Digital and “Real” Art (11-26-19)

Siri and colleagues investigated whether the format of a piece of visual art influences how it is perceived by viewers.  The team had people look at abstract works of art, without knowing if the piece they were looking at was an original or a digital reproduction of that original. The researchers collected physiological data related to participant energy level and “participants provided behavioral ratings of color intensity, emotional intensity, aesthetic evaluation, perceived movement, and desire to touch the works of art. . . . results demonstrated that the faithful high-quality digital reproductions of works of art could be as arousing as the original works of art, but at the same time, they cannot replace the experience of standing in front of an authentic work of art in terms of explicit hedonic [pleasure-related] attributed values. . . . participants explicitly attributed higher scores in Emotion and Touch judgments to real works of art than to their digital reproductions.  In contrast, no significant differences emerged when participants judged the color intensity, the perceived movement, and the aesthetic value of digital and real works of art.. . . we did not find any difference between authentic works of art and their digital reproductions in terms of physiological measures.”

Francesca Siri, Francesca Ferroni, Martina Ardizzi, Anna Kolesnikova, Marcella Beccaria, Barbara Rocci, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, and Vittorio Gallese.  “Behavioral and Autonomic Responses to Real and Digital Reproductions of Works of Art.”  Progress in Brain Research, in press, https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.pbr.2018.03.020