OCAD University Open Research Repository

Towards Inclusion in Museums: Multisensory and Cross-Modal Translations/Interpretations of Visual Artworks

Levy, Annie (2018) Towards Inclusion in Museums: Multisensory and Cross-Modal Translations/Interpretations of Visual Artworks. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Levy, Annie

Access to art and cultural works is a fundamental human right, irrespective of abilities and human differences. However, traditional museum experiences heavily rely on visual perception, which creates barriers for visitors—especially for those who are unable to access art through sight. How can visual art be “translated” into other modalities, and what might be their affordances, limitations, and impact? This qualitative investigation focused on a graduate course on multisensory museum experiences embedded within a unique partnership between the Art Gallery of Ontario and OCAD University. Observations and interviews with students, instructors, museum visitors, and stakeholders (including community members with vision impairments and museum professionals) revealed: a range of translation/interpretation strategies, from “literal” (mapping visually perceived spatial properties of artworks to non-visual perceptual modalities) to “constructivist” (non-literal mappings that aim to engender audience memories that are akin to what might have inspired the original artwork); transformative student journeys, such as building meaningful connections with art; and significant impact on diverse audiences and students. This study revealed promising directions for inclusive museums, a preliminary technical language to support the design of translations/ interpretations, and a need for theoretically informed and tested standards to guide these designs and practices.

Date: April 2018
Uncontrolled Keywords: Multisensory; Cross-Modal; Inclusive Design; Inclusive Museum; Art; Access; Collaboration; Participatory Design
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Inclusive Design
Date Deposited: 18 May 2018 20:42
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2021 22:30
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/2373

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