Creativity Dancing on the Boundaries between Fine Art, Human Performance and Space: Tracking the Gaze in Museums and Galleries

By Cynthia Bickley-Green and Nicholas Murray.

Published by The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Using an eye-tracker to record gaze patterns of viewers, this exploratory, interdisciplinary study examined how the use of priming questions affected the gaze patterns of museum visitors as the visitors looked at paintings and one sculpture. The data was shared with participants to engage them in the research process. The study demonstrated that gaze patterns changed in relation to the type of question the viewers were asked. Reflective questions elicited an open gaze; fact-finding questions produced a direct gaze dependent on the configuration of the image. Viewers enjoyed becoming aware of their biological behavior during the aesthetic experience of viewing the paintings.

Keywords: Eye-tracking, Art, Non-objective Paintings, Museums, Cognition, Visual Search

The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.55-64. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 386.292KB).

Dr. Cynthia Bickley-Green

Associate Professor, School of Art and Design, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA

Cynthia Bickley-Green holds a Doctor of Philosophy of Art from the University of Georgia in the area of art education. Her dissertation entitled “Afterimage in Painting” explored the presence of afterimages in representational and abstract art. She has received grants from the Nation Endowment for the Humanities; The North Carolina Arts Council; Eisenhower 1997–98 program in mathematics and science; the NC Space Grant Consortium, and the BB & T Leadership Foundation. She has written 115 art reviews and articles, and exhibited her artwork in more than 86 international, national, and regional shows. Currently, she is Coordinator and Associate Professor of Art Education at East Carolina University. Her paintings explore aftereffects in representational and abstract imagery. Her book Art Elements: Biological, Global, and Interdisciplinary Foundations (2011) was published by Kendall Hunt.

Dr. Nicholas Murray

Director Visual Motor Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA

Nicholas Murray holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Florida. His research interest is the development of psychophysiology indices of skilled and unskilled complex motor activity. Dr. Murray is the Director of the East Carolina University Visual Motor Laboratory. Research within VML involves projects that examine visual attention, arousal, mental workload, and attentional bias. The goal of the VML research program is to understand how vision and cognition control and modulate behavior. This research is based on the use of eye movement recordings, biometrics, psychophysiological recordings including EMG, EEG, and ECG, as well as other measures to examine cognitive function in information rich environments. The lab is designed to measure human behavior in dynamic situations through virtual simulations, video games, or in more static, self-paced laboratory tasks. The research has been funded through Research and Creative Activity Grants as well as Research and Development Awards.