Art matching test

Photo Studio Hyperdrive

The new collection pavilion, opened november 2019 in the Antwerp Middelheim museum, offers the space to focus extensively on one work of art and to investigate it from different angles. The kick-off became Résidence Terrestre artwork by Belgian artist Michel François. The museum wanted to set up a public activation of the artwork to gauge what visitors think of this work, or whether they enter into a relationship with it. This gave rise to the idea of a matching test between visitor and artwork.

Starting point

For this assignment Inez Michiels of CITY OF 8 developed an interactive tool (executed by Studio Hyperdrive) based on her recent research into a valid colour test to measure personality, visual needs and preferences. The study was supplemented with abstract shape choice questions and basic emoticons that indicate emotional appreciation, as tested during the “Beyond the Language” workshop, Museum Learning Marathon at MUHKA in 2016 (Workshop “Zonder titel”). This way individual art viewing profiles can be delivered visually, with colors, shapes, emoticons and symbols.

How it works

In approximately 30 steps, the user makes choices between colors, abstract shapes and emoticons. The sum of each user’s choices leads to information about preferences for certain artworks, styles and / or disciplines and ultimately returns to the user a visual matching report regarding his / her relationship to the artwork Résidence Terrestre.

to the left: the artwork, to the right: the visitor

Moreover, the artistic elaboration of this unique art matching tool ensures an aesthetic and enigmatic experience.

More than 800 visitors have since used the application. Then came Corona. After three months of closure the museum and pavilion reopened for the public, but unfortunately the interactive matching test has not been set up again due to Corona measures.