Slow Art Day 2017 in Cologne, Germany

Slow lookers at Jorn Keseberg’s studio in Cologne.

Host Sabine Klement writes,

Slow Art Day 2017 in Cologne took place at Jörn Keseberg’s studio in Köln-Ehrenfeld, one of the city’s most vibrant and trendiest districts, home to many artists’ studios and creative entrepreneurs.

There was a tough competition going on between beautiful, sunshine, the local soccer club having a derby and our quite avantgarde, subcultural, non-profit art event – yay! But it still worked out fabulously with about a dozen curious participants, willing to communicate on art with each other.

Instead of looking eight seconds at each artwork – the average museumvisitors’ attentionspan – we donated ten minutes to six (oops, one plus…) pre-selected art objects. As a result of hosting Slow Art Day for several years, I decided to give a signal every ten minutes to let the visitors know when to change their site. In the beginning most find it challenging to fix their attention for “such a long time” at one item. But the ability (or willingness?) to concentrate and to get involved more deeply grows swiftly.

As an artist, Jörn Keseberg is engaging with the connections between technology, nature, art and man – topics that concern every modern human being. He composes objects that captivate every viewer’s interest instantaneously with an unique mixture of beauty and weirdness, even horror. He frequently combines natural materials like time-worn rare timbers, small animal-bones or leaves with electronic components as parts of hard disks and draws on unlimited resources of aesthetically appealing bits and pieces. Accordingly there was an abundant supply of inspiring details to detect and ideas to discuss for the participants –
we couldn’t manage to wait until the obligatory “after-show-meeting!” Very happy visitors and promoter had coffee and cake afterwards at the café around the corner!

A huge THANKYOU♥ to the artist for inviting us to his studio! Looking forward to do it again next year, April 14 ;).

The Museo de Eduardo Carrillo’s Virtual Slow Art Day event

The Museo de Eduardo Carrillo is a virtual museum with a web-only presence, but they didn’t let that stop them from participating in Slow Art Day 2017! On April 8, they encouraged their audience to engage in a virtual slow looking and discussion session.

Their instructions to their followers were:

Starting at 7AM, use your cell phone to visit Museo Eduardo Carrillo’s online gallery, presenting art by painter Frank Galuszka with an essay by Christina Waters.

Richly textured paintings and narrative complement each other. As does the exploration of the central theme in many of the paintings highlighted here “On View.”

On Slow Art Day choose one of Galuszka’s paintings, spend at least five minutes looking slowly at it and then post a comment on Museo’s ON VIEW page.

Comments from participants included:

I’ll tell you what I see in Frank’s beautiful works of art. I see various demonstrations of how the our quantum universe works shown in a painting. As important to me is what isn’t the focus of the paintings (the background) and its relationship to the focus or central theme. They are great demonstrations of the “particle-wave” theory of quantum physics. Out of a background of uncertainty or potential (waves) is contrasted a central character or theme (particles). But the painting shows the visual and the non visual world it is all “one.” What materializes out of a field of unlimited potential is what the observer (artist) wants to see.

 

I had already viewed Frank’s paintings. The one that I liked the most was “The Threshold.” I interpret that as 2 individuals on different journeys, about to step over the threshold from their journey to the journey the other has taken. Neither journey is better than the other person has endured. Each one trying to leave pain and sorrow behind,
i.e. the broken glass, the dead rabbit, the sharp saw blades, the broken/leaking pipe, the rough road – all obstacles along their way.

Slow Art Day 2017 at the deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum

Host Rachael Nease at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA, writes of their Slow Art Day 2017 experience:

This was the first year that deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum decided to take part in the event, but it will not be our last!
Our museum guide, Judith Scott, led some close-looking of both painted and sculptural artworks featured in our Expanding Abstraction: New England Women Painters, 1950 to Now exhibition and our permanent sculpture park collection. The sculptural piece was a brave choice – a male nude formed in cast iron that has been intentionally allowed to age over the years with a rust patina. One of our Slow Art participants admitted he had been coming to the museum and avoiding this sculpture for years, but the opportunity to look closely and discuss the object had given him a new appreciation for the sculpture.
The photo is of part of the group with Maud Morgan’s Gold Coast II. Taking time to really look at this seemingly simple painting, our visitors were surprised at the details they were able to pick out and discuss – we actually had to pull them away to move on to the sculpture!
At the conclusion of the event, one of our participants summed up her experience, telling us that she had never thought to slow down to appreciate the art that she loved and often visited. The experience, she said, will change the way she looks and experiences artworks.

Slow looking with Maud Morgan’s Gold Coast II at the deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum

Slow Art Day 2017 in Paris

Hosts Alexandra Fadin and Isabelle Martinez of Upstreet 13 in Paris write of their Slow Art Day 2017 experience,

“We regularly co-organize original creative and artistic visits to street art destinations in Paris. Isabelle’s specialty is Wutao (an energetic art form), art history and a focused knowledge on street art; she is used to inviting people of all ages to connect with their body, emotions, sensations and creativity, which leads to a new way of discovering art and life.
As both a dancer-choreographer and a visual artist, I have created my own concept, La Matière en Mouvement, based on the relationship between dance and visual arts. I explore the interactivity between artists, works of art, public/visitors, time and space(s) though performances and happenings in everyday life locations. The purpose of La Matière en Mouvement is to invite us to connect to all our sensations and to the feelings of freedom, happiness and wellbeing in order to create a work of art with our bodies (living sculpture postures and improvised dancing moves) and/or with the material (drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, video).
Regarding our Slow Art Day 2017 event in Paris, we had 12 participants.
The content was:
  • Take time to wander in the streets in order to discover the works of art in the street (observe the city and feel)
  • Information on the Street Artists and story/meaning of their works
  • Wutao initiation in order to relax
  • Living sculpture postures and photography in order to create new street works of art with our bodies
  • Creation of a collective mandala on the ground
  • Drink and debriefing with the group in order to share our feelings of this Slow Art Day experience (11 people very happy, 1 person not aware of the goals and content of the visit before joining the group despite our information available on our communication supports)
Isabelle and I are very happy. We intend to organize a new event with Upstreet 13 for Slow Art Day 2018.”

Slow looking with Upstreet 13 in Paris

Slow Art Day 2017 at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Host Rachel Massey at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park writes of their Slow Art Day 2017 experience,

“YSP launched Mindful Moments on Slow Art Day, inviting 10 people to a private one hour viewing of Tony Cragg’s A Rare Category of Objects. Participants were invited to focus their attention on five specially selected sculptures and given cards with guidance and suggestions for mindful viewing – they were encouraged to close their eyes on arrival and before departing from each art work, allowing time for the experience to settle, perhaps noticing sensations in their body to help ground them in the moment.

Invitations for ways to view the work included, “Notice the edges of the piece. Take time to trace the edges with your eyes. Move very close to the piece and look slowly. Move further away – what do you see now?”

The atmosphere in the gallery was tranquil, yet there was a sense of intent focus and quiet energy. People moved reverentially around the space, but felt comfortable to lie on the floor, crawl around and under sculptures, move their bodies in response to the shapes.

This was followed with a delicious breakfast of tea coffee and pastries in the restaurant and conversation about the experience.”

Visitor feedback:

“Slow Art Day at YSP was truly the best way to start the weekend. We’re spending the day here, and we will do it differently after that.”

“If I’d gone on a normal visit I wouldn’t have even looked at that sculpture. Now I feel a real connection to it and it’s my favourite one.”

“All my ideas about the work changed as I looked at it longer.”

“A great privilege to have this private experience with a sculpture.”

Happy Slow Art Day!

Happy Slow Art Day to all of you across the globe!

If you’re posting on social media, don’t forget to use the hashtags #SlowArtDay and #SlowArtDay2017.

We look forward to seeing your pictures and hearing about your experiences today.

Slow lookers and drawers at the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart

Slow lookers and drawers at a Slow Art Day event hosted by Kunstzeichnen at the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (photo credit: Karolina Fabelova, Kunstzeichnen)

 

Slow Art Day 2017 in Shanghai

Host Joan Lueth at FQ Projects gallery (and the host of this year’s only Slow Art Day event in China) writes of their slow looking experience this year:

Checking in from Shanghai after another fabulous Slow Art Day experience! We gathered in an old neighborhood of fast disappearing houses, due to rapid development, in a typical 1920s Shanghai lane house now converted into FQProjects gallery featuring emerging artists. Viewing the works of Shanghai artist Wang DaWei, we entered into his world of mixed media paintings reflecting on living on the outside of community in a new neighborhood. As one participant Raymond Bu said, ‘I feel a happiness about the art even though the people seem alone. I grew up in a house just like this until I was 15 years old. It brings nostalgia to me inside the house and inside the paintings’. Thanks for another terrific event in a special and unique location! Best of luck from Shanghai to all those waking up to their Slow Art Day!  Zhi Yi (best wishes!)

Slow lookers at FQProjects in Shanghai

Slow lookers at FQ Projects in Shanghai

Slow lookers at FQProjects in Shanghai

Slow lookers at FQ Projects in Shanghai

Slow Art Day & the BBC

It’s hard to believe how much Slow Art Day has grown and spread across the world since its inception in New York a mere 8 years ago. We’re looking forward to having 170+ venues from dozens of countries participate in Slow Art Day 2017. Slow Art Day has had a large presence in the UK since the beginning and this year venues from the National Gallery to the Ashmolean Museum are organizing events – so we were extremely excited to see this feature in BBC Culture on the slow art movement. Filmed at Art Basel Hong Kong, reporter Linda Kennedy discusses the merits of slow looking with a variety of artists and art critics.

Belgian artist Luc Tuymans in the BBC "How to Look at Art" video.

Belgian artist Luc Tuymans in the BBC’s “How to Look at Art” video.

Watch the full video here!

Slow Art Day Tips from the Rubin Museum

Rubin Museum of Art

Rubin Museum of Art

The Rubin Museum of Art in New York is hosting a Slow Art Day event for the third year in a row, and they have some expert tips for you to bring with you to your slow looking experience on April 8. Their advice?

Take longer — and longer — looks
Look at a piece for 5 seconds then turn around and write down five things to describe it. Do the same thing again looking for 10 seconds, then 20.
Back-to-back drawing
In this partner exercise, two people stand or sit back to back. One person faces the object and describes it to the second, who draws it.
Ask yourself questions
Some questions Sloan recommends you can ask yourself for deeper looking include: What is the first thing you notice about this artwork? Does this make you think of anything that you’ve seen before? What do you see that makes you say that?

Read the full article on AM New York here.

Making time for slower digital experiences in museums

Here at Slow Art Day we focus on how visitors engage with physical works of art – how paintings, sculptures, photographs, and other media are perceived, considered, and experienced by the viewer. But in our digital age, museums are increasingly trying to deliver “snackable” digital content – short bursts of entertaining and enlightening information delivered through social media initiatives or interactive installations. In an article published by The Guardian earlier this week, Danny Birchall, Digital Manager at London’s Wellcome Collection, eloquently makes the case that digital or virtual engagements with artworks allow for the same unhurried, slow potential as physical interactions. Birchall writes, “[…] if museums can deliver snacks, why not three-course meals? Is there space in museums for slower and longer digital experiences for audiences to savour and enjoy?” Birchall uses the Wellcome Collection’s Mindcraft, an immersive and interactive tool that describes the history of hypnotism over the course of a six-chapter digital story, as a case study for his article. However, even the relatively long-form (for the digital realm) Mindcraft is only about 15 minutes long – a fraction of the length of your typical Slow Art Day event. Is this enough to ensure visitors’ full engagement with digital content? Can museums offer an immersive, engaging digital experience that avoids superficiality and truly deepens the visitor’s experience of a work of art without relying on gimmicks?

Read the article “Museums should make time for slower digital experiences” here and tell us your thoughts!

The starting point of the Wellcome Collection's "Mindcraft" story-telling experience, a virtual means of engaging the museum's audience with its collection.

The starting point of the Wellcome Collection’s “Mindcraft” story-telling experience, a virtual means of engaging the museum’s audience with its collection.