Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Materials Experience and the Studio Artist: A Mixed-Method Approach
by Varnalis-Weigle, Anastasia Spyridon, D.Bibl., Simmons University, 2019, 195; 27667810
Abstract (Summary)

Material users, such as studio artists, architects, designers, and material engineers, require information specialists who understand the informative qualities of physical materials. Tactility, meaningfulness, emotions, exploration, and experimentation all inform the studio artist’s decisions throughout the process of art creation.

This study was an investigation into how information gathering through materials experience (MX) supports the creative, artistic, and intellectual needs of studio artists. In this study, a mixed-methods approach was used by the researcher to explore the influences of MX as information gathering, combining the use of a questionnaire of students and professional artists, direct observation and focus group, and artist interviews. The total subject population included three groups comprised of 82 studio artists, five art students, and 11 professionals. The operationalized models of MX behavior were (a) experiential levels of engagement; (b) MX through exploration, expression, creation; (c) experiential levels of connection; (d) information-seeking behavior through MX; and (e) MX through material culture. Through the analysis of the data, the complexity of MX as information gathering was illustrated

Findings showed that sight and touch were the first points of engagement for artists and provided the most practical information. Artists also experienced aesthetic intuition and intuitive experimentation. Material experience was not a set of singular actions that must happen in a specific order. Material experience as information gathering was in flux, moving back and forth during the information gathering process. It appears tangible information supported the artists’ practical sides of their processes while intangible information supported the creative side. Based on these findings, a conceptual model was developed to provide a foundation for further research in ISB studies using a materials-centric approach for users who work primarily with physical materials, bringing an added dimension to understand the user experience (UX). Additionally, MX provided an opportunity for librarians and information scientists to re-explore information gathering in all its forms—textual, visual, and physical.

Research into information behaviors through MX may contribute to interaction design, provide a more in-depth understanding of the information experience through physical materials, and the roles of the artist experience in virtual and augmented reality.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Benoit, Gerald, Tang, Rong
Commitee: Cloonan, Michele, Williams, Jodi
School: Simmons University
Department: Library and Information Science
School Location: United States
Source: DAI-A 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Library science, Fine arts, Materials science
Keywords: Information behavior, Information experience, Materials experience, Studio artists, User experience
Publication Number: 27667810
ISBN: 9781392824368
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