Participatory Art Exhibition
After several years working in both traditional and digital media—think oil paintings and rendered digital images—artist and faculty member in the School of Art, Architecture, and Design Caleb Weintraub wanted to explore whether there are differences in the ways people perceive painting created in these different media. Do viewers value these works differently relative to originality, touch, preciousness, uniqueness, novelty, relevance, and coherence of vision? And if differences are perceived, how do these differences influence appreciation?
To answer these and other questions, Weintraub partnered with IDAH to mount a participatory art exhibition of analogous works, all having the same subject and appearing almost identical; viewers of the exhibit were asked to take a survey to compare their attitudes towards specific aspects of the works, eliciting answers to Weintraub's central research question on the impact of medium on the perception of artistic value.
IDAH and Weintraub worked closely with the Center for Survey Research (CSR) to design and test the survey, which went out to the IU community in Spring, 2018. We asked participants to answer questions about their general attitudes to digital and traditional works of art, and then invited them to the exhibit to directly compare the oil paintings with the rendered digital images and give their thoughts on the works.
In addition to our work with Weintraub and the CSR to develop the survey instrument and process, IDAH supported this project by facilitating connections with campus resources such as the IU Libraries, where the exhibition was held, and the UITS Advanced Visualization Lab, which helped Weintraub implement the technological tools he needed to complete his mixed media work. We facilitate the work of our Faculty Fellows by providing them with ongoing consultations, hands-on project support, and connections to the people and departments on campus that can provide technological and methodological support.