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    Ask the Audience

    Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2016)

    London, UK, 12 - 14 July 2016


    Sophy Smith



    This paper results from a research project run in partnership between the Phoenix Digital Media Centre Leicester and the Institute of Creative Technologies at De Montfort University, Leicester. In 2011 Phoenix secured major Arts Council funding for a programme of exhibitions of digital artwork. The organisation recognised how digital technologies offer new ways of engaging with and producing art and wanted to break down barriers to digital arts work, exploring how technology can bring new people to art as either practitioners, observers or both.

    A need was felt to understand how people interact with and understand digital artwork and so a research project was developed in partnership between the gallery space and the university that would evaluate the audience’s engagement with and experience of the digital arts work they saw at the Phoenix. This research focused on a number of exhibitions which were part of the Phoenix's digital art programme in 2014-2015 including group exhibitions, solo shows, visual art, sonic art, installation work and work for families and young people. Asking questions about Curatorial Design, The Artwork and The Experience, the main objectives of the research were to understand how audiences engage with the digital artwork and how the exhibited artworks appealed to different audiences, using these results to help the gallery and exhibiting artists reflect on how audience engagement with and experience of digital arts work may affect future work.

    This paper discusses the findings of this research in relation to the audience engagement and understanding of digital art in gallery setting as well as covering the development of the evaluation process between gallery, artist and researchers. This paper will be of interest to both practitioners and curators of digital art who are looking for ways to obtain a deeper understanding of their audience’s engagement with and experience of their work.


    PDF file PDF Version of this Paper 402(kb)