Sunday, September 23, 2012

Final Friday Marathon: How long is our attention span for looking at art?

Final Friday has expanded this month to include the Campus Art Walk at KU which has 14 different venues plus events, starting early at 1:30-6:00 p.m.  Final Fridays Downtown is 5:30-9:00.  This is potential for a lot of time looking at art! and will test our art going stamina (In order to catch the highlights, we’ll post our picks for both downtown and campus later this week).

Realistically, what is our maximum attention span for the activity of looking at art?  One hour?  Two hours?  How long do we spend looking at each art work?

London’s Daily Mail newspaper conducted a study at the famous Tate gallery to find the average time patrons spent with art works.  Surprisingly, the average time spent with most art pieces is around 5 seconds.  The aim of the study by the newspaper was to see if there was a difference between the amount of time people were prepared to give a classic painting and to modern art.

The results of the study showed that people spend more time with classical art.  See a few results:

Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais
Most Viewers: Total viewers: 562: Dwell Time: 1 minute, 57 seconds.  Longest Look: 30 minutes

Monument by Tracey Emin
Total viewers: 177: Average dwell time: 5 seconds; longest look: 2 minutes.

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