Art and Perception
Towards a new kind of experimental psycho-aesthetics? Reflections on the Parallellepipeda project
University of Leuven (K.U. Leuven), Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, Tiensestraat 102-box 3711, BE-3000 Leuven, Belgium
Experimental psycho-aesthetics---the science aimed at understanding the factors that determine aesthetic experience---is reviewed briefly as background to describe the Parallellepipeda project, a cross-over project between artists and scientists in Leuven. In particular, I sketch how it started and developed further, with close interactions between the participating artists and scientists. A few examples of specific research projects are mentioned to illustrate the kind of research questions we address and the methodological approach we have taken. We often found an effect of providing participants with additional information, a difference between novice and expert participants, and a shift with increasing experience with an artwork, in the direction of tolerating more complexity and acquiring more order from it. By establishing more connections between parts of an artwork and more associations to the artwork, it becomes a stronger Gestalt, which is more easily mastered by the viewer and leads to increased appreciation. In the final part of the paper, I extract some general lessons from the project regarding a possible new way of doing psycho-aesthetics research, which is able to solve some of the problems of traditional experimental psycho-aesthetics (eg, trade-off between experimental control and ecological validity).
2011, "Towards a new kind of experimental psycho-aesthetics? Reflections on the Parallellepipeda project" i-Perception 2(6) 648–678
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ISSN: 2041-6695 (electronic only)
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