Episode 132

Slow looking and social interaction in museums with Sasha Igdalova

Published on: 27th June, 2024

Today, I'm talking to Sasha Igdalova about the exciting research she’s been conducting over the past few years around aesthetic experience, slow looking and social interaction in museums.

Aleksandra (Sasha) Igdalova is an interdisciplinary researcher in the final year of her Psychology PhD at Goldsmiths, University of London conducting large-scale, experimental studies on slow looking within exhibition spaces at Manchester Art Gallery. 

Her work investigates how popular engagement strategies may be used to increase aesthetic experience and well-being

Listeners to this podcast will know that slow looking has gained in popularity in museums worldwide over the last decade or so. But there hasn’t been much research on its effectiveness, until now.

In today's chat, we explore two studies -  the first study to look at the impact of slow looking in an online environment. This study explores how different audio contexts and types of art affect people's moods and engagement levels in online viewing.

The second study is the first large-scale experiment to investigate how social interaction impacts the art museum experience. This study took place in Manchester Art Museum’s fabulous dedicated slow looking space known as Room to Breathe. 

We discuss the implications of both studies for educators..and so much more!

This episode is essential listening for anyone interested in slow looking, aesthetic experiences in museums, and the benefits of group interactions for overall well-being in museum environments.

Episode Links:

Episode 24 Using art and objects to learn wellbeing skills and improve mental health with Louise Thompson

Aleksandra (Sasha) Igdalova Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aleksandra-sasha-igdalova-a66770106/

Website: www.aleksandraigdalova.com 

Researchgate profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Aleksandra-Igdalova 

Articles on slow looking:

First ever study examining how social interaction impacts art viewing: https://osf.io/preprints/psyarxiv/x9wrt

First ever study looking at slow looking in an experimental manner (online study): https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2023-59333-001 

Free access to it here: https://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/33048/9/Igdalova%20&%20Chamberlain%20(2023)%20Slow%20looking%20at%20still%20art.pdf

CREA interdisciplinary workshop: www.crea-workshop.com 

The Art Engager Links:

The Art Engager: Reimagining Guided Experiences in Museums - sign up for the waitlist to hear when my book will be published!

Sign up for my Curated newsletter - a fortnightly dose of cultural inspiration

Join the Slow Looking Club Community

Support the show here https://www.buymeacoffee.com/clairebown

Download my free resources: 

How to look at art (slowly)- 30+ different ways to look at art or objects in the museum

Slow Art Guide - six simple steps to guide you through the process of slow looking

Ultimate Thinking Routine List - 120 thinking routines in one place

If you have any suggestions, questions or feedback, get in touch with the show by emailing info@thinkingmuseum.com

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About the Podcast

The Art Engager
Engage your audience with art and ideas
The Art Engager podcast is here to help museum educators, guides and creatives engage their audiences with art, objects and ideas. Each fortnight I’ll be sharing a variety of easy-to-learn flexible techniques and tools to help you create participant-centred museum experiences that bring art and ideas to life.
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