Artcasting research: key findings released

The Artcasting project's findings have been published in the form of an end-of-project report.

Artcasting was an AHRC-funded interdisciplinary project which took place over 14 months, from May 2015-June 2016. It brought together expertise in digital education and learning, arts evaluation, and design informatics, and was conducted in partnership with ARTIST ROOMS, National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. The project involved the design, development, piloting and analysis of an Artcasting methodology and a digital output in the form of a mobile app.

Key findings from the project include Artcasting's demonstration of the complexity of holding different understandings of value together, but also the richness of potential outcomes when evaluation and engagement are approached in theoretically and methodologically imaginative ways – in this case through the lens of mobilities theory. It showed how generative the conceptual connection between mobilities and evaluation can be, and uncovered implications for design practice in engaging with mobilities theory. Artcasting is a form of public interpretation of the artwork, where visitors created new and varied encounters with art in new places and times – the gallery guest becoming the host of a new exhibition. Ultimately, Artcasting generated an innovative approach through which galleries might engage the public in the capture of both qualitative and quantitative metrics, and challenged more traditional understandings of what is possible and desirable in evaluation.

Some key implications for practice from the project concern:

  • the value of asking new questions and taking inventive approaches to research collaborations between academic and cultural heritage organisations;
  • the complexity of app development for in-gallery use in terms of access, flexible implementation, and partnerships;
  • the need for cultural heritage organisations to reflect on their evaluation agenda; and to consider how evaluation practice can take better account of the value of dialogue;
  • how Artcasting offers a new approach to arts based evaluation derived from visitors’ imaginative encounters with art, and demonstrates that visitors can engage creatively with exhibitions in ways that provide rich insights for reflection and practice.

The full end of project report and executive summary are available on the project website at https://www.artcastingproject.net/project-outline/end-of-project-report/ .

The project team were Jen Ross (PI), Jeremy Knox, (CI), Chris Speed (CI), Claire Sowton (Research Associate) and Chris Barker (Software Engineer).