Related Projects

Affiliated members: Lisa-Maria van Klaveren, Gemma Schino

Photo by Lucas Kemper

"Let's get SMART" @Zpannend Zernike

The iMEMA team promoted the research project "Let's Get SMART - The research project of sense-making and art" in which we explore how children of different ages build meaning in artworks and things that are important to them. Our recruiting station at the weekend of science hosted by the Zpannend Zernike displayed through two activities: (1) The Emotional Twister, where kids can make combinations of objects, emotions, sensations, and thoughts by using the timeless family game rules, and (2) An Expression Recognizer using AI face detection in Pictoblox where children could understand the importance of video recording in our research. This helped the visitors to our booth understand the methods and the goal of the research. 

Affiliated members: Frédérique ter Brugge, Ralf Cox, Lisa-Maria van Klaveren, Gemma Schino

Art & AI: Illuminating Insights from ALF

The iMEMA team of the University of Groningen and Amsterdam Light Festival joined forces to perform a large-scale measurement of people's art experiences in the public space. Edition 12 of the festival sets the stage for a scientific investigation of how people experience the illuminating artworks located across Amsterdam. We will also learn about how these artworks and the festival tour impact people's thoughts and emotions about this season's theme: 'TECHNOLOGY & AI'. Artists created artworks around this theme, investigating the implications of the accelerated use of technology and artificial intelligence (AI) in our everyday lives. The way we communicate, socialize and create are all affected by technology and AI. A central question the festival raises and which our research will also address is: What is the impact of technology and AI on the human condition?

Affiliated members: Ralf Cox, Barend van Heusden, Lisa-Maria van Klaveren, Gemma Schino

After your own (he)art

Every person interprets art differently, yielding a unique significance for each individual. The purpose of this study is to better understand the ways in which children, adolescents, and adults of different ages find and shape the meaning of objects that resonate deeply with them, things that we consider works of art. 

During this ongoing research project, we asked participants to invite a peer (friend, family member, or colleague) to co-participate with them in the experiment. Then, we will ask each participant to choose and bring one item of choice. More specifically, the researchers will give instructions to bring something meaningful (one item) that is important to the participant. The participants first answer pre-questionnaires about their experience of the artworks, then talk (the conversation will be of a maximum of 20 min) about their selections, and lastly answer again post-questionnaires. 

Affiliated members: Ralf Cox, Lisa-Maria van Klaveren, and Hester van Tongerlo

The iMEMA team held an interactive event on art experience entitled "Experiencing art: How does that work?" (Dutch: Kunst ervaren: Hoe gaat dat?) at Odapark  in Venray. 

During the event participants and researchers discussed the state of affairs with respect to scientific research on art experiences and meaning-making. In addition to the lecture about the different dimensions of experiencing art, such as movement, physiology, and emotions, people could learn more about how the measurement of art experience is conducted by watching a demonstration or by participating in it themselves.

Affiliated members: Ralf Cox, Lisa-Maria van Klaveren, Gemma Schino, and Marlise van der Jagt 

The interdisciplinary symposium "The art of experiencing" (Dutch: De kunst van het ervaren) has been organized in collaboration between the University of Groningen and That Bolwerck Art and Thoughts (Dutch: Dat Bolwerck) in honor of the farewell of Vincent Peppelenbosch. 

Whether emotion, rapture, alienation, or disruption, art evokes reactions in one's body and interaction with emotions. The symposium explored how art moves something in the spectator through a series of lectures and by active participation in data collection for presentation purposes. 

The research team empirically measured the experiences of participants towards selected artworks of the exhibition "You are all stardust". Preliminary visualization of the data collected has been addressed in a plenary discussion, resulting in a thought-provoking conversation between art lovers, experts, and academics. 

Affiliated members: Ralf Cox, Lisa-Maria van Klaveren, Gemma Schino, Héctor Gallegos González and Monique Dikmoet

Reactions to art and social injustice

846 North organized a provocative event at CineNoord (Rotterdam, the Netherlands). During the night, visitors could attend the screening of the film "Boyz n the hood".  Before and after the screening of the film, visitors were asked to report their feelings against social injustice, institutional racism, and police brutality. 

This project was in collaboration with Skyline Foundation.

Affiliated members: Ralf Cox, Lisa-Maria van Klaveren, Gemma Schino, Héctor Gallegos González and Franziska Nori

The research team set up a pop-up lab in the Frankfurt Art Association (German: Frankfurter Kunstverein, FKV), an art museum located in Frankfurt so as to have a natural and ecologically valid setting of art experience. 

Visitors were invited to wear a smartwatch provided by the research team during their visit to the exhibition The Intelligence of Plants – an Alliance of Science and Art, curated by Franziska Nori. It anonymously recorded heart rate, motion-based activity, electrical properties and peripheral temperature of the skin. 

Visitors also had the opportunity to fill in a questionnaire about their reactions to selected artworks in the exhibition. Upon participation, visitors received an illustrative dashboard of the experience reported through the questionnaires.

Affiliated members: Nicole Ruta and Michael Takeo Magruder

TheoArtistry: Text & Image scheme is an initiative of the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts, University of St Andrews. The scheme brings together visual artists and researchers from several disciplines in a multifaceted research project to explore the areas of overlap between academic and artistic research. 

The participating scholars and artists worked collaboratively within interdisciplinary groups to research and discuss ideas for the formation of new text-inclusive artworks. As a result, TheoArtistry hosted a collaborative exhibition of original artworks created for the scheme to investigate the cognitive implications of text-inclusive artworks. 

Affiliated member: Ryan Wittingslow

From Form to Function and Back Again

Despite the number of important philosophical questions posed by design, philosophy of design is itself underdeveloped. Philosophers who write about design tend to do so from the perspective of one or other philosophical domain: usually philosophy of technology or aesthetics.

Unfortunately, these analyses do not in and of themselves constitute a coherent philosophy of design; there is no scholarship systematising these various approaches. All this leaves philosophy of design a rather tragic and piecemeal sort of affair.

Thankfully, this does not indicate the presence of a principled incompatibility between these sub-fields. To the contrary, these disciplines are both useful and mutually reconcilable. This is the groundwork for a philosophy of design. 

This project was awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship for Senior Researchers in early 2022, and will commence in late 2022.

Affiliated members: Héctor Gallegos González and Barend van Heusden

What makes some artistic experiences so emotional and/or interesting? Are there differences in the art meaning-making processes between people from different genders and cultures? How do bodily responses and life experiences influence our appraisal and understanding of art? 

In this experiment, we employed an interdisciplinary methodology that allows us to measure the three primary dimensions of interaction between the individual and the artwork: the knowledge-meaning making, the sensorimotor, and the emotional. 

In this way, we can integrate and analyse both the subjects’ written accounts of experience and their bodily responses, responses that we may not be totally aware of but constitute a crucial component of our interaction with the cultural reality and with art in particular.


Outreach and Multimedia

Gemma Schino, Lisa-Maria van Klaveren, Héctor Gallegos González and Ralf Cox, "Experiencing Art Installations: Does it matter whether it’s physical or virtual?", 13 April 2022

Gemma Schino, "Artistic Evaluation in a Digital World", Mindwise, 27 January 2021

Ralf Cox, Lisa-Maria van Klaveren and Muriël van der Laan, "Mondriaan Moves: How Art Can Move the Body", Mindwise, 7 June 2017 

How Complex We Really Are

Ralf Cox, Heymans Symposium, 2016

Applying Bodily Sensation Maps To Art-Elicited Emotions

Gemma Schino, LOGOS Extra talks, 2022