Dive Deeper, Look Closer, and Engage with Masterworks of Art—Intertwined with Barrier-Free Interactives!
ArtLens Exhibition opened to the public at the Solstice Party, June 2017. The Exhibition is an experiential gallery that puts you, the viewer, into conversation with masterpieces of art, encouraging engagement on a personal, emotional level. The art selection and barrier-free digital interactives inspire you to approach the museum’s collection with greater curiosity, confidence, and understanding. Transitioning away from the touchscreen technology that the first iteration of ARTLENS Gallery relied upon, the Exhibition interactives use barrier-free, gesture-sensing projections that respond seamlessly to body movement and facial recognition as you approach, immersing you in the experience. There are 16 new and innovative games, centered on the following themes: Composition, Symbols, Gesture + Emotion, and Purpose. The Exhibition features a smaller collection of artworks (20) that are all new to the space, and will be able to rotate in new artworks every 18 months. Each artwork in the Exhibition has two corresponding games in different themes, allowing you to dive deeper into understanding the object. Rather than screens positioned in front of the artworks, the Exhibition will reverse the experience with the artwork positioned in the foreground.
ArtLens App has been upgraded to tie together the ARTLENS Gallery experience. All artworks that a visitor learns about during their Exhibition game play will be saved to YOU in the ArtLens App, and all photos taken during game play will be saved to your photos and appear on the Beacon at the entrance of the Gallery. After saving artworks in the Exhibition or at the Wall, visitors can use the ArtLens App as their digital map around the museum. Content from ArtLens Exhibition is re-iterated in the App’s new ArtLens Exhibition field.
ArtLens Exhibition Audience and Goals
The ArtLens Exhibition welcomes non-traditional museum visitors, by reducing the intimidation of the art museum and providing visitors the toolset to look closer, dive deeper, and begin a relationship with the collection. Frequent museum visitors return again and again to ArtLens Exhibition to see and explore CMA's collection in a new way.
ArtLens Exhibition Artwork
ArtLens Exhibition is an experiential gallery that offers you the opportunity to explore masterpieces of art through immersive play. Art installed in this gallery will rotate every 18 months to highlight artworks across the collection while exploring the themes of Composition, Symbols, Purpose, and Gesture + Emotion.
ArtLens Exhibition Interactives
Transitioning away from the touchscreen technology that the first iteration of ARTLENS Gallery relied upon, the ArtLens Exhibition interactives respond seamlessly to body movement as the visitor approaches artworks, using barrier-free projections. The 6 projections feature 14 games, in addition to an innovative gaze-tracking station that shows where visitors look at an artwork, and a facial-recognition station shows visitors their emotional reactions to artwork.
Gesture + Emotion: Gestures and emotions may be the most identifiable elements in a work of art, but they can also be the most complex to decipher. The Gesture and Emotion experiences mirror the visitor’s expressions, and empower visitors to alter works of art to understand how expression can change meaning.
- Mashup: Visitors alter the emotion of a portrait by making a face, and witness how a change in expression can impact the meaning of an artwork.
- Make a Face: Visitors are shown a portrait to interpret the figure’s emotion, then their facial expression is matched with another portrait. Visitors will appreciate how meaning is created through facial expression in an artwork.
- Body Language: Visitors guess the different emotions expressed by figures in an artwork by mirroring the poses of each figure. By matching gesture with emotion, visitors realize the narrative of an artwork through the interaction between the figures.
- Strike a Pose: Visitors are prompted to mirror the pose of a character in an artwork, in order to truly feel the physical exertion of the movement and pose. Visitors will better understand the emotions of the figure, as well as the contextual emotion of the artwork.
Symbols: The exploration of symbols necessitates an understanding of an artist’s secular, religious, and personal beliefs. These interactives provide satisfying and simple entry points into the complex world of encoded artworks.
- Hidden Meaning: Visitors use their shadow to uncover the meaning behind symbols in artworks, revealing how artists embed symbols in their artwork to represent non-concrete concepts.
- Symbol Sleuth: Based on contextual clues, visitors guess which symbol represents a certain theme in a work of art. Visual and thematic clues in a work of art can help a visitor to deduce a symbol’s meaning.
- Decode Symbols: Visitors guess from a selection of symbols which symbol goes in the area that has been blurred from the artwork. Visitors learn how symbols can transform the meaning of an artwork.
Purpose: Explore and learn about an object’s original purpose.
- Purpose Discovery: Visitors decide how an unfamiliar object was once used by placing it on different parts of a mannequin. Through looking at an object closely, a visitor can deduce its use.
- Now and Then: Visitors guess the modern equivalent of an object from a range of options. The modern understanding of an object can differ from its contextual use.
- Dress Me Up: A variety of wearable objects, from fashion statements and cultural wear to unfamiliar pieces, are on display for visitors to select and wear on their body. Visitors realize the functional purpose of unfamiliar objects.
Composition: The composition experience uncovers the underlying structure that holds an artwork together. Fun, intuitive, full-body gestures and gaze tracking games explore the concepts of geometry, all-over, and multiple focus compositions, and provide an entry point into the more nuanced pedagogy of image organization.
- Shape Seeker: Visitors reveal geometric shapes in an artwork to decipher the compositional arrangement of elements. Visitors see how the structure of a shape gives meaning to a work of art through its dynamism, stability, symmetry or asymmetry.
- View Finder: Visitors explore works of art from the museum’s collection to find areas of focus and points of emphasis. Visitors uncover how artworks with multiple focuses are composed of separately identifiable elements that work together to enhance meaning and understanding.
- Become an Artist: Visitors create an original artwork based on the color, composition, or pattern of an artwork in the museum’s collection. By re-interpreting an artwork while maintaining its aesthetic integrity, visitors can better understand the composition of artworks with no central focal point.
- Become an Artwork: Visitors generate a unique all-over composition through a snapshot of themselves and based on works in the museum’s collection. Visitors learn how works of art can be composed of rhythm, pattern, and repetition by using the palette of their own body and clothing.
Gaze Tracker: Innovative eye-tracking reveals where a visitor focuses when looking at a work of art, increasing the visitor’s understanding of how an artist’s compositional choices influence how they look at art.
Express Yourself: Spend 30 seconds reacting to artwork from across the museum's collection, and facial recognition software will identify your emotional responses from happiness and surprise to distaste, fear, and sadness. After reacting to the artwork, save a video of your reactions directly to your camera roll and select a mission to launch you into the gallery. Share your in-person reaction to the artwork with us on social media using #ArtLens!
The development of ArtLens Exhibition represents a true and equal collaboration among the curatorial, information management and technology services (IMTS), education and academic affairs, and design departments at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Museum educators were instrumental in curating the space and its related experiences, and IMTS staff worked closely with internal and external partners on both concept and interactive design. This collaborative organizational structure is groundbreaking, not just within the museum community, but within user-interface design in general. It elevated each department's contribution, resulting in an unparalleled interactive experience, with technology and software that have never been used before in any venue, content interpreted in fun and approachable ways, and unprecedented design of an interactive gallery space that integrates technology into an art gallery setting.
The project team was led by Jane Alexander, Chief Information/Digital Officer, with Lori Wienke, Associate Director of Interpretation, and Jeffrey Strean, Director of Design and Architecture.
From the Cleveland Museum of Art:
Information Management and Technology Services: Jane Alexander (Chief Information Officer/project lead), Emily Hirsch (Project Manager), Tom Hood (Director of Technology Operations), Niki Krause (Director of Application Services), Andrea Bour (Collections Information Data Analyst), Allison Kennedy (Assistant Director of Support Services), David Shaw (Event Technology Manager), Michael St. Clair
Collections: Mary Suzor (Director of Collections Management), Howard Agriesti (Chief Photographer), Jennifer Cicero (Art Movement Supervisor)
Curatorial: Mark Cole (Curator of American Painting and Sculpture/content adviser), Heather Lemonedes (Chief Curator/content adviser), Barbara Tannenbaum (Curator of Photography/content adviser)
Design: Rusty Culp (Associate Director of Design and Architecture), Jim Engelmann (Exhibition Designer), Jeffrey Strean (Director of Design and Architecture), Tom Barnard (Senior Graphic Designer), Mary Thomas (Graphic Designer)
Interpretation: Lori Wienke (Associate Director of Interpretation, Curator/Interpretation lead), Bethany Corriveau, Stephanie Foster, Cyra Levenson (Director of Education and Academic Affairs)
Research and Evaluation: Elizabeth Bolander (lead), Hannah Ridenour
Development: Michael Ferry (lead), Cynthia McGrae
The cross-collaborative museum team at CMA partnered deeply with award-winning outside consultants to realize the project. Potion Design is responsible for all media design and collaborated with the CMA team on concept design development. The other outside consultants involved in the project were Zenith Systems (AV Integration), Piction (CMS/DAM development), Dome Collective (Beacon), and Local Projects (ArtLens app).
From Potion Design:
Phillip Tiongson, Principal
Design: Matthew McNerney, Edyta Lewicka, Rhea Laroya, Ruth Chung
Technology: Steve Varga, Filippo Vanucci, Cameron Browning, Ritesh Lala, Luobin Wang
Production: Abby Palmer, Holly Houghton, Claire Bradley, Drew Radtke
From Zenith Systems:
Doug Fortney, Principal
From Dome Collective:
Katie Lee and Lynn Kiang
From Local Projects:
Ethan Holda, Keeli Shaw, Karen Vanderbilt, Michael Dreiling
Erick Kendrick, Marcelle Kaye, Amy Hawkes, Martin Channon