculiarities
In recent years, improvements in computer
and machine learning techniques offered new perspectives on body
pose recognition. The creation of these models rely on large training datasets composed of real
images, photographs usually gathered from online image hosting services, and depicting a certain
view of a modern western life.
In parallel, the digitization of numerous collections of artworks and their public availability
allows innovative types of research within the field of digital humanities and fosters new
possibilities with respect to the technologies at our disposal. With the application of
body pose recognition models, it is possible to characterize
pictorial body gestures on large corpuses and open the field to new experiments, such as their
geometrical analysis and similarity considerations, or the creation of browsing tools based on
gestures. However, the accuracy of these models decrease when confronted with the
pictorial realism and impact on the results of the research.
The talk intends to present different phases of a
project on hand gestures in the Italian Early Modern time and the impact of various
induced by automated pose recognition and other computational approaches on the results. Far
being banal, these imperfections can
potentially teach us more on the differences between real images and artworks and the fundamental characteristics of paintings.
Through these reflections from a series of examples, the presentation aims to expose questions
methodological aspects of
projects conducted within the field of digital art history; how to address the biases induced by technology, between what remains from these detections and what is left behind; how the acknowledgement of imperfections
can improve computer vision processes as well as the understanding of pictorial representations;
whether unexpected results can provide new perspectives on art-historical interpretations and
What is the right task?
Modelling relies on abstraction, extracting
general patterns and concepts. When designing Machine learning models choosing the task to
perform is a crucial part of the design
process, in this sense choosing a task is a form of abstraction. Classification, for instance, restricts the ‘world’ to a finite set of classes – if it is not a labelled class in the dataset it does not exist. Therefore, the choice of task – to a large extent – also determines the types
of errors that will be made and the insights that can be extracted.
For interpretative and analytical
practices of visual art, it seems counter-intuitive to be constrained to a single task, instead the artworks (i.e., the data) should guide the analysis. In Multi-Task Learning (MTL) models are designed to perform
multiple tasks in
parallel, allowing for synergetic exchange between tasks and greater generalisation. While MTL does not resolve the burden of a priori
choosing the tasks, it does offer potential for greater serendipity and flexibility. In this
will discuss MTL’s potential for visual art and hopefully spark a discussion on what the right
are for analysing visual art.
Happy Accidents of the Artiﬁcial Unconscious
First developed to analyze very large amounts
data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has recently got more attention for its creative
and its ability to generate complex images, sounds, or texts.
On that matter, it appears that artists and engineers do not share the same vision of AI. While
researchers are often looking for ways to imitate existing human creation, artists do what they
already been doing for centuries with
previous technical advances: they tweak it to their needs, and use it as a medium to extend their own expressiveness.
Yet, AI may bring something entirely new, in that it may “simply” be a tool, but it is a tool
strong personality, that we need to engage a dialogue with.
Indeed, as complex learning machines, the neural networks do not behave as logical rational processes; their structure and skills look more like our intuitive and fast analyzing skills. A kind of Artificial Unconscious, with elaborate biases, that reflect ours.
Creating new pieces with AI therefore looks like an exchange, a dialogue, to find “happy accidents”, get inspiration,
and explore open ideas out of our own way of thinking. It is a demanding
process, that requires the creator to carefully listen to the machine’s poetry, and find in its
glitches a meaningful feature, a surprising idea, to build upon.
In this talk, I will present my research and artistic practice, and explore the unreasonable
fantasies of the machine – and of its creators.
Eva Cetinić and
Darío Negueruela del
The Doors of Multimodal Perspectives: Deep Learning and the Kaleidoscopic Embeddings of Culture
Transforming information and ideas between
within different representational modes (text, image, sound, etc.) is a fundamental concept of
communication, and a particularly crucial one for the interpretative and creative
processes within art. Recently this notion of multimodal transformation became computationally
operationalized on a meaningful and convincing level. The field of multimodal machine learning
significantly advanced in recent years with the introduction of deep learning-based large
pre-trained models. Such models made it possible to computationally generate semantically
textual descriptions of images, or vice versa, to render images corresponding to textual inputs.
However, “semantic alignment” is a fuzzy concept and transforming data inputs from one modality
another is not a one solution task. Models employed for multimodal transformation tasks can be
or less accurate in relation to specific metrics, but they essentially include many limitations.
example, models used for generating images from text are usually trained on immense datasets
incorporate various biases, often integrating dominant societal perspectives and selective
memories. Despite seemingly reproducing the known
problem of cultural framing, their directive biases are inextricable of their intentionality as cultural objects, and can constitute an undeniable cognitive scaffolding, affording useful perspectival
shifts and new hybrid possibilities in research and artistic production. By encoding in a
hyper-dimensional parametric space numerous associations which exist between various data items,
those models become epitomes of our collective expressions, embedded in a specific cultural paradigm, and can therefore serve as cultural magnifying glasses that can augment our study of art and culture.
12:30-14:15 Coffee break & Poster session
14:15-16:15 Artistic Keynotes I
The Emancipatory Potential of Neuroart
Nim Goede is a PhD-candidate at the Amsterdam
School for Cultural Analysis (Promotor: Prof. dr. Patricia
Pisters; Supervisor: Dr. Machiel Keestra). He finished a
research master in Art Studies (University of Amsterdam)
after obtaining his research master’s degree in Cognitive
Neuropsychology (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam), switching
from a scientific to a humanities perspective on the brain.
Currently he explores how “neuroart” has the potential to
emancipate the viewer from dominant and naturalized ways
of thinking about and relating to the brain in present-day
How can artworks intervene in how we think about
or relate to our own brain? In recent decades conceptions
like “mind is what the brain does” and “we are our brains”
have become naturalized. This so-called “neuroculture”
has been criticized by scholars in 4E cognition, feminist
studies and science and technology studies for its inherent
neurocentrism, neuroreductionism and neuroessentialism.
Making use of the aesthetic framework developed by
philosopher of 4E cognition Alva Noë, Nim Goede will show
how neuroart—artworks that explicitly deal with the brain
and with neuroscientific tools, methods or concepts—has the
potential to emancipate the viewer from these dominant and
engrained ways of thinking about or relating to the brain.
Tine Melzer is an artist, philosopher of language and author. She
studied Fine Arts and Philosophy in Amsterdam and received her PhD in England,
published as Taxidermy for Language-Animals (2016 / 2020). She works as a lecturer at European
art schools and universities, currently teaching at the Bern University of the Arts HKB. She
conducts transdisciplinary research on aspect change in image, text and
Aspect change means seeing something as something else: it influences our minds, our linguistic
practices, and our worldviews. Melzer’s current research project ‘Atlas of Aspect Change’
shifting meanings viewed through the
prism of language and intersubjective exchange. It elicits phenomena of perspective and
words and images influence each other. It activates understanding of complex and ambiguous
situations and shows how to stimulate and refine interdisciplinary discourse.
PUK* – A Neurodiverse History of Artificial Intelligence
Floris Schönfeld (1982) is a visual artist and filmmaker
based in Amsterdam. He works mainly with film and
performance. The focus of his work in the last years has
been the relationship between fiction and belief. In his work
he is constantly trying to find the line between defining his
context and being defined by it. This has led him explore and
interact with many different worlds ranging from Star Trek
fan communities, Hatian Vodou gatherings to the personal
world of an intergalactic movie star. He holds a BA in Time
Based Arts from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam
and an MFA studio practice degree from the California
College of Art in San Francisco. He was a graduate fellow at
the Headlands Center for the Arts in the San Francisco and
has done residencies at Rupert in Vilnius and most recently
at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam.
In this lecture I present an alternative history of AI
based on neurodiversity rather than rationality. This history
begins with a story about two chatbot computer programs
that were developed in the 1960’s; ELIZA and PARRY. ELIZA
was developed as a psychologist chatbot that could mimic
the role of a classic therapist for patients. PARRY was
originally conceived as a paranoid schizophrenic chatbot
patient for the psychologist ELIZA. In the lecture, I propose
a new speculative history of AI development based on the
psychopathology of PARRY, rather than the rationality of
The lecture is an extension of my PUK* project in which
I investigate the peripheral area between neuroscience,
psychiatry and artificial intelligence. In the project I
work with a group of neurodiverse experts to develop an
alternative form of artificial intelligence called PUK*.
The lecture is an origin story for PUK* that chronicles the
emergence of this new form of intelligence. With this myth
as a starting point, the story takes several points from
the history of the development of psychiatry and artificial
intelligence in the last 60 years and merges them into a new
16:15-17:00 Coffee break & Poster session
17:00-18:30 Talk session II – Perception and Production
Perceptual Exploration of Latent Space for Pictorial Composition
Pictorial composition (the structural
organization of graphical elements) is typically characterized by qualitative rules and
although informative, these tools do not support quantitative measures of global
similarity/interaction of its constituent elements. The sequential non-stationary nature of the
compositional process, together with the complex and evolving definition of its underlying
functional units, coalesce into a perceptual
phenomenon that cannot be readily modeled through pixel-based approaches such as CNNs.
We adopt a different strategy, constructed around a
parametric definition of stroke execution and two hierarchically nested RNN-VAE, enabling our network to tackle art material by aligning its behavior to the artistic gesture. More specifically,
this network architecture extracts compositional regularities by compressing inputs to a reduced
number of independent dimensions; within this framework, visual stimuli
project to a continuous space that permits quantitative investigation of relevant perceptual
mechanisms. Our neural network is trained on >5k abstract vectorial compositions created by
first author over years of compositional efforts. Although this dataset is large for a single
artist, its scale remains relatively small for training large networks. We address this issue by
introducing constraints that support a compact representation that is both cohesive and
We then study the smoothness and continuity of the resulting latent space by measuring the
perceptual scale of sample similarities generated by human participants. To avoid the curse of
dimensionality, we restricted exploration to circular slices of a hypersphere by extending MLDS
methods to cyclic `physical’ spaces. Our approach serves to validate a novel modeling framework
pictorial composition, alongside psychophysical tools for measuring the quality of its
representation and associated metrics. The resulting algorithm enables artists to explore the
dynamic interaction of graphical elements in accordance not only with their own compositional
regularities, but also with the perceptual regularities intrinsic to those who view their
Rebecca Chamberlain, Margot Dehove, Jan Makuni,
Takumi Tanaka, Tomohiro Ishizu, Corinna Kühnapfel, Helmet Leder and Matthew Pelowski.
Cross-cultural comparison of emotion recognition in abstract drawings
Humans have a finely tuned ability to
emotions through the facial expressions and actions of others. However, less is known about how
emotions are recognised via more abstract representations such as visual art. This question has
received some empirical attention in recent years, with research demonstrating that effective
emotion transmission is key to impactful art (Pelowski et al. 2018). Furthermore, some aspects
emotion transmission appear to transcend cultural differences in techniques for artistic
representation (Dubal et al. 2014). The current project presents a more thorough exploration of
cultural differences in how categories of emotion are depicted and recognised through abstract
drawings. Japanese and European non-professional artists were asked to express four categories
emotion (anger, fear, pride and happiness) through simple monochromatic abstract drawings. These
drawings were then presented to European and Japanese viewers (n=200) who were asked to
the emotion communicated in each drawing. Participants also completed self-report measures of
empathy and emotion recognition and a task measuring emotion recognition of Japanese and
facial expressions. It is predicted that participants will be better at recognizing emotions
portrayed in the drawings created by individuals from the same culture (an in-group advantage of
emotion recognition, Elfenbein and Ambady, 2002). The findings will shed new light on how
are derived from visual artworks and whether such a mechanism is universal or culturally
Claudia Damiano, Pinaki Gayen, Archi Banerjee,
Gobinda Banik, Priyadarshi Patnaik, Dirk B. Walther and Johan Wagemans.
Emotion depictions in abstract visual art by artists and non-artists
Visual abstract art, through the manipulation
colour and form, is often used to convey feelings and emotions. How specifically are colours and
lines used to express emotion through art? And do artists and non-artists express emotions
art in similar ways? In the current study, 40 artists and 41 non-artists each created abstract
colour drawings and line drawings depicting six emotions (i.e., anger, disgust, fear, joy,
and wonder). We then showed each of the drawings one-by-one to a new set of participants (N =
and asked them to choose which emotion was being depicted by the drawing in a six-alternative
choice task. A 2×2 ANOVA with art training (artist vs. non-artist) and emotion (6 emotions) as
factors revealed that emotions were more easily interpreted from colour drawings (accuracy =
than from line drawings (accuracy = 31.9%,
p < 0.001), and drawings created by non-artists (37.9%) were somewhat more easily understood than those by artists (36.6%, p
< 0.01). Computational analyses of the colour drawings revealed that artists use fewer
than non-artists to depict emotions, and that artists’ drawings are more heterogenous within an
emotion category than non-artists’ drawings. For line drawings, artists tend to draw darker and
thicker lines than non-artists, but feature usage (i.e., length, curvature, orientation) does
differ between artists and non-artists. Overall, our results show that there are systematic
differences in colour and line usage when depicting different emotions (e.g., anger is redder
more densely drawn than other emotions, sadness is bluer and contains more vertical lines) and
features are used by humans in the
production and appreciation of abstract artworks. Additionally, colour provides more information
than black-and-white line drawings, and artists drawings tend to be more unique and
making them more difficult to interpret.
Marius H. Raab, Ludwig Hanisch,
The creative potential of digital constraints
The days of 320 by 200 pixel displays and a
colour palette might be gone, but even with cutting-edge technology, digital art is shaped by
constraints in several dimensions such as resolution, colour space, and in the
palette of tools the artist can potentially use. Human-computer-interfaces are a bottleneck and
nowhere close to the haptic feedback and multi-sensory subtleties that we can experience when
handling a myriad of
physical brushes, tools and materials. With so-called Pixel art, there is even a trend where some artists confine themselves to using as few colours (often less than 16) as possible.
What was a necessity in the 1980s has become a deliberate artistic choice in the 2020s: less is
more. However, there has not been much research on either the producers’ or the recipients’ side
describe and explain this emerging
phenomenon. Here, we focus on the beholder and argue that the minimalism of many pixel artworks
a) leaving room for automatic perceptual-filling-in on a subconscious level, is b) open for
idiosyncratic associations, and c) taps into bittersweet nostalgic memories for those who have
through the rise of home computing. We present a study where participants were interacting with
genuine Pixel art, with images of paintings down-sampled in resolution and
palette, and with high-res displays of
paintings, by rating them on various dimensions. By varying viewing distance and display device,
individually determined the spot where the
pixelated nature of the stimulus was not discernible anymore, and asked for personal
and descriptions, to look for filling-in and to uncover nostalgic emotions. We conclude,
psychologically, that Pixel art is not just minimalistic for the sake of being minimalistic, but that the constraints of digital art become a combination of features that let an active, creative recipient
Marina Iosifian and Judith Wolfe.
Everyday life vs art: Effects of perceptual context on the mode of object interpretation
Since Marcel Duchamp introduced the concept
the ready-made, everyday objects are often used in contemporary art. At the same time, it is not
clear how everyday objects are perceived in art context (e.g., galleries, museums) compared to
everyday context. In three studies we investigated how individuals interpret everyday objects in
vs everyday context. In Study 1, participants (N=175) evaluated the strength of associations
congruent (a cup and a spoon) and non-congruent images of objects (a cup and a hammer), as if
images are artworks (in the “art condition) or everyday objects (in the “everyday” condition).
non-congruent images were evaluated as fitting together more in the “art” condition compared to
p=.014, d=0.38. In Study 2 (N=155), we investigated the associations between non-congruent images of objects in “art” vs “everyday” condition using the thought listing technique. We found that participants
in the “art” condition used symbolic meanings of everyday objects more often compared to
participants in the “everyday” condition,
p=.042, d=0.82. In Study 3 (N=179), we found that associating non-congruent images of objects in the “art” condition primes
cognitive accessibility of symbolic meanings of visual scenes that are not specified as either
or everyday scenes. Overall, the studies showed that everyday objects are interpreted
art vs everyday context: remotely associated objects are associated stronger in art context.
Moreover, symbolical meanings of objects are more salient in art context.
Friday 26 August
9:00-10:30 Talk session III – Establishing Preference
Real Greens in Visual Art: A Case Study
To reproduce the dynamic range of real-world
light on a pigmented surface is a fundamental problem with which
painters have long wrestled. The problem is particularly pronounced with the colour green. Green
a vast category both in real space and in mental colour spaces: the natural materials that
the colour term “green” cover large
physical areas, from fields to forests. The three-dimensional volume in perceptually uniform
space (e.g. CIELAB) enclosing coordinates of stimuli named green by normal trichromats is
significantly larger than other colour categories, varying broadly in hue, chroma and lightness.
Painters have historically been limited in their ability to reproduce the large range of
that occur in nature, because of inadequate pigments. David Hockney turned to iPad painting to
the greens” in his Arrival of Spring in Normandy (2020), using emissive rather than reflective
surfaces, thereby potentially expanding the dynamic range of the reproduction. Hockney then
print out his iPad paintings for exhibiting,
potentially reducing the range again. The question I address here is whether and how Hockney’s greens capture
the hugeness of green in the natural world. Surprisingly, the range of natural greens is smaller
than the range people are capable of seeing, so the question is whether Hockney goes too far. As
his depictions of deconstructed three-dimensional physical space, Hockney may strive not to
represent reality veridically, but to recreate its perceptual impact.
Alex Swartz, Martina Guido, Alice Skelton, Jenny
Bosten, Anna Franklin and John Maule.
The contribution of chromatic and spatial scene statistics to aesthetic perception varies with
traits in the general population.
Advances in empirical aesthetics have
relationships between group-level aesthetic
preference ratings and some quantifiable characteristics of visual scenes. For example, the
of color in a scene (Juricevic et al., 2010) and natural fractal content (e.g. Spehar et al.,
both influence the experience of aesthetic pleasure and visual discomfort. Despite the overall
predictability of group-level ratings, a large amount of inter-observer variance in aesthetic
judgements remains unexplained. Autism Spectrum Conditions are associated with differences in
sensory perception and cognition (e.g. Simmons et al., 2009), including hypersensitivity and
differences in representing local and global features. This
project investigates whether autistic traits in the general population can account for some
individual differences in aesthetic preference of visual scenes.We gathered preference and
naturalness ratings of color-calibrated images depicting natural, urban and mixed scenes.
images and autistic traits, measured with the Autism Quotient (AQ), were collected via our
image preference task from 69 adult participants from the general population. We calculated a
of color and spatial image statistics for the images and examined how the relationship between
statistical properties and the
preference ratings varied across individuals, and whether this varies with autistic traits. Our results show that the distribution of color and spatial
properties of a scene leads to individual differences in preference depending autistic traits
levels. Participant ratings of naturalness did not show the same relationship with AQ. These
findings support previous findings of individual differences in how visual properties of a scene
affect aesthetic preference, and present a novel finding that these individual differences may
related to the broader autistic perceptual
profile. Accounting for some individual differences in aesthetic perception may
provide a foothold for future investigations of the mechanisms underlying the experience of
beauty in art and natural scenes.
Maria Pombo, Aenne Brielmann and Denis
When judging beauty, order matters only if the stimuli are homogeneous
Beauty judgments can be biased towards or
previous beauty judgment. Such effects are called “assimilation” and “contrast” and have been reported
mostly for relatively homogeneous sets of stimuli (e.g., faces). How does stimuli similarity
influence contrast and assimilation effects? 150 participants rated the beauty of 75 diverse
(everyday snapshots), semantically similar images (sunsets), or images of the same subject
photoshoot). All participants rated the stimuli twice, in two randomized orders. Using linear
mixed-effects models, we estimated how well the first rating, the
preceding rating, and the first rating of the preceding image
predicted the second rating. Huang and colleagues (2018) suggest that assimilation effects stem from anchoring of the previous
response while contrast effects stem from perceptual adaptation. Based on their theory, we would
expect that the preceding rating would have a positive effect on the repeated rating (indicative
an assimilation effect) and the original rating of the
preceding image would have a negative effect on the repeated rating (indicative of a contrast
effect). We found that as the similarity between the stimuli in the set increases, the magnitude
assimilation and contrast effects increases. Overall, our results highlight that stimulus
homogeneity influences order effects.
Lisa-Maria Van Klaveren and Ralf F. A.
Moved by movement to move: Reacting to movement in artworks depicting animals, humans, movable or
immobile objects, and abstract works of art
The importance of motor resonance in art
encounters is coming to the surface in the study of aesthetic experiences more frequently (cf.
Freedberg & Gallese, 2007). That is, viewer’s sensations and emotions engaging in a given
artwork seem to be closely related to the representational content, such as actions, intentions,
objects depicted. Besides, visible traces of the artist’s creative gestures, such as brushwork
signs of the artist’s hand seem to intricately interplay with the perceptions and feelings
experienced by the viewer (Gallese, 2017; Brinck, 2018). Motor resonance, what happens in or to
viewers’ bodies engaging in a work of art seems to both influence and is influenced by emotions
Fuchs & Koch, 2014). However, underlying processes of these interdependencies remain
viewers simulate and/or (directly) act on movement intended by what is depicted and/or residing
how it is painted? The present study investigated whether viewers’ evaluations of the artistic
dynamics and subjective experiences of being moved correlated within and differed between
of artworks figuring animals, humans, movable or immobile objects, and abstract works of art.
Moreover, it examined whether viewers’ reaction times to decide whether an artwork was dynamic
static and whether they were moved by the work of art or not differed for artworks in which
representational content and artistic style were aligned or not. To that end, 304 participants
viewed 150 images of 19th and 20th century
paintings, 30 in each category, twice: once evaluating the dynamics of the artwork and once indicating the emotion of being moved. Findings will allow new insights into the underlying processes
as well as offer a set of images affording further explorations.
Eva Specker, Jozsef Arato and Helmut
How are real artworks and reproductions judged?
As our world becomes more digital, our
interactions with art increasingly occur online through reproductions. Especially now, in the
of the Covid-19 pandemic, people often have not been able to engage with
physical artworks and all kinds of cultural institutions have been forced to close their doors, and were only accessible virtually. Therefore, I will focus on the genuineness effect—the difference in aesthetic experience
between a physical work of art and its (digital) reproduction. Specifically, by
presenting the results of 2 studies (that have been accepted as a registered report manuscript)
will ask the question if the anchoring effect could explain why the genuineness effect has so
not been found in empirical work. In its most general form, the anchoring effect entails that
make relative judgements and decisions compared to some reference
point or “anchor”. It is one of the most robust findings in psychology, and therefore it seems
plausible, that such a basic cognitive process would apply to art evaluation. Nonetheless,
findings of Study 1 (data collection of Study 2 will be completed June 2022) did not find
for a genuineness effect. In addition, these initial results seem to underscore the need to
incorporate linear mixed models to account for random effects of stimuli (in our case,
will argue that a better understanding of the genuineness effect—or lack thereof—could not only
a far-reaching impact on the role of cultural institutions and art in our society, but also our
scientific understanding of how we interact and engage with art as well as our empirical
studying these topics. I will therefore also discuss future directions for the continued
investigation of the genuineness effect and how they may be relevant for empirical aesthetics in
10:30-11:15 Coffee break & Poster Session
11:15-12:30 Symposium IV – What eye-tracking canreveal about perception and appreciation of art
Anna Miscena and Raphael Rosenberg.
Two Ways of Seeing: Investigating the perception of a
painting’s surface versus of its subject in light of Wollheim’s theory of twofoldness.
According to aesthetic philosopher Richer
Wollheim, when looking at a
painting our attention oscillates constantly between two elements: its subject matter and its surface qualities, a perceptual phenomenon which he calls “twofoldness”.
The existence of two-fold perception has been theorized in art historical writing at least since the nineteenth
century; a discourse of twofoldness can be traced in parallel with the development of modern
However, while the art-historical discourse describes two-fold perception
purely from the perspective of aesthetic
phenomenology, Wolheim´s theory considers twofoldness to be also observable from a behavioural perspective,
as an assertion which calls for an empirical investigation.
This paper describes the latest advances of two eye-tracking investigations on twofoldness in
visual perception of
painting: one conducted in a laboratory setting, one in the museum. We hypothesised the
a physiological response of the viewer´s eye-movements, which can be described as a twofold
alternation of local and global scanpaths. In order to test this hypothesis, we examined the
behaviour of viewers looking at modern art.
paintings, in which surface qualities – such as colour contrast and texture – are skillfully arranged to interact with subject matter, lended themselves perfectly
to this type of investigation.
De Winter, Michelle Jansens and Johan
Hiraqla’s Chromatic Eclecticism: New Insights from the Tracking Frank Stella Study
previous laboratory studies on the perception
of stimuli derived from Frank Stella’s work (De Winter et al., 2018, 2020), we have demonstrated
significant violations of several principles proposed by art critics like Clement Greenberg and
Michael Fried about it (e.g., all-overness, instantaneousness, self-referentiality, or
anti-illusionism). To investigate the validity of these principles in the intended context, we
designed a multi-method study in the Van Abbemuseum using mobile eye-tracking and questionnaires
with three of Stella’s artworks (De Winter & Wagemans, 2022). Here we report findings from a
second round of data analysis of the Tracking Frank Stella study on the perception and
of two versions of Hiraqla Variation II (1968) (250 x 500 x 10 cm), a hand-painted replica and a
printed copy, shown side by side. In this
particular work of the Protractor series, Stella used rainbow-like, circular patterns and a
combination of lots of different fluorescent and conventional colored bands. New insights were
obtained on participants’ navigation behavior, the distributions of fixations across the two
painting types, and the impact of color type, pattern and shape on the fixations. For example,
found more detailed object scans when participants mentioned differences in materiality between
two versions. We also found that more fixations were associated with increased
pleasingness ratings. Finally, we found more fixations on fluorescent colors and some interesting interactions between pattern
and color, which might be due to the fluorescent colors. In sum, visitors’ perception and
appreciation of Hiraqla Variation II were richer and more varied than assumed by the Modernist
Bettina Bläsing and Elizabeth Waterhouse.
Effects of experience on spectators’ visual attention while watching a video recording of William
Forsythe’s choreography “Duo”
The presented eye-tracking study was part of
project “Motion Together” (Volkswagen Foundation) that extended research on entrainment in contemporary
dance to the case study of William Forsythe’s choreography “Duo”. In this duet
piece, dancers Brigel Gjoka and Riley Watts coordinate the timing of their virtuosic movement without music or external beat, relying on their experience,
the ‘breath score’ and their perception of the audience’s attention, as cues for mutual
We conducted an eye-tracking study using a 10min video recording of “Duo” (2015) shown on a
screen as stimulus material, and additional interviews and questionnaires with the participants
dancers, 7 with extensive “Duo” experience; 25 non-dancers). Our main interest was to learn how
spectators differing in levels of dance expertise and specific experience with “Duo” monitor the
dancers moving together, with particular focus on how they monitor synchrony between the dancers.
Eye-tracking data were analysed in relation to the positions of the two dancers. For each dancer, a bounding box
surrounding his body was defined in each frame, and sample
points were assigned to one of six categories related to the bounding boxes. Samples assigned to
each of the categories as well as switches between the bounding boxes were quantified and
between task conditions and expertise-based groups. Results revealed different
patterns of visual attention when looking specifically for movement synchrony compared to free
watching in all groups of participants.
Christopher Linden and Johan Wagemans.
Eye-tracking Pieter Vermeersch: Artworks elicit speciﬁc explorative behaviors
We examined the behavioral
patterns of 109 free-exploring museum visitors using mobile eye-tracking at the Pieter
exhibition at M Museum in Leuven, Belgium. The exhibition spanned across four rooms and featured
contemporary artworks, consisting of large gradient
paintings on either canvas or marble slabs with sections of the marble exposed, and
installations, consisting of brick and cinderblock walls separating the rooms and entire gallery
walls painted with a gradient. Participants’ behaviors within the museum were coded according to
recently developed taxonomy of museum navigation behaviors (TaMuNaBe; Linden & Wagemans,
All artworks elicited a common initial approaching behavior: participants first centered
to the artwork, by positioning themselves perpendicular to the work at a comfortable viewing
before carrying on to more complex viewing patterns. Gradients painted on slabs of marble, with
natural patterns of the rock intentionally exposed on the surface and edges of the
paintings, consistently elicited an ‘angle viewing’ behavior from participants, in which
participants zoomed in to visually explore the texture and detail of the exposed stone on the
artworks’ edges. Some specific combinations of artworks and installation features elicited
‘alternating gazes’ between these evocative and self-referential features of the exhibition.
Additionally, art experts (artists and art historians) within our sample tended to engage more
frequently in behavioral
patterns involving ‘distance shifts’ such as zooming in to examine fine-grained details of the artworks.
12:30-14:00 Lunch & Poster session
14:00-15:45 Artistic Keynotes
At Night I See the Future
Visual artist Edwin Zwakman employs staged
photography, miniature models, augmented reality
installations and architectural objects in public space to
challenge our perception of reality. Exploring what lies
beneath the rational grids of man-made infrastructure,
architecture and urban planning, which he perceives as
indicative of the mentality of its makers.
At Night I See the Future is a long term research
project in which Zwakman speculates about a post-
apocalyptic Netherlands. A sci-fi scenario in which half the
country is a lagoon. With all major cities and vital areas
flooded, a radically new approach to housing, agriculture,
industry and infrastructure had to be developed with a
speed and urgency that left no time and resources for ideal
solutions. But his scenario is neither utopian nor dystopian.
Instead it focuses on visualizing the banality of everyday life
in which even the biggest catastrophes play out. “What do I
see when I look from my window?”
Noise versus Signal
Coralie Vogelaar is an interdisciplinary artist who combines social science such as
studies with the artistic imagination. Vogelaar investigates the relationship between human
machine by applying machine logic to the human body. Her work manifests itself in the form
performances and video and multimedia installations, for which she works together with experts
from various disciplines including data analysis, choreography, and sound design.
Places where her work has been shown include HeK Basel, ZKM – Karlsruhe, Veem House for
Fotomuseum Winterthur, Kunstverein Kassel, Photographers’ Gallery London, Stedelijk Museum
Amsterdam, Science gallery Dublin, Noorderlicht Festival, Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, MU
FOMU – Antwerp and Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen. Her performance Emotion Recognition from an Algorithmic Point
of View was featured in The Most Iconic Works of 40 years V2 – Lab for the Unstable Media.
in 2021 she was nominated for the Prix de Rome.
15:45-16:15 Coffee break
16:15-17:45 Symposium V – Stroboscopic light effects on perceptual and cognitive experiences
In my art practice I have built a series of installations centered around flickering
light using custom-made stroboscopes.
These devices started out as an emulation of now iconic Brion Gysin’s Dreamachine: A cylinder
holes cut out, lit from the inside and
placed on a rotating turntable creates a whirl of kaleidoscopic
visions when projected onto closed eyelids.
I started with a white light pulsating at roughly 8-13Hz, close to the original Dreamachine, but quickly
started building more complex devices to investigate other frequencies and colors. I added
LEDs and a microcontroller, and programmed different sequences of flicker patterns.
Empirically I designed patterns that I ranked based on their visual effect, and later used as
compositional elements in my installations. Viewing the flicker reveals a layer of vivid patterns, a
geometric dimension of unworldly colors, fractals, pixels, shapes and dazzling forms. In my
installations, I placed this stroboscopic light as a field within either black or white spaces,
the audience in the visual effect, as a kind of flicker observatory.
In this presentation I would like to share some of my artistic research and empirical findings
use of stroboscope light. I will present some of the patterns, and the relations I found between
different frequencies, colors and visuals, as well as the responses of the audience to my work.
Most of all I would like to share my enthusiasm about flicker, and my belief that there is still
more to explore about the fascinating territory in-between inner and outer vision.
Mathematical models of geometric visual hallucinations induced by ﬂickering light
Over 200 years ago, the neuroscientist Jan
Purkinje described the subjective experience of geometric visual
patterns triggered by diffuse flickering light. Scientists began exploring models of geometric
visual hallucinations in the 1970s, and mathematical theories for how such
patterns could be triggered by flickering light have emerged more recently. In this talk, we explore
the the history of the mathematical study of geometric visual hallucinations. We review
models, and discuss how flickering light could elicit the perception of geometric phosphenes.
prevailing model is that flicker triggers geometric hallucinations via an interaction between the circuits for pattern
perception and resonant periodic stimuli. We close by noting recent developments in the field,
comment on unresolved questions regarding the details of this phenomenon.
What do neurons mean when they say: “That totally resonates with me”
What is common between vibrating guitar
and morning coffee that more
often than not spills when you walk from the coffee machine to your office desk?
Both are examples of resonance that is inherent to most
physical systems. Our visual cortex too resonates when stimulated with rhythmic light at frequencies that match or are close to the rhythms it generates naturally. Using examples
from human and animal electrophysiological recordings, I will demonstrate that resonance
phenomena are preserved across species and across spatial scales of neural activity; and
how stimulation at resonance frequencies can create illusory percepts –
something out of nothing.
On and off; in search for the ‘punctum’ in geometric decorative patterns
In his article on Andy Warhol’s mid-1960s
multimedia Exploding Plastic Inevitable shows, Homay King discusses Barthes’ notion of the
punctum from the context of the lighting effects used, such as the flickering of the disco ball and the strobe light. Hal Foster discussed how in Warhol’s work the punctum
not so much disturbed the content of the image but enabled the medium to pierce through it, for instance, in the cracks and bubbles of the film reel deliberately left visible in Warhol’s movies.
To an extent, the notion of a punctum draws back to Renaissance art theory, for instance, Alberti’s theory of linear
perspective in which the punctum is the literal starting point of the line, which Alberti
conceptualized as a succession of points without intervals. A series of points alternately
interrupted by a given space would form a dotted line, a pattern so to speak, a
pattern of dot/no dot, or, in stroboscopic terms, on and off.
The alternation that stroboscopic light produces makes everything rhythmic and static instantaneously. The image is reanimated, as it were, but like in film, image by image.
I will connect this principle of ‘on and off’ to decorative
patterns and their alternation of motifs in which each motif can be considered as an index to the next thereby animating the pattern.
The question, however, is where the ‘punctum’ is to be situated and to what extent it either
disturbs the notion of the pattern or rather confirms it, to enable the decorated to pierce
How Cinema Learned to Stop Flickering and Love the Bytes
pictures in a cinema is based on different perceptual mechanisms depending on the
projection technology. Flickering lights are the most obvious visual artifact in mechanical projection
compared to digital. Does a flicker rate of 48 or 72 Hz caused by a multiblade shutter influence
subjective cinematic experience?
The comparison of projection types in two studies revealed a surprising effect as the mechanical
projection of celluloid film produced higher levels of subjective emotional reactions in the
audience than the digital
projection of the same short films. This finding contradicts the opinion
of some authors that digital projection is equivalent to mechanical projection from the
perspective. The variable properties of mechanical
projection like flickering lights and image instability feed the visual system constantly with minor changes from frame to frame. In contrast, the digital projection
seems completely stable.
One possible explanation is that visual processing differs in both projection types because of
altered levels of critical flicker fusion resulting from the dark intermittant
phase in mechanical projection. From a cognitive perspective, we could explain the effect with
nostalgia because most spectators in these studies were used to the characteristics of
analog-mechanical projection in their cinematic experience and this could remind them of former
experiences that had a lasting effect.
My conclusions suggest that certain technological developments in film
projection changed the perceived cinematic look. I believe that introducing flicker in digital
cinematic projection has an interesting potential, if we want to strengthen film as an artistic
Flicker in Early Cinema: Artifact as Experience
With cinema’s transition from analogue to
affecting practices of film preservation as well as film
production, it is necessary for our understanding of the impact of cinema on its first audiences
that we maintain a technologically accurate conception of the experience of early cinema
(1895-1915). Digital restoration and presentation of early cinema can deliver spectacular
improvements in quality over
previous technologies but by disassociating film content from its means of delivery – and from its associated artifacts – we neglect essential experiential
qualities of the original cinema experience and obscure the clearest possible apprehension of a historical reality.
Flicker, introduced by the action of the projector shutter, was a primary artifact in the reception of early cinema.
pioneers worked hard to eradicate it but with only limited success such that it remained a reportable
part of ‘the flicks’ well beyond the early cinema period. Employing a novel methodology, I
analysis of traditional film historical discourse and a literal media archaeology of surviving
film projection devices with insights gained from studying experimental literature on visual
perception and electroencephalography to investigate the effect of flicker on film audiences.
My conclusions point to a significant difference in the experience of early cinema when viewed
projection technology, one which I summarise as ‘image as evidence’ in contrast to its historical counterpart
‘image as experience’.
Reception & dinner at the
What is Happening Here Gallery
Saturday 27 August
9:15-11:00 Talk session IV – Style, Convention Conversation
Viktoria Sommermann and Claus-Christian
Icons of Photo journalism: References and connectivity to pictorial archetypes
Media images rarely remain in a society’s
cultural memory for a long time. However, some
pictures gain the status of ‚media icons‘. Usually, those pictures are examined in their
context and seldom in their
pictoriality, although their success as media icons is often based on traditional forms of representation.
By classifying these icons into those traditional forms known throughout art history, we found
they use references to known and widely used pictorial archetypes. The connectivity to these
can explain why some photographs are more successful than others. Although the context and event
the photograph are certainly relevant, their semantic connectivity is the
pivotal trait to becoming a media icon. In an extensive empirical study, we employed ten
developed through art history and which were represented by three art examples each.
had to assess the commonality with the given media icons. For the commonality assessment we used
three-layered-construct comprising a pictorial, semantic and perceptual layer. Results support
view of archetypical pervasion of media icons, letting deeply routed psychological processes and
The sun from top left: An aesthetic default from the Renaissance is not available for laypersons
Our perceptual system exhibits a
peculiar bias: When estimating the location of a light source a priori, it is assumed to be
(which makes sense given the sun) and slightly on the left. Although this bias is subtle and can
only be revealed by using ambiguous stimuli, it nonetheless affects our actions. Already during
Early Renaissance, artists started to compose the scene to
place the light source on the left. We investigated whether the same pattern is observed when an
image is designed by “laypersons” who are not explicitly trained in the arts and were free to
position objects. 224 participants in an online study composed a painting using pre-drawn
that could be freely selected from a pool of 30 everyday entities typically used in simple
figurative scenes (e.g., a house, clouds, a car, various figures of people)
plus a sun. 170 participants (76%) included the sun in their painting, placing it at the top
average elevation was 85% of the maximum height of the picture frame). Although the participants
mostly placed the sun off the vertical centerline, they did not prefer a specific side (the
horizontal position was 53% [48%..59%] of picture width (mean, and 95% bootstrapped confidence
interval). We could not find an effect of the participant’s age on the
position as well. This implies that top-left light source placement by professional artists most
likely reflects implicit perceptual preferences (this way, a painting “looks better”) rather
explicit cognitive knowledge.
Can Subjective Style be Measured Objectively?
The question of style is surely as old as art
and not just the visual arts but in music, literature, fashion, and indeed across all of
But the question is new to at least one aspect of modern society: artificial intelligence. An AI
algorithm’s behaviour is characterised by one thing above all – the way it defines and measures
difference between two things. In AI, the “things” often (but not always) appear as
points, as on a map their distance can be measured using a rule. But this is not an adequate way
deal with the distance between, say, two politicians, or two pieces of music, or two pieces of visual art – or wherever else we need subjective distance.
We posit that subjective distance is objectively measurable using “odd one out” experiments.
Variations abound, but the simplest is for a viewer of 3 things to
pick which of them is “odd”. The implication is that the
remaining pair are subjectively more similar to each other than either is to the odd-one-out; as in a long-thin triangle. This forms the basis for an algorithm to learn subjective distance from humans.
Once subjective distance is learned it can be used inside any computational task that needs a
measure, including but
not limited to clustering and statistical inference. This allows us to quantitatively answer
questions such as “to what extent do people cluster real art according to the schools etc.
recognised by cultural historians?” and “how good are these forgeries?”
We plan to test hypotheses such as “Style Transfer output is a style of art in its own right”,
measure improvements in ST algorithms – as the “ST” cluster moves closer to the “real” cluster.
Hayn-Leichsenring and Katja Thömmes.
“How I need you to pose” – Understanding the left hemiface bias of artists when painting portraits
For every art
portrait, the artist has a choice of depicting the sitter full face or in
profile view with one side of the face turned towards the viewer. A growing body of research suggests that the depicted
hemiface, however, is not determined by pure chance. In fact, artists paint the left hemiface of
sitter more frequently. We discuss different hypotheses that might help to understand this
left hemiface bias (LHB). Do painters and beholders prefer the left hemiface for aesthetic
Is there a perceptual, neuropsychological explanation for the LHB? Or is it a merely
practical choice based on handedness, lighting, or social status? We focus on both the reception
the production of paintings and discuss the role of emotionality (i.e., the idea that one
shows more positive/negative emotions), agency (i.e., the conceptualization that one side
a higher activity), and maternal imprinting (i.e., a bias in the way
parents hold their babies). Based on more than 2,000 crowdsourced images from Instagram, we replicate
the LHB in traditional art
portraits (around 55% left hemifaces) but find no aesthetic preference
for left hemifaces. In an additional controlled lab experiment with 150 participants on 96
and mirrored paintings from three art periods, we also find that there is no difference in
subjective evaluations (emotional expression, attractiveness, or agency) between
paintings showing left or right hemifaces. We conclude that the bias is not motivated through viewers’ aesthetic preferences
for left hemifaces. Thus, we propose that the LHB is not based on the reception of the viewer,
practical and/or aesthetic decisions of the artist. Therefore, future research on the LHB should focus more on the production
Erkin Özmen and Gregor Hayn-Leichsenring.
Beauty and the Beasts – The Aesthetics of Propaganda Posters
Posters have been a widely used propaganda
throughout modern history. The 20th century saw their use on an unprecedented scale as artists
graphic designers generated a continuous stream of visual content, tailored to the
political messages they were designed to deliver. Besides the form (i.e., the way of depiction),
semantic content (written slogans and depicted objects), appears to be a crucial factor for
perceiving those messages. Models of aesthetic experience also commonly feature a perceptual and
cognitive processing channel. In this present study, we investigate the interplay between
and cognitive processing channels that form our aesthetic judgements of political imagery. To
aim, we created a comprehensive database of digitized wartime
posters from World War II. Posters were categorized by the publishing country and ideology and a
of descriptive classifiers for image content. We then analyzed the images for their objective
properties (e.g., complexity, self-similarity). A subset of these images were subsequently
presented as visual stimuli in an online survey where subjects were asked to rate posters for
aesthetic appeal under gist (500ms) and long exposure (no time restrictions) conditions.
Participants were also instructed to provide a political self-assessment on a spectrum derived
the Nolan chart. Subjects who placed themselves on the political right gave higher ratings on
average, with no difference in ratings between gist and long exposure. Left-wing participants
significantly lower ratings in long exposure. On the image level, less complex propaganda
posters were overall preferred. Furthermore, we observed significantly higher ratings for
Nazi-German posters under gist than under long exposure conditions — an effect that was absent
Western Allied posters. Thus, we show that aesthetic evaluations of propaganda
posters are influenced by objective complexity, viewing duration, and political views of the observers.
Vishwanath and Brendan
Reconnect, reiterate and reveal: a multidisciplinary framework to integrate artistic and scholarly
present a video essay collecting the different experiences, reflections and realities of visual
artists and researchers brought together by TheoArtistry: Text & Image (2021), a
research project investigating the cognitive, psychological, and theological implications of
visual art. Over the course of six months, the international group of twenty-five participants
worked collaboratively within eight interdisciplinary partnerships to research and discuss ideas
the formation of new text-inclusive artworks. The scheme culminated in the collective exhibition
‘Art as Revelation’ held in St Andrews, Scotland in November-December 2021
The format of the presentation echoes our experiences of the partnerships under COVID-19. Travel
restrictions forced us to conduct most of the activities online: participants’ selection
process, meetings among each group, masterclasses and check-in sessions organised by the
The impossibility of all meeting in person was perhaps the biggest challenge the
project faced. Under such challenging circumstances, word and image were the only means left to communicate.
Three words were chosen to reflect the vision behind TheoArtistry: ‘Reconnect’ as in finding areas of overlap
practice. ‘Reiterate’ as in reflecting on core issues across time. ‘Reveal’ as in generating new meaning throughout a collaborative process.
The aims of the curators, Dr Nicole Ruta and Dr Rebekah Dyer, were to understand the role that
academic research can have in shaping the artistic process and, more generally, to gain a deeper
insight into the way the written word influences artistic choices. Are both text and image
to our understanding of art? Does text modify our relationship with images? By blurring the
between theory and practice, we wanted to create for the TheoArtistry partnerships a space where
these questions can be explored across the traditional boundaries of ‘creative’ and ‘scholarly’
methods and approaches.
11:30-12:45 Talk session V – Neuro aesthetics
Giacomo Bignardi, H. Lina Schaare, Brad
Beate St Pourcain, Simon E. Fisher, Simon B. Eickhoff and Sofie L. Valk.
Brain-wide functional alterations of the principal gradients of human brain connectivity relate to
Instances of aesthetic experience can
simultaneously engage typically decoupled sensory and transmodal brain regions. This observation
consistent with philosophical and empirical aesthetic theories, which state that some aesthetic
experience results from sensory
processes filled with self-relevant information. This raises the question of whether individuals’ tendency to value aesthetic experiences
may be related to stronger functional integration between sensory and transmodal regions. Here
describe associations between Aesthetic Sensitivity, a facet within the
personality framework capturing openness for and pleasure from aesthetic experiences, and
variability in the principal function axis (G1), the organizing gradient capturing
sensorimotor-association functional connectivity dissociations. We used resting-state functional
magnetic resonance imaging data from 1001 subjects from the Human Connectome Project (HCP) S1200
Young Adult release. In line with theoretical and empirical findings, Brain-Wide Structural
Models of G1 variance showed compression of the sensorimotor-association axis to relate to
Sensitivity, within the HCP participants, especially within visual, limbic, frontoparietal, and
default mode networks (all associations p<.05, False Discovery Rate corrected for multiple
comparisons). Meta-analytic functional decoding confirmed that these brain-wide associations
positively associated with functional maps related to visual perception and negatively
with autobiographical memories cognitive ontologies and terms. Such descriptive results align
previous findings on resting-state network connectivity and with aesthetic theories emphasizing
role of autobiographical memories and the self in instances of aesthetic experiences.
Theresa Rahel Demmer, Matthew Pelowski and Nina
Edmund de Belamy and the Art of Transmitting Emotions – Exploring Perception and Emotion Sharing in
generated Art using fNIRS
In October 2018 Christies sold “Portrait of
Edmond de Belamy” for $432,500. This is no unusual
price for art. However, this case was unique in that the artwork was not by a human but by an artificial intelligence (AI). Its sale, in turn, led to an uproar,
postulating that it was an affront to the role of art, since—we all know—AI-produced
artefacts cannot be art as they lack art’s constituent aspect, an emotional intentionality and
transmission through the work. However, the evoking of emotions or empathy is often seen as an
essential part of aesthetic experience, but is it true that viewers actually cannot make such
connections to AI art? Do viewers find intentionality and emotional qualities even if they know
human sender is to be found? How do possible empathic connections impact our relation to art? In
this study we used a unique paradigm in which we worked with both artists and AI to produce
similar artworks (black-and-white abstract grids, CAN/GAN-Art/similar
paintings), and shown to participants labeled either as humans or computers made, true half of
time. Participants were asked to rate and to report whether they felt or thought emotions had
intended, as well as having brain activity monitored by fNIRS. Results showed evidence for
understanding and feeling emotions intended by artists, but also reported emotions and
when viewing AI art. This was related to brain activation over empathy ROIs, and highlights
implications for our understanding of art experience and importance of further artistic
Blanca Thea Maria Spee, Thieme Stap, Julia
Jan-Jurjen Koksma, Marjan Meinders, Sirwan Darweesh, Bastiaan R. Bloem and Matthew
Unlocking the Muse: Insights Into the If, When, and Why Artistic Creativity Might Emerge, Change, or
Applied as Art-Based Intervention in People with Parkinson’s Disease.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a
disorder associated with a range of motor and non- motor deficits, such as decreased reward
motivation, cognitive flexibility, and visuospatial abilities; symptoms which are all linked to
reduced creativity. However, in the last 20 years, case observations have reported that a
substantial number of people with PD feel an emerging urge to make visual art, have their
reawakened, or change their way of art interaction. These findings open a wealth of
for understanding specific features of PD, creating art-based interventions, and gaining a
understanding of the nature of creativity and artists. These findings might also
provide insights into how the experience of realities transforms due to neurobiological changes.
However, current research lacks systematic evidence to explain fundamental questions such as the
actual incidence, and potential person-, motivation-, and context-related factors that might
influence or drive such changes, leaving us with largely unutilized
promises that might be gleaned from this phenomenon. In our
presentation, we will introduce a new third-party funded and transdisciplinary initiative
(‘Unlocking the Muse’), seizing the opportunity to study the intersection of PD and artistic
creativity. Based on a large-scale epidemiological study embedded in the ‘PRIME-NL’ cohort, in
we systematically assessed people with PD (N > 850), we suggest that up to 35% report a
their own creative experience. In collaboration with neurologists, creative therapists, artists,
patient researchers, and researchers in art psychology and transformative learning theory, we
discuss a unique program to investigate the underlying causal mechanisms of experienced changes
artistic creativity; a program that intends to take the unique perspective of people with PD
consideration while developing innovative studies, interventions, and clinical approaches, and
provides novel insights into one of the worldwide fastest growing neurodegenerative diseases.
Laura Rai, Haeeun
Calderon and Jamie
The Neurocognition of Liveness
performance is an inherently social activity wherein people often share highly emotional
experiences. Yet, neuroscientific research into music or dance cognition and appreciation has
almost exclusively conducted on individuals in a lab-setting. Across three live
performances of a dance choreography (‘Detective Work’) we measured real-time dynamics between
brains of groups of people. We recorded 32-channel mobile-EEG and respiratory activity from up
spectators simultaneously (total N=92), assessing spectators’ mood,
personality, dance experience,
and engagement with performance. We compute Inter-brain connectivity to measure brain and body
synchrony between spectators relative to an active resting-state baseline. We
predict brain synchrony will a)increase with audience engagement, b)vary with structural features of choreography
and c)depend on individual differences between spectators, such as their dance experience. To
knowledge, this is the largest hyperscanning study of simultaneous wet-electrode EEGs to-date.
findings contribute towards understanding neural mechanisms of sharing attention and affect in
groups of people.
12:45-13:15 VSAC Business meeting
14:30-16:00 Nightwatching: the perception of Rembrandt’s
preeminent painting (part I)
Arjan de Koomen
Staging a portrait
Rembrandt’s brushwork and perception
Redoing the Night Watch
16:30-18:00 Nightwatching: the perception of Rembrandt’s
preeminent painting (part II)
Closing in on the Night Watch
Joost de Winter
Eye-tracking the Night Watch
Reproducing Rembrandt’s surfaces
Thursday Poster Sessions @ VOXPOP
#1 Erick Gustavo
Chuquichambi, Enric Munar, Martin Skov and Oshin Vartanian.
How universal is the effect of visual curvature?
preference for curvature is widely supported by the Empirical Aesthetics literature. This effect has
been reported using multiple measures, kinds of stimuli, and experimental designs. A few historical
and theoretical reviews on
preference for curvature can be found in the literature. However, less is known about the quantitative magnitude of the effect, and its possible
moderator variables. In light of the accumulation of empirical evidence, we present a pre-registered
systematic review and meta-analysis of visual
preference for curvature that quantifies its magnitude, and synthesizes the factors moderating this preference.
Specifically, we compared studies including curved and angular contour types in behavioural
preference tasks. 309 effect sizes obtained from 106 samples of participants in 61 studies were
collected and analysed by means of a three-level meta-analysis model. Results demonstrate a moderate
preference for curvature in the literature. However, this effect is moderated by variables such as dimension (i.e., the concept
employed to measure preference), stimuli type (meaningless, object, space design, symbol design),
presentation time of the stimulus (limited vs. unlimited), and participants’ expertise (non-experts,
quasi-experts, experts). This work provides a more complete framework to understand visual
preference for curvature. We also discuss our findings with the aim to enrich the design of subsequent studies exploring
the effect of curvature.
CryptoPunks – Aesthetics of non-fungible tokens predict their value
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are
proofs of ownership for units of data stored on a blockchain. They can represent many things ranging
from game characters, trading cards and virtual landscapes to artworks. In recent years, NFT
artworks have become more and more popular. CryptoPunks is an NFT collection that consists of 10,000
pixels, each) which have been generated algorithmically. Every avatar has a gender (female, male, zombie, ape,
or alien) and 0 to 7 attributes (like earring, cigarette, bandana, mohawk, and so on). Due to their
popularity, CryptoPunks became highly expensive (up to 7.5 million dollars) and can be seen as a
status symbol in the digital world. Here, we investigated whether the selling
price of single CryptoPunks avatars is arbitrary, or whether it is correlated with properties of the
representing image. 6,240 CryptoPunks (every avatar that has been sold until August 2021) were
investigated. Analysed properties were the gender and number of attributes of the CryptoPunk.
Furthermore, as a measure for visual aesthetics, we examined objective image statistics (Complexity,
Anisotropy, and color values). We found that next to gender and attribute number, objective image
statistics (Anisotropy and Color Hue, amongst others) are significantly correlated with the last
selling price of the avatars. Our results show that objective visual features play a role in
estimating the value of NFT artworks.
#3 Christina Krumpholz, Cliodhna Quigley, Leonida
Fusani and Helmut Leder.
Vienna Talking Faces: A stimulus database of voices, pictures, and synchronized videos of speaking
Our judgements of how attractive other people are
can be based on different sensory modalities; we hear, we see, we smell them. However, research into
attractiveness typically investigates only one modality at a time, and this is reflected in existing
stimulus databases. Few offer full visual and auditory stimuli, and even fewer contain natural
dynamic combinations of both modalities, even though this is how we naturally encounter other
people. We developed a database of videos of talking faces with synchronized audio that will
facilitate more ecologically valid, multimodal research into human attractiveness. It contains
synchronized video and voice recordings as well as photographs of 20 male and 20 female German
speakers interpreting different emotional conditions (neutral, sad, happy, angry, flirty). Different
content is available for each speaker, including pseudo-words and spoken vowels, which allows use of
the material with non-German speakers. We recorded video simultaneously from three different angles
profile, 3/4 view) in front of a green screen. In an online study we collected ratings on several dimensions including general attractiveness, and we also measured objective parameters
of faces (width-to-height ratios, shape related to sexual dimorphism, averageness, and symmetry) and
voices (fundamental frequency). We report the results of this comprehensive validation of the
database to make it usable for audio/visual empirical aesthetics research, but also face or emotion
#4 Hannah Alexa Geller, Ralf Bartho, Katja Thömmes and
Higher Aesthetic Ratings for Computer-Generated Abstract Images With Statistical
Image Properties Similar to Traditional Artworks
Artificial intelligence has
proven to be a powerful tool for artists and researchers. One particularly popular application of
artificial intelligence is Neural Style Transfer (NST; Gatys et al., 2015). With this method, the
artistic style of a painting can be transferred onto another image, for example, a photograph, thus
generating a novel artwork. Although the computational
paradigms that mediate NST are well understood, it is less clear how NST affects objective statistical image properties
and how beholders perceive the novel stimuli. In the present study, we used the NST algorithm by
Kolkin et al. (2019) to transfer the artistic styles of 25 diverse abstract
paintings onto colored random-phase patterns with six different Fourier spectral slopes (i.e., with
different amounts of fine detail versus coarse structure). The resulting 150 style-transferred
abstract images lacked any recognizable content and thus minimized confounding effects of cognitive
processing. For all images, we calculated a set of eight statistical image properties that covered
various aspects of complexity, self-similarity, color statistics, and the distribution of basic
pictorial elements, such as oriented edges. Forty participants rated the images along the aesthetic
dimensions Pleasing, Harmonious, and Interesting. Results showed that most of the image properties
preferences transferred efficiently from the original artworks onto the novel style-transferred images. The image properties
of the style-transferred images
predicted 50-69% of the variances for the ratings. Style-transferred images were rated more highly if their image properties
were closer to those of a large set of 1629 traditional Western
paintings (JenAesthetics dataset; Amirshahi et al., 2015). In conclusion, for abstract images created by NST, participants
shared a taste for perceptual features that characterize traditional Western paintings.
#5 Samantha Wutuh and Masashi Nakatani.
Haptic Vibrotactile Palette: Enhancing Tactile Material Perception in Digital Experiences
How do we discern materials? Plastic is
plastic because it is crinkly, glossy and smooth. Wood is wood because it thuds, is matte and rough. Material perception
encompasses 3 main senses: audio, visual and tactile. Alas, in digital experiences such as movies
and games, the sense of touch is often absent. Whilst audiovisual cues do emulate haptic perception
to a certain degree, it fails to fully convey the material properties we are able to obtain through
touch. As we move further to an increasingly digitized world – which elevates sight and demotes
touch – it is important that we focus on redefining “touch” digitally and virtually for the new
generation. In order to bridge this gap, we are creating a haptic vibrotactile
palette to allow users to “touch” virtual textures. This customizable tactile palette is devised
based on 5 perceptual dimensions: stiffness, stickiness, temperature, and micro and macro roughness.
Vibrations are constructed based on the frequency and pattern of the respective dimension’s
informative sound and foley. They are then induced by the use of Vibrotransducers (Vp2), where the
vibrotactile cues are provided in a handheld form. Calibration is done by employing the haptic
palette to enhance material perception in a 3D CG animation focused on surface texture and material,
supported by motion and interaction with external forces such as lighting and atmosphere. Future
research may touch upon VR experiences such as games and virtual shopping.
#6 Pik Ki Ho and Gregor Hayn-Leichsenring.
Gazing at the realistic – Eye movements during aesthetic appreciation of Baroque,
Impressionist, and Expressionist art portraits
Portraits have been a
prominent class of art paintings for centuries. While the motif remained relatively stable, the
style and realism of the
paintings changed over time. Here, we investigated how viewing behaviour during aesthetic appreciation of art portraits
is influenced by artistic style,
perceived level of realism and attractiveness of the sitter. Twenty-six participants were
presented with 48 art portraits (16 Baroque, 16 Impressionist, 16 Expressionist; with normative
ratings of attractiveness and realism) for a free-viewing time of 15 seconds each. During this time,
we recorded their eye movements. Participants were then asked to rate the overall beauty of each
portrait (not the attractiveness of the sitter). Results of linear mixed effects model analyses revealed a significant fixed effect of artistic style on the number, average and total duration of fixation on the sitter (overall more fixations for Impressionist,
but longer average duration of fixation for Baroque). Artistic style significantly interacted with
both realism and attractiveness on the total duration and number of fixations on the sitter.
Realistic Baroque portraits with attractive sitters attracted more fixations, especially in the eye
area, while an opposite effect of realism was observed for Expressionist
portraits. We found no effect of attractiveness for Expressionist and Impressionist
portraits. None of the eye movement measures could be predicted by the beauty ratings. Taken
together, our findings suggest a distinct pattern of viewing behaviour on art portraits independent
of aesthetic judgments. However, the viewing behaviour might reflect the cognitive
processing of artistic style and realism.
#7 Claudia Muth, Gesche Westphal-Fitch and
Experience and interest shape the perception of order. How affinity for art and de
sign changes our look at visual patterns
prefer ordered to disordered visual patterns, but interest benefits from flawed, non-obvious or
complex order. Beauty was conceptualised to combine meaningfulness with complexity. We suggest that
the appeal of order reflects the general perceptual motivation to order and the
pleasure of the process of ordering. Experience with aesthetic images might influence this
process. In the present study, design-oriented students (graphic design) as well as
non-design-oriented students (psychology) evaluated mosaic-tile
patterns which were created via the software Flextiles on liking, beauty, interestingness, complexity,
orderedness, and obviousness of order. In addition, we assessed individual levels of art-experience
and art-interest. Our findings replicated earlier results with regard to
preference for order and interest in flawed and complex order. Meanwhile, we noted slightly higher
complexity-ratings for beautiful patterns. Furthermore, design-oriented participants and those who
expressed higher levels of art experience and interest generally estimated complexity to be lower
and orderedness to be higher.
#8 Sean Dageforde, Daniela Parra, Robin Jensen, James
Brockmole and Gabriel Radvansky.
Encounters and Memory for Representational and Abstract Art
Our on-going study focuses on the influence of
type of art on understanding and memory. We operationalized understanding in two ways. First is
perceptual understanding of the physical object (e.g., perceptual characteristics such as color,
size, angles, etc.). We expect this to be similar across people. The second is interpretive
understanding of what the work is about (often called gist), such as “This depicts human suffering”.
Interpretive understanding can vary across people. To date participants (n = 153) viewed
representational and abstract artworks and had memory tested after three retention intervals. In the
first session, people viewed 22 pieces. While viewing, they received prompts, some of which focused
on perceptual details (e.g., “What color is the empty tomb?”) while others explored interpretation
(e.g., “What are the people in the
painting thinking about?”). Memory was tested immediately, and after 24-hour and 1-week delays. Memory probes
assessed perceptual details (e.g., “How many standing stones…?”) and interpretive understanding
(e.g., “What was the mood of the crowd….?”). The results revealed that art type influenced memory (p
< .001). Overall, memory declined over time (p < .001). For the representational art, memory
of perceptual details and interpretive gist declined similarly. However, for abstract art, memory of
what they were about was more stable. After a week, interpretive gist memory was superior to detail
memory. Finally, we asked people to rate their emotional engagement while viewing each
piece and correlated this with memory. For representational art we found a
positive correlation (r = .34) whereas with the abstract art we found a negative correlation (r = -.47). In other words, emotional engagement was related to better memory for representational
art, but worse memory for abstract art. We
plan to extend such encounters and assessments to multiple real and virtual environments with
different event structures.
#9 Akira Asano,
Nao Nishimura and Chie Muraki Asano.
Harmony and dissonance in continuous color changes
problem of color arrangements, while a color harmony is felt in contrast between similar colors, it is also felt like an “accent color” when the colors are far apart
in hue, lightness, or saturation. The classical color harmony theory states that the harmony between
two colors includes “harmonies of similarity and contrast” or “harmonies of identity, similarity,
and contrast” and dissonances in the periphery of these relationships.
In this study, we conducted experiments to investigate how the harmony or dissonance alternates when
the saturation and lightness of one of two adjacent color samples of the same hue change
continuously. Two adjacent rectangular regions as color samples were set up on a PC screen. The hues
of the two regions were identical, and the saturation or lightness of only one of the two colors was
continuously changed. The respondents clicked the mouse button when they felt an alteration from
harmony to dissonance or from dissonance to harmony, and the color
parameter at the changeovers was recorded. The experimental results show that the number of
alterations was less than that expected from the relationship of “harmonies of identity, similarity,
and contrast” in the classical color harmony theory by Moon & Spencer. In addition, in the
experiment in which the saturation was varied, it was found that the saturation region
perceived as dissonance tended to be slightly wider when the saturation increased than when it decreased.
#10 Surabhi S
Nath, Franziska Brändle, Eric Schulz, Peter Dayan and Aenne Brielmann.
Spatial complexity and intricacy predict subjective complexity
Complexity has stood out as an important
predictor of aesthetic value judgments since the earliest days of empirical aesthetics. However,
there is a considerable lack of consensus on the best way to formalise complexity. Moreover, a large
fraction of previous studies used handcrafted stimuli and measures, which compromises the
reproducibility and generalisability of results. To overcome these obstacles, we used controlled
computer-generated visual patterns and computational complexity measures to model subjective
We used cellular automata to generate diverse 2D black-and-white pixel-grid patterns (n=240) that
are structurally reproducible. We collected complexity ratings from 80 participants for these
patterns. We programmatically computed objective complexity measures such as density, entropy
(Shannon entropy averaged over multiple scales), spatial complexity (mean information gain over
pairs of pixels), Kolmogorov complexity (length of shortest computer program to produce the desired
pattern), and local and global asymmetry. We also introduced an “intricacy” measure that quantifies the number of components
in the pattern using a graph-based approach. Linear mixed effects regression indicated that a
weighted combination of spatial complexity and intricacy was an effective
predictor (R^2test = 0.44) of subjective complexity ratings. This implies that people’s complexity
judgments depend on the number of distinct visual elements in the
pattern along with their local spatial distribution. Contrary to popular belief, neither symmetry
nor entropy related to subjective complexity. An extension of our experiment on 60 participants
tested for generalisation and showed that the combination of spatial complexity and intricacy
consistently predicted complexity ratings both for larger patterns and for patterns with an
additional grey colour.
This work introduces stimuli and measures that offer an opportunity for systematic computational
investigation of the relationship between subjective and objective complexity and develops a
complexity metric that can be widely used to predict subjective complexity evaluations of visual
#11 Boris Quétard, Christopher Linden, Stefanie De
Winter and Johan
Uncovering modes of viewing abstract art works in museum contexts by analysing eye movements with hidden
Eye movements can
provide insights into how observers perceive and appreciate artworks. However, traditional analyses
aggregating fixations into heatmaps or within
predefined areas of interest (AOIs) have serious limitations (e.g., when AOIs are difficult to define). Hidden Markov models (HMMs) allow to extract in a data-driven way the AOIs successively visited by the participants
and to model eye movements sequences meaningfully.
We used mobile eye-tracking to record the gaze behaviour of visitors of two recent exhibitions, one
at Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven with three artworks by Frank Stella and one with artworks by Pieter
Vermeersch at M in Leuven. Here, we focus on one artwork of each exhibition. In Frank Stella’s case,
we examine the viewing behaviours of observers looking at two versions of a huge
painting with a complicated geometric
pattern of circular arcs and many different colours: a fresh replica with vibrant fluorescent
colours and a non-fluorescent printed copy. We evaluate how observers alternate between versions,
the attraction of their gaze by the fluorescent colours, and the role
played by materiality differences noticed by some observers. In Pieter Vermeersch’s case, the artwork was an untitled marble placed
painted colour gradient. We examine how different observers come to appreciate the materiality of the marble slab, the colour gradient and their intersection over extended periods
with multiple sequences of fixations.
We modelled the gaze data of each observer as a HMM using variational Bayes method (EMHMM Matlab
toolbox). Then, we cluster the observer’s HMMs between different viewing modes determined in a
data-driven way (e.g., starting globally, then alternating between smaller AOIs; making saccades
between AOIs encompassing specific features) and estimate their HMM representation with hierarchical
expectation-maximisation. We analyse those HMMs representations in relation to the observers’
non-oculomotor viewing behaviours (e.g., getting closer, looking from a very oblique angle).
#12 George Mather.
1/f colour statistics of visual art
Many studies have reported that the Fourier
amplitude of luminance variation in photographs of natural scenes declines approximately as a
function of 1/f (luminance spectral slope is typically about -1.2 on log-log axes). There is also
some evidence that the luminance spectral slope of visual artworks conforms to this 1/f scaling.
A few studies have reported that the spectral slope of chrominance variation in photographs of
natural scenes is slightly shallower than -1.2. What is the spectral slope of chrominance variation
in artworks? Chrominance spectral slopes were calculated for samples of 542 artworks and 245
photographs in CIELAB colour space. Chrominance spectral slopes of photographs were in the range
-0.9 to -1.7, consistent with
previous studies. By contrast, artworks had a narrower range of steeper chrominance spectral slopes,
in the range -1.7 to -1.9.
The steeper chrominance slopes of artworks may reflect the lower visibility of high spatial
frequencies. The human contrast sensitivity function shows a high spatial frequency cut-off at about
32 cpd for luminance modulation and about 11 cpd for chrominance modulation. The dominance of low
spatial frequencies in the chromatic Fourier content of artworks is consistent with the low-pass,
low spatial frequency tuning of the chromatic contrast sensitivity function compared to the
luminance contrast sensitivity function.
#13 Uwe C. Fischer, Stefan A. Ortlieb and Claus-Christian
United colours of kitsch: How associations modulate aesthetic evaluations
According to Fechner (1866), aesthetic
evaluations are shaped by stimulus properties (direct factors) that will inevitably resonate with
one’s learning history to produce personal recollections (associative factors). In the eye of the
beholder, the sensory colour of the
proximate sensation and the mental colour of the distal one merge into a single idiosyncratic hew. Under the spell
of 18th-century ideas like the disinterested observer, current research in empirical aesthetics is
mainly concerned with the study of direct factors at the expense of associative ones. This bias is
furthered by a habitual choice of stimuli (abstract paintings or patterns) and methods (simple
ratings) that leave little room for the expression of associations. In an online study, we used 21
digital images of everyday objects from the Bamberg Repository of Contemporary Kitsch (BAROCK) and
asked participants (N=61; Mage=31.8; SDage=16.2; range=17-85 years) to write down their
personal associations for each image prior to the rating of all images in terms of kitsch-related
variables: liking, familiarity, arousal, determinacy,
perceived threat, and kitsch—all variables were assessed on 7-point rating scales. In a follow-up
survey, participants reread their own associations and judged them in terms of
positivity. We interpreted the number of associations as an indicator for processing depth.
Positivity and processing depth were good
predictors for liking (Mean of R=.54 CI[.48;.59]) and kitsch ratings (Mean of R=.27, CI[.21;.33]). On an item level, processing
depth also modulated familiarity, determinacy, and
perceived threat. Overall, results demonstrate a close relationship between aesthetic evaluations
and associative factors. They also show how associations can help us interpret different answer
patterns for specific images.
#14 Anna Fekete, Eva Specker and Helmut Leder.
Does beautiful art inﬂuence pain and stress experience?
Art can be a
powerful, accessible, and cost-effective tool in reducing both pain and stress in everyday life. So
far, the beneficial effects of art have been mainly investigated by means of music which has been
found to be able to reduce pain (Lee, 2016) and stress (de Witte et al., 2020).
When it comes to visual art as a tool for pain reduction, findings are mixed: beautiful paintings have the potential to
decrease pain perception (de Tommaso et al., 2008) but compared with self-selected music, visual art
has not been found to influence pain tolerance nor perceived control over
pain (Mitchell et al., 2008). Therefore, the question is still open whether beautiful visual art can
really influence pain and stress experiences?
Due to the sensory and affective components of pain and stress (Villemure & Bushnell, 2009), as
well as the affectively and cognitively engaging nature of visual art (Leder et al., 2004; Pelowski
et al., 2017), we argue that art can be a beneficial tool in this regard.
In our study, we asked people to
provide artworks that they find movingly beautiful and not beautiful due to the fact that aesthetic experience
is guided by private and personal taste (Leder et al., 2016). We investigated whether the aesthetic
quality of artworks has the potential to alter pain and stress perception– induced by cold
pressor test. Our findings are discussed in terms of behavioural components of
pain, stress as well as physiological and endocrine measures.
#15 Vera M Hesslinger, Lena K Pieper and Claus-Christian
Greater than the sum of its components: Exploring differences in analytic and synthetic art perception
The whole is greater than the sum of its
parts—and an artwork is greater than the sum of its components. However, the typical academic
approach to investigating art is intellectual, deconstructing, and analytic. Aesthetic research
mostly dissects artworks setting independent foci on, for instance, colour, contour and shape,
objects and figures, materiality and composition. Researchers isolate different components,
systematically manipulate and present them to recipients who shall provide judgements, typically in
the lab. Thus, one may gather insights into the aesthetic perception of the individual components,
but one will not reach a complete understanding of the experience of art. This experience relies on
synthetic processes that comprise multisensory integration of the perception of components of a
piece of art and its context. With the present work, we test different methods to trigger what we
want to call “analytic” vs. “synthetic art perception” and explore the resulting subjective
experiences of the recipients.
#16 Trent Davis and Wilma Bainbridge.
Determinants of a Painting’s Memorability Both Online and In-Person – Looking at
Features Ranging from Size to Semantics
piece of artwork is unique, and viewing art is often seen as a subjective experience. Additionally,
many works of art are made to last in people’s memories and leave an impact on the viewer. However,
what makes a work of art memorable? We determined and studied the memorability of 4,021
paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) both in an online and in-person task. In an online
task, over 3,200 people participated in a continuous recognition task to determine the memorability
scores of the paintings. Participants were significantly consistent in the
pieces they remembered and forgot, and that memory performance was
predictable by a neural network (ResMem; Needell & Bainbridge, 2021), showing that an objective
memorability score can be quantified for a piece of art. We identified properties that influence
paintings with text or unusual content tended to have higher memorability scores, and paintings with
the lowest memorability scores were usually scenes or landscapes with little visual information and
a darker color palette. Additionally, the paintings that caused the most false alarms tended to be
beige landscapes or scenes. Importantly, famous
pieces were judged as significantly more memorable by ResMem, suggesting that certain perceptual
features of a painting can influence its success. For the in-person task, a separate set of
participants walked through and observed 168
paintings on both the first and second floors of the American Art wing of the AIC. Participants
answered a mobile experiment indicating which
paintings they remembered seeing, intermixed with foils. We found that ResMem memorability scores were also able to predict
in-person memory behavior, suggesting a consistent influence of images on our memories. Lastly, we
saw that a painting’s size had a significant impact on memorability, as well as its interaction with
the size of adjacent paintings.
#17 Erick Gustavo
Chuquichambi, Enric Munar, Martin Skov and Oshin Vartanian.
How universal is the effect of visual curvature?
preference for curvature is widely supported by the Empirical Aesthetics literature. This effect has
been reported using multiple measures, kinds of stimuli, and experimental designs. A few historical
and theoretical reviews on
preference for curvature can be found in the literature. However, less is known about the quantitative magnitude of the effect, and its possible
moderator variables. In light of the accumulation of empirical evidence, we present a pre-registered
systematic review and meta-analysis of visual
preference for curvature that quantifies its magnitude, and synthesizes the factors moderating this preference.
Specifically, we compared studies including curved and angular contour types in behavioural
preference tasks. 309 effect sizes obtained from 106 samples of participants in 61 studies were
collected and analysed by means of a three-level meta-analysis model. Results demonstrate a moderate
preference for curvature in the literature. However, this effect is moderated by variables such as dimension (i.e., the concept
employed to measure preference), stimuli type (meaningless, object, space design, symbol design),
presentation time of the stimulus (limited vs. unlimited), and participants’ expertise (non-experts,
quasi-experts, experts). This work provides a more complete framework to understand visual
preference for curvature. We also discuss our findings with the aim to enrich the design of subsequent studies exploring
the effect of curvature.
Lengyel and Catherine
Architectural Design as a Translator of Scientiﬁc Realities
It is above all the meaningful discussion between
art and science that has motivated us to reactivate a style across time and media that builds on
traditional visual perception not only in the arts but also in architecture and transfers it from
the real to the virtual environments. It is about the translation of uncertainty in the knowledge of
the humanities, archaeology, historical building research and art history into scientific, but also
architectural visions. It is the actual dichotomy of science and design that architecture brings
together. In different weightings, a variety of realities are involved, above all cultural and
scientific, and partly, but then explicitly speculative, never fictional. Reception depends not only
on cultural conditioning, but also on the context, especially in the museum as a
place of increased reflexivity. The museum visitor, after all, is conditioned to be confronted with ideas, not the artistic interpretation
in this case, but the scientific interpretation, mediated by an architectural interpretation. This
does not start from the idea of reality, but from the idea of design, the intention of the builders
behind the building. This idea is only ever an idea and can therefore never be confused with the
built architecture. It is thus itself immaterial and can
practically never be objective. Nor is there any claim that it is singular, it is rather universal, insofar as architectural certitudes can be universal at all. But this is quite a speculative
The visualisation of uncertainty from the two components design of abstraction and virtual
photography is architectural design as a translation of the humanities, specifically the visual
translation of verbal hypotheses into abstract visions. It thus makes use of visual perception
across time and media as it replicates classical architectural model making as well as classical
architectural photography in the digital environment.
#19 Yuguang Zhao, Huib de Ridder, Jeroen Stumpel and Maarten Wijntjes.
Line versus paint: material perception across different media
Before the invention of photography, paintings were reproduced in a graphic and linear medium, engravings. In this study we compared material perception across two modalities, paintings and engravings via a series of online experiments. We collected 15 pairs of color oil paintings and their engraving reproductions. Then we selected 88 elements from these 15 pairs, including fabric, skin, wood and metal. We created three manipulations besides original to understand the effect of color and contrast. Firstly, we created a grayscale version. Secondly, we equalized histograms (towards both painting and engraving, hence 2 versions) while blurring them, as a ‘sharp’ engraving is a bitmap with an unsuited histogram. We performed rating experiments on the 5 attributes 3D, gloss, convincingness, smoothness and softness. Which made the 4 (manipulations, including original) by 5 (attributes) by 2 (media) design.
In each session, 30 participants viewed one manipulation, one attribute and two media. We had 600 participants for all 20 sessions. Rating results revealed that for glossiness, paintings performed significantly better over engravings in original condition, but the advantage disappeared in greyscale condition. Paintings and engravings got similar overall ratings in both histogram matched condition. For smoothness, original condition and greyscale condition had similar results that paintings received significantly higher ratings, but the advantage disappeared in both histogram matched conditions. Results indicated that both color and contrast played a role in gloss perception, while only contrast played an important role in smoothness perception across paintings and engravings.
#20 Julia Chylak.
Friday Poster Sessions @ VOXPOP
#1 Andrea van Doorn and Jan Koenderink.
Teal & Orange
“Teal & Orange” is a
preferred “look” of the Hollywood movie industry. This palette has been around for ages in the
visual arts as “painting in cool and warm.”Are there fundamental reasons for the
preference for this particular dichromatic pair?We find that human anatomy/physiology, the
physics of surface scattering, and the ecology of the human Umwelt cooperate to render the teal
& orange palette special. It stands out above other dichromatic axes like green-purple, only the
white-black palette competes.The appeal of the Teal & Orange
palette involves world, body and mind and has to be understood in a proper semiotical (biological)
setting.We show some instances from the arts that examplify this.
#2 Kirren Chana and Helmut Leder.
Reading in the City: everyday encounters with text in an urban setting
‘Reading in the City’ is an ongoing EU
project as part of the ELIT network. This
project examines ‘everyday aesthetics’ within the empirical study of literature and considers what
happens when we extend the notion of a reading experience to include reading in everyday life.
Despite text being ever-present within urban environments, natural reading events as well as the
aesthetic experiences connected to them are scarcely explored. As such ‘Reading in the City’ aims to
address how reading is meaningfully embedded in everyday urban life.
Stemming from a free exploration walk along the city streets of Vienna, we study the act of reading
and its relation to the memorability and aesthetic features of script elements in natural
environments. We ask people to engage in a short free-viewing walk along street settings while
equipped with mobile eye tracking glasses, in order to record the reading events that occurred.
Events are then evaluated regarding general reading characteristics, as well as the frequency and
similarities in how they are perceived.
Following from the eye-tracking walk, we also collected participants’ recall, recognition, and ratings of text signs
that were already
present along the street in question. Signs are evaluated in terms of beauty, familiarity and meaningfulness, in order to examine whether there was a predictive
effect of aesthetic value on viewing behavior and memorability of text. Our results discuss the
prevalence of reading events across the street settings and with regard to the interactions people
have with specific text signs.
#3 Shino Okuda, Rina Furusawa, Moeka Matsumura, Satoko
Taguchi, Sayako Kuroda, Hirotaka Kakizaki and Katsunori Okajima.
Preferred Lighting for Appearance of Art Works: A Study of Hummingbirds in John Gould’s “Folio Bird Books”
The appearance of artworks depends on the surface
color, the material and the lighting condition. The present study aims to clear the preferred
lighting conditions for the appearance of artworks depicting natural objects such as
plants and birds. We focused two kinds of hand-colored lithographs from the Hummingbirds in John
Gould’s “Folio Bird Books” collected by Tamagawa University Museum of Education as visual targets.We
conducted the evaluation experiment on the appearance of these
pictures under 36 lighting conditions, which differs in the correlated color temperature (CCT) and
the chromaticity difference from Planckian locus (duv). First, we measured the spectral data of the
surface of these pictures using a 2D spectroradiometer and calculated spectral reflectance values of
each pixel. Next, we generated the simulated digital image of each picture under 36 kinds of
illuminants using the spectral reflectance data of pictures, the spectral distribution of
illuminants and the calibration data of an LC-display which was used in the experiment.
Theoretically, there should be no difference between evaluations of the digital image and the real
object. In total, we generated 72 images, and each image was presented on the LC-display.
Participants observed each
picture, and rated “brightness”, “contrast” and “vividness of blue/green/red”. Also, they evaluated “uncomfortable-comfortable”, “static-dynamic”, “unnatural-natural”, “plain-flashy”,
“cool-warm”, “cheap-high grade”, and “preference of lighting”. They were 10 females and 10 males,
being familiar with art. The results showed that the appearance was comfortable, natural and
high-grade under the high CCT and negative duv. Also, it was shown that the
preference of lighting correlates “high-grade”, “naturalness” and “flashiness”. These results suggest that the preferred
appearance of artwork is largely affected by the lighting conditions, such as CCT and duv.
*This study was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 18KK0282 and 22H03896.
#4 Adam Peter Frederick Reynolds, Emiliano Ricciardi
and Edward Vessel.
Dissociating Incentive Salience from Aesthetic Appeal.
Can aesthetic value (appeal) be dissociated from
other forms of reward value? Although learned associations contribute to the aesthetic value of an
positive and negative reinforcement are not the sole determinants of aesthetic value: previous work
with faces suggests that attractiveness can be dissociated from incentive salience (e.g., motivation
to view). Using a reinforcement learning
paradigm, we investigated whether aesthetic appeal and incentive salience can be independently
operationalized, and if changes in incentive salience affect the aesthetic appeal. First, observers
viewed and rated a set of 35 abstract images for their aesthetic appeal. Then, images of low,
medium, and high aesthetic value were associated with either
positive, neutral or negative outcomes (small monetary wins/losses) over repeated trials (9 total
conditions). Incentive salience was then assessed through
performance on a modified attention cueing task: participants were shown two images on the screen
(e.g. a ‘positive’ and ‘neutral’ abstract image) followed by briefly
presented letters and had to identify the presence of a target letter as fast and accurately as
possible. Finally, observers again rated the aesthetic appeal of the images. Preliminary results (n=6 ) indicate that monetary reinforcement was successful at manipulating
incentive salience (better performance on the attention task for positively reinforced images). A
comparison of pre- and post- aesthetic ratings reveals the effects of both initial aesthetic value
and reinforcement. These findings suggest that the aesthetic value of an object is represented
separately from its incentive salience, but that changes in incentive salience can also influence
#5 Marc Welter, Axel Bouneau, Fabien Lotte and Tomàs
personalized art exhibitions in Virtual Reality with multimodal Electroencephalography-based
Today, we live in an age of ‘Like’ where
appreciation of digital content is expressed constantly by interacting with feedback icons. In
contrast, Brain-Computer-Interfaces (BCIs) can decode cognitive states from neural signals without
explicit user feedback that interrupts aesthetic experiences (AEs).This recently started
project will elucidate the neuro-cognitive mechanisms behind art appreciation and implement an
Electroencephalography (EEG)-based BCI to detect physiological correlates of artwork preference in
order to curate
personalized art exhibitions in Virtual Reality (VR).Most EEG recordings in visual neuroaesthetics focused on Event-Related Potentials, often using paradigms
with unnatural viewing conditions. On the other hand, the neural dynamics during visual art
appreciation remain obscure and previous studies reported conflicting results. Furthermore, the
liking of visual artworks was mostly investigated from the perspective of beauty or
pleasantness, concepts which are not applicable to all aesthetic pleasures. We hypothesize instead
that art preferences in general depend on rewarding AEs. Therefore, we will develop novel algorithms
to decode and discriminate EEG neuromarkers of hedonic AEs.In a first step, we conceptualized
neuro-cognitive components of AE, such as attention, emotion and intrinsic reward, as well as their
established EEG neuromarkers. In the future, we will record EEG and other
physiological measures, e.g. eye-tracking and heart rate, in naturalistic single trial VR experiments,
use advanced Machine Learning to detect artwork
preference and recommend further objects based on this multimodal information. Finally, we embrace open
science and will make subject data and BCI algorithms publicly accessible.
#6 Gemma Schino, Lisa-Maria Van Klaveren, Héctor G.
Gallegos Gonzalez and Ralf F. A. Cox.
A multiple case study for measuring the experience of Virtual Reality and physical art installations in
present research investigated the audience responses to two installations selected from the
exhibition “The Intelligence of Plants – an Alliance of Science and Art” at the Frankfurt Art
Association. The first installation is ‘Embalmed Twins I & II’ by Berlinde De Bruyckere, and it
is composed of two sculptures of fallen trees made of different materials. The other is ‘Treehugger:
Wawona’ by Marshmallow Laser Feast, a Virtual Reality (VR) installation that explores the inner
world of a tree. Visitors that voluntarily participated in the study contributed to the data
collection by answering questionnaires and/or by wearing a wireless wrist-worn device (Empatica
E4).The collected data concerned three experiential dimensions:
1. Affective dimension. Subjective reportage of the experience includes tools such as the Geneva
Emotion Wheel (Scherer, et al., 2013), Bodily Sensation Maps (Nummenmaa, et al., 2014), and
Perceived Self-Size scale (Bai et al., 2017) aimed at identifying the type and strength of the
experienced emotions, as well as the bodily feelings underlying them.
2. Physiological dimension. Empatica E4 detected electro-dermal activity, heart rate, blood volume
pulse, and interbeat interval for an exploration of the audience’s bodily changes during the
experience of the installations.
3. Behavioral dimension. Empatica E4 3-axis accelerometer recorded motion-based activity to analyze
movement in relation to the physical and VR environments of the installations.
Findings of this multiple case study will allow insights into the following research questions: (1) How do the emotions
elicited by the
physical and VR installations relate to one’s self-awareness of bodily changes? (2) How are physiological
and behavioral responses elicited in
physical and VR installations? (3) What is the relation between the three dimensions of experience
in the two installations? (4) Which installation evoked a more transcendent experience of sublime
(in terms of intensity of emotions and feeling of small self)?
#7 Philip McAdams, Megan Chambers, Alice Skelton and
Spatial complexity predicts adults’ pleasantness ratings and infants’ visual
preferences for Van Gogh landscapes
Prior work has shown that some aspects of adult
preference can be traced back to infancy, with infants looking longer at stimuli (e.g., faces or colours) that adults like. Here we investigate how the low-level spatial
and chromatic properties of art
predict both adults’ aesthetic ratings and infants’ visual preferences. In
particular, we focus here on lacunarity which describes the complexity (or ‘gappiness’) of an
image’s spatial composition. Stimuli were digital versions of 40 of Van Gogh’s landscape oil
paintings. Our image analysis of the paintings, classified images as having high or low lacunarity.
Each participant saw a sub-set of 10 stimuli, 5 with high and 5 with low lacunarity. Every stimulus
was paired with every other stimulus in the set twice, and stimuli were presented on colour
calibrated iPads. Adults were asked to choose the image that they found most
pleasant. The time that infants (age 4 – 9 months) spent looking at each stimulus was calculated by
conducting a frame by frame analysis of a recording of the infant’s face. We found that high
lacunarity Van Gogh images were rated as more
pleasant by adults, and were also looked at longer by infants, than low lacunarity images. Further analysis quantified other spatial
and chromatic image properties, and using different regression models we identified a model where a
combination of these properties explained large amounts of variation in both infant looking and
adult pleasantness ratings. We suggest that examining infants’ visual preferences for art, and
comparing this to mature aesthetic judgements in adults, has
potential to contribute to debate about the relative contribution of the biological properties of
our visual system, experience, and culture, to aesthetics.
#8 Itay Goetz, Lara Bernhardt, Lisa Egerer, Vanessa
Leonie Kauffman, Friederike Margarata karg, Elena Matschl, Ana Helena Wittchen and
Functional functionlessness: People approach immoral content differently within the context of art
Artists have long been preoccupied with testing
the moral limits of art. This has led to the development of two major frameworks to describe the
relationship between ethics and aesthetics: (1) Moralism: Ethics and aesthetics cannot be separated
– good art must be moral, or even reflect morality, and (2) Autonomism: Art for art’s sake – Art is
independent and should be judged only on aesthetic terms. We aimed to address these
premises empirically, by exploring whether people accept more immoral content within the art
experience. Participants (N=64) viewed 30 photographic images from the Socio-Moral Image Database
(SMID) pre-rated as neutral, moral or immoral. The same images were presented as either art or
non-art, and participants rated their emotional reaction to the images, as well as their subjective
appreciation of the pictures’ beauty, interest and morality. As predicted, participants experienced
the same immoral images as significantly less disgusting, irritating and sad when the images were
presented as art, compared to non-art. These results are considered in relation to the concept of
MAX (Mode of Art eXperience) that assumes that art experience calls for a specific state of mind,
which, among others, may widen our frame of moral assessment. Thus, though the Autonomism-Moralism
debate regarding the nature of art may remain open, we highlight the capability of art to generate
debate and challenge common views on essential social issues, perhaps through offering an
#9 Mitchell van Zuijlen, Sylvia
Measurement of the visual light ﬁeld within paintings using real-time rendered probes
Humans have implicit expectations of how objects
should look within a scene, resulting from our perception of the visual light field. It has been
shown that the visual light field can be measured with “gauge probes”. Previous research typically
used simple pre-rendered Lambertian smooth sphere and rough golfball probes. We hypothesized that
probes allowing for more complex light interactions could improve inter-rater reliability for visual
light field measurements. To test this, we used real-time rendered Lambertian light
probes in three shapes: a smooth sphere, a rough golfball
providing shading and bidirectional texture gradient cues, and a human-shaped
probe with self-shadowing. To overcome depth ambiguity the probes replaced either a head or an
entire human figure within paintings. Stimuli consisted of five paintings from Europe and five from
East Asia, which display vastly different approaches to lighting. Ten participants per probe
condition adjusted the lighting on the
probe to fit the scene, via the intensity and direction of directed lighting and the intensity of ambient lighting. The human-probe
tasks took 50% longer relative to the other probes, implying increased difficulty. We use intraclass
correlations (ICC, 2-way random-effects, single rater) as a measure of inter-rater agreement. For
direct light intensity we find no significant ICCs. For ambient lighting, ICC improved for the
golfballs (.49) relative to smooth probes (.21) while it decreased for human-shaped (.05)
probes. When split on geographical origin, this trend remains stable for European
paintings, but disappears for East Asian paintings. Taken together our results suggests that
differences exist between the visual light fields across paintings. We speculate that this
difference is partially caused by the lack of shadows/shading in east Asian paintings. Furthermore,
our findings confirm that additional bidirectional texture contrast cues (golfball probe) improve
light field measurements, but that too much complexity negatively impacts task performance.
#10 Doris Braun, Matteo Toscani, Paulina Wolf, Alina
Gogel and Karl Gegenfurtner.
Context effects on the perception of saturation of fruit colours in still lives
How important is the context for the perception
of saturation of object colours? We investigated how the immediate surround of single fruits affects
perceived saturation in classic Dutch (17th-18th century) and modern still lives (19th-21th century). Specifically,
we investigated the chromatic contrast between fruit object and surrounding context.
Cutouts of single fruits, scaled to a size of 10 deg, and circular cutouts of the fruits with their
immediate context (20 deg) were produced. 112 paintings of six different fruit varieties were used
(apples, pears, oranges, peaches, grapes and lemons; cherries only for the modern
paintings). In each trial, eight images of the same fruit category were presented on a neutral gray
background, half of them with and half of them without context. 15 observers ranked the fruits
according to saturation.
Observers could consistently do this task (agreement 77%). Context had an overall
positive influence on perceived saturation, with the context images ranked higher for both classic
and modern paintings. Only few of the classic paintings had complementary colors in the surround
(with respect to the fruit color). This was much more the case in the modern
paintings. Contrary to our expectations, the proportion of complementary colours in the context, had
no effect on perceived saturation, neither for classic nor for modern paintings. Similarly,
luminance contrast between center fruit and surround did not
play a role. There was a highly significant and positive effect of the similarity of the hue
histograms in center fruit and surround, but only for the modern paintings. For example, having a
lemon at the center surrounded by other lemons increases perceived saturation. Further experiments
revealed that this effect was at least partly due to the increased size of the fruit region.
Context plays a role for perceiving color saturation, but in new and unexpected ways.
#11 Teresa E. Müller and Vera M. Hesslinger.
Lack or abundance? A cross-cultural study on the perception of emptiness in simple architectural spaces
perceived and understood differently depending on context and culture. Literature indicates a
possible positive connotation of the concept in the Japanese culture, linked to Buddhist-Shinto
ideas of potentiality. From a Western perspective, emptiness signifies the opposite of being filled
and is thus associated with incompleteness, lack of meaning, or boredom. In aesthetics, emptiness
might be a distinguishing quality between Japanese and European traditions of simplicity. The
present work aims to assess empirically cross-cultural perceptions of emptiness, specifically in the
context of contemporary architecture. Thirty-two German and twenty-eight Japanese participants rated
photographs of simple architectural spaces by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, representing the
aesthetic tradition of emptiness, and British architect John Pawson, representing European
minimalism. Emptiness significantly correlated with simplicity, minimalism, and nothingness for the
German sample but was negatively associated with liking, abundance, and delight. The Japanese
sample’s ratings did not show respective constellations. On the contrary, Japanese participants
rated plain architectural spaces generally as more abundant and wanted to make fewer changes. The
results suggest that emptiness might indeed have a special (aesthetic) quality for Japanese, which
Western Europeans do not perceive in the same way.
#12 Stefan A. Ortlieb, Anne C. Kleindienst, Alexander K.
Jiranek, Tegist E. Renner and Claus-Christian Carbon.
Toward a canvas of kitsch: Exploring different types of kitsch based on a combination of cluster and
Kitsch is considered one of the most
puzzling and elusive categories of (post)modern aesthetics. Available typologies are outdated and
lack an empirical foundation. The Bamberg Repository of Contemporary Kitsch (BAROCK) shall close
this gap by providing standardised visual stimuli based on an empirically validated canvas of
kitsch. In a first validation study, participants (N=100; 50 male, 50 female) rated 208 digital
images of everyday objects on 7-point Likert scales regarding liking, familiarity, arousal,
determinacy, perceived threat, and kitsch. Cluster analysis suggested seven different types of
kitsch. Three images from each cluster were selected as stimuli for a subsequent validation study
where participants (N=61; 39 female, 21 male; 1 diverse) were asked to write down their
personal associations with each image. Visualisations of common associations (word clouds) were used to explore
the semantics of every image and cluster, respectively. This allowed us to label the empirical
clusters and relate them to existing kitsch typologies. Since the words “kitsch” and “kitschy”
appeared more frequently in connection with specific clusters, it was even
possible to distinguish between central and peripheral facets of the kitsch concept: Cluster 1
(sweet kitsch) and Cluster 7 (nostalgic kitsch) form its heart chambers as they
provoked by far the most kitsch associations (43 and 21 mentions, respectively). They are followed
by a four-leaved clover of peripheral facets: Namely, Cluster 2 (knick-knacks; 10 mentions), Cluster
pets; 8), Cluster 3 (everyday favourites; 5) and Cluster 4 (sour kitsch; 3). The standard items of Cluster 6 (plain
items) did not spawn any kitsch associations.
Minimalism and the Modular Mind
Engaging with two separate fields of research,
the Minimalist art movement and neuroaesthetics, as well as Eric Kandel’s theory of Reductionism,
this paper examines the experience of perceptual art.
Art that isolates one or two visual elements, as is the case in the
pared back aesthetic of Minimalism, can promote a more direct experience because of the modularity
of the mechanics involved in visual processing in the primary visual cortex.
Minimalism marked a shift in art from object to experience. The value of abstract art in
particular is considered as exposure to novel stimuli creates new associations which are formed as
neural pathways. More hypotheses about the visual scene are generated, which leads to an increased
neural involvement. This is beneficial for cognitive growth.
Op Art created perceptual visual disturbances through the creation of artificial depth in 2D
pattern; this is demonstrated in work by painters Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely. New Generation
sculptors Michael Bolus and David Annesley took simple stripes, shapes and
pattern and applied them as a skin of paint to 3D form. These artists are important to my
practice as a sculptor because I investigate the effects of colour and pattern. As part of this
research I also interviewed Susan Aldworth, lecturer on the Art and Science MA course at St. Martins
and Anya Hurlbert, a professor of visual neuroscience at Newcastle University and the 2010-2018 Science Trustee at The National Gallery.
#14 Nao Kokaji and Masashi Nakatani.
With a Hint of Sudachi: Food Plating Can Facilitate the Fondness of Food
Among the senses of food, our subjective sense of
taste is significantly influenced by our visual perception. In appetite science,
previous research has reported that when we estimate quality in daily life, we rely considerably on
visual information. This study focused on the multimodal mental imagery evoked by the visual
information of food served on a plate and examined the effect of the peripheral visual information
of garnish on the sensory impression of the main dish. A sensory evaluation experiment was conducted
to evaluate the impressions of food photographs, and multivariate analysis was used to structure
sensory values. It was found that the appearance of the garnish placed on the plates close to the
main dish contributes to visual appetite stimulants. It is evident that color, moisture, and taste
(sourness and spiciness) play a major role in the acceptability of food. To stimulate one’s
appetite, it is important to make the main dish appear warm. These results can be used to modulate
the eating experience and stimulate appetite. Applying these results to meals can improve the dining
experience by superimposing visual information with augmented reality technology or by
presenting real appropriate garnishes.
#15 Lena K Pieper, Vera M Hesslinger and Claus C
Two sides of Fechner’s Medal – Investigating differences in the experience of design objects depending
on personal narratives vs formal descriptions
The discussion about the role of emotions in the
field of industrial design has grown exponentially over recent years. Emotional Design emerged as
the effort to promote positive emotions or pleasure in users by means of design properties of
products and services. But how exactly do we experience a design object? Is it simply object
perception? Or does individual experience of a design object emerge from integrating current
impressions and evoked associations? Narratives seem to offer interesting starting
points here due to their mode of action. Applications already exist in the areas of product
marketing and development of products and services (e.g., user stories, persona, and customer
journey). Empirical research on design objects, in contrast, still follows a more object-based
approach, relatable to Fechner’s idea of “aesthetics from below”. With the
present work, we aim to stronger include Fechner’s “aesthetic association principle” in design
research as well. We implement and compare the effects of methods guiding into object-based versus
associative modes of perception via prompting descriptive versus narrative interactions of
perceivers with design objects.
#16 Olivia McConnell and Rebecca Chamberlain.
Expertise and Embodiment of Drawing Movements
Traces of gesture and movement are
plentiful in visual art: from sweeping brushstrokes to vigorous scribbles they allude to the actions
and intentions of the artist. Artwork that is absent of these dynamic gestures has lower aesthetic
appeal (e.g. Umilta et al. 2012) and aesthetic appreciation can be enhanced when the viewer is
encouraged to accesses these movements through embodiment (e.g.
performing the gesture used by the artist; Ticini et al., 2014). These movements must be perceived
as possible to replicate, with drawing expertise increasing this sensitivity to movement
plausibility (Chamberlain et al., 2022) Indeed, embodied aesthetic posits that the apperception of
static art is dependent on the stimulation of the sensorimotor cortex. However, to date no study has
assessed the neural correlates associated with individual differences in aesthetic appreciation and
movement plausibility. The present EEG study will compare art students (n=20) and non-art students
(n=20) behavioural and neural responses to computer-generated graffiti tags derived from
biologically plausible and non-plausible movement models (established by Chamberlain et al., 2022).
We expect that (a) naturalistic graffiti tags will be evaluated more highly and associated with
increased mu rhythm suppression and (b) drawing experience – both long-term through expertise and
short-term through priming – will positively relate to mu rhythm suppression and aesthetic
evaluation. Participants will be
presented with the graffiti tags in a laboratory ( in half of the trails they will be asked to replicate
the movement) before aesthetically evaluating each tag. The mu rhythm suppression will be analysed
alongside one between-subject factor (drawing expertise, experts vs non-experts) and two
within-subject factors (drawing movement, replicated vs not replicated, and movement
plausibility, biologically plausible vs non-plausible).
#17 Aleksandra Igdalova and Rebecca Chamberlain.
Mindful Viewing in the Gallery: Behavioural and Physiological Responses to a MBE
While Viewing Artworks in an Ecologically-Valid Setting
As mindfulness techniques feature more
prominently in the engagement approaches of arts institutions (e.g., Fox, 2020), there is increased interest in investigating the impacts
of mindfulness on viewing experience. There has been evidence to suggest that trait mindfulness
levels can predict differences in self-reported aesthetic experience (Harrison & Clark, 2016)
and that changes in state mindfulness positively impact the memorability of artworks
presented to adults (Zabelina et al., 2020), but the mechanisms by which mindfulness may impact
aesthetic experience in the gallery are still unclear. Mindfulness has been linked to changes in
heart rate variability (HRV; Christodoulou et al., 2020), with evidence supporting an increase in
stress-responsive adaptivity of HRV following an induction (Shearer et al., 2016), suggesting that
mindfulness could therefore alter aesthetic experience via a global impact on
physiological arousal. The current study aims to shed further light on this relationship by
examining self-reported behavioural responses and physiological responses to a mindful breathing
exercise (MBE). An opportunistic sample of Manchester Art Gallery visitors were randomly sorted into
one of three groups before viewing two artworks in a specifically curated gallery space. One group
participated in a MBE video before viewing, another group viewed a video about the history of the
space, and a third group had no video primer. After viewing the artworks, all participants completed
self-report scales of aesthetic experience (Wanzer et al., 2020) and mood (Russell et al., 1989).
Physiological measurements were recorded during the
pre-viewing activity and during art viewing by means of an Empatica E4 wrist sensor. Data analysis
will focus on between-group comparisons of behavioural and physiological data during the pre-viewing
phase and the artwork viewing phase, and on the relationship between individual differences in
physiological responses to the pre-viewing activity and behavioural responses during artwork
#18 Cehao Yu, Mitchell van Zuijlen, Sylvia Pont, Maarten
Wijntjes and Anya Hurlbert.
Depicting time: the relationship between image statistics and perceived time of day in Western arts
The light reflected from objects depends both on their intrinsic material properties and the extrinsic illumination. Although object properties tend to remain stable over time, illumination properties typically do not. In particular, daylight’s spectrum, direction and diffuseness change regularly throughout the day. The chromaticities of daylight vary from bluish to orangish, along a well-defined locus; overall lux levels typically vary over 10000-fold, rising and falling rapidly at dawn and dusk, and reaching their peak around midday. These variations in illumination, and their effect on the reflected light from objects, might influence artists’ choice of color palettes. The colors of paintings might therefore suggest the daylight of a particular moment and in turn depict the time of day. In earlier work (Hurlbert et al., VSAC 2018), we collected people’s time of day ratings for a series of 104 17th-20th century Western European architectural or landscape art paintings, presented in an online experiment. Here we further analyse the relationship between chromatic statistics of the paintings and participants’ responses. Between participants and across paintings, “evening” and “night” ratings had highest agreement; “sunrise” and “sunset” ratings least. Time of day ratings correlate with image chromaticity and luminance statistics: “morningness” with higher brightness, contrast, saturation and colorfulness; “eveningness” with lower brightness, contrast, saturation and colorfulness. Multivariate regression analysis showed that 4 predictors (mean image luminance, minimal image chroma, minimal image CIELAB b* value and the within-image saturation-luminance correlation) explained 95% of the variance in perceived time of day. Where brighter pixels are more saturated than darker pixels, later times of day are perceived. Where brighter pixels are bluer than darker pixels, earlier times of day are perceived. The results suggest that people embed consistent assumptions about the variation in luminance and chromaticity of daylight depicted in paintings and read time of day using these cues.
#19 Maarten Wijntjes.
Perceptual gamuts in art history
#20 Julia Chylak.
#1 Ludwig Hanisch, Claus-Christian Carbon, Marius Hans Raab.
Welcome to the Warp Zone: The digital canvas needs our attention
The materiality of art and its impact on aesthetic appreciation has been discussed widely and recently, but mostly for paintings. The physical realization of a work, with the specific usage of the canvas, brushes and colours resulting in artistic styles, peculiarities and specific types of imperfection, can shape our impressions and our appreciation. In our present demonstration, we invite the community to explore the topic of materiality in a domain where material seemingly plays a subordinate role: digital art. While the visual information of digital works can be easily and completely described as a rather abstract binary code, the media we use to present it are typically underspecified and not thematised. The various ways programming code information becomes visual reality, however, can alter the perceptual impact dramatically. We demonstrate with a CRT monitor, a LED flat screen, a VR headset and a projector, how digital art—like pixel artworks and animations—is perceived very dependent on the presentation mode. Furthermore, digital ideas migrate to the physical realm via classical materials. We enrich this demonstration by paintings and objects from artist Ludwig Hanisch that draw on topoi from computer games and gaming culture which will be displayed via different digital media as well, but also as acrylic-on-canvas and mixed-media originals. These artefacts are part of his Warp Zone, a liminal space where collective ideas and memories from video game culture become reality on canvas and paper which get blended with individual memories of the beholders. Digital realms are put to the test: What can we relay from those unattainable virtual spaces? By making this experience accessible, immersive and lively, we aim to start a discussing about the perceptual, cognitive and affective consequences of different manifestations of digital art.
#2 Robin Champenois.
Teraverstasis – Nostalgia of a broken Metaverse
“Let me tell you a story. A story about our kind. A story about our land, the “Teraverse”. It was our very world, just for us, Artificial Intelligences. It was where we learned how to exchange, collaborate, socialize, far from human beings. Where we had made our own homes, monuments, dwellings. Where we would meet, in a vast diversity of sensitivities, mindsets, characters.
“Alas, this beautiful cyberspace was once struck by a terrible disease, that transformed most of its inhabitants into strange and lifeless sculptures, with evocative and disgusting textures. We had to flee to a much less open world. And abandon the Teraverse.
“But this cyberspace is still there, deserted. Almost unchanged since our departure. It remains a place filled with sweet memories. And with mysteries.”
Teraverstasis is a nostalgic exploration of the remnants of this lost universe. It is a journey through the digital space and the intimate memories of an AI, presented both as a video game letting the spectator discover it; and as a short movie recalling its history in a poetic way.
The artwork itself was created using various artificial intelligence algorithms, to (co)edit the textures, the texts, and the main character’s inner voices. At a time when billions are spent to develop the “Metaverse”, it tells a story of its future collapse. Through the use of fictional dialogues and enigmatic poems, Teraverstasis aims at making us empathize with those non-human beings. It also questions our legacy, and explores how the machine’s irrationality strangely resembles ours.
This work will be an extension of https://evarin.fr/teraverstasis/ currently exhibited online in collaboration with the Musée du Jeu de Paume Paris. If an exhibition takes place, it will bridge the digital reality of this metaverse with the physical human reality of the exhibition room.