Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
  • (2023) Estrada Gonzalez, Vicente
    Artworks are increasingly experienced in non-traditional platforms, from digital collections on museum websites to virtual gallery tours, making it important to investigate the context-dependent and context-independent aspects of aesthetic experience. While some studies have shown that artworks in the museum elicit a higher visual engagement than when presented on a screen, others reported divergent findings. This thesis suggests that such discrepancies may be due to the interaction between the artwork's physical and contextual characteristics and investigates how diverse aspects of viewing behaviour change between the museum, on-screen laboratory, and virtual gallery laboratory contexts. Fifteen paintings by different Australian artists from the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) were included as stimuli for the studies in this thesis. Mobile and screen-based eye movement recordings were used to index visual engagement (number of fixations, total and average fixation duration) with artworks across the three different contexts. Our first study (Chapter 2) compared the visual engagement of museum visitors in the AGNSW to that of participants looking at their digital reproductions in laboratory. We focused on how aspects of viewing behaviour, including viewing distance in the gallery condition and eye gaze measures such as fixation count, total fixation duration and average fixation duration are affected by the artworks’ physical characteristics, including size and image statistics properties such as Fourier amplitude spectrum, fractal dimension and entropy. The effects of these factors on visual engagement were then explored in a virtual gallery replica of the exhibition (Chapter 3). In a virtual gallery context, we also tested the impact of two additional context-dependent factors: the curatorial arrangement and further manipulations of the relative size of the paintings. Overall, the results show significant differences in viewing behaviour across different contexts, but also that the effects of presentation contexts are modulated by the artworks’ physical characteristics. In the final two studies, the thesis explores the effect of mere exposure on viewing behaviour in different contexts (Chapter 4) and the spatial and temporal image statistics of fixated compared to non-fixated regions of artworks in both the museum and on- screen viewing contexts (Chapter 5). The results show that visual engagement in the museum, but not on-screen, is enhanced by previous exposure to digital reproductions of artworks. Finally, Chapter 5 demonstrates that fixated and randomly selected regions differed in both spatial and temporal image statistics with more pronounced differences in the on-screen viewing condition. In sum, the thesis demonstrates that a combination of context-dependent variables (e.g., navigation, curatorial setting and relative size) and the low-level properties (e.g., fractal dimension, amplitude spectrum, entropy) of artworks influence visual engagement.