Sunday, October 22, 2006

Art In The News: The Art-O-Meter. Coming to a Gallery Near You. Maybe...

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"Art-O-Meter is a device that measures the quality of an art piece. It bases its evaluation on the amount of time that people spend in front of an artwork compared to the total time of exhibition."

Have you heard about the Art-O-Meter? It is a device placed near an exhibited painting for the purpose of keeping track of the average viewing time visitors spend observing the art. The quality or aesthetic worth of the piece is decided by the amount of time observers view the painting.

Without viewers present, the Art-O-Meter will register time like a regular clock. However, a second timer is triggered once the motion sensor detects someone near the work of art. This second clock counts the time as the viewer observes the artwork.

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There is one vital flaw with this device. It stands out! One can assume that people may spend more time observing the Art-O-Meter than viewing the painting near it. This scenario would lead to inaccurate data as to the value of the art based on the time it is observed during the exhibit.

It is also common for people to gather around a painting while talking about everything 'under the sun'. They may not be observing the artwork during their conversation. Is it fair for the piece to benefit from this form of 'chat time'?

What would happen if galleries started to utilize this technology as a basis for who they exhibit? ("Your art is observed an average of 5 seconds per viewer. We only accept art that is observed for 10 seconds or longer!"). I doubt that would ever happen, but it could. Can you imagine how many artists would stand near their own artwork just to increase the
viewing average? ;p

Take care, Stay true

Brian Sherwin

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