In the eye of the beholder: Employing statistical analysis and eye tracking for analyzing abstract paintings

Victoria Yanulevskaya, Jasper Uijlings, Elia Bruni, Andreza Sartori, Elisa Zamboni, Francesca Bacci, David Melcher, Nicu Sebe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Most artworks are explicitly created to evoke a strong emotional response. During the centuries there were several art movements which employed different techniques to achieve emotional expressions conveyed by artworks. Yet people were always consistently able to read the emotional messages even from the most abstract paintings. Can a machine learn what makes an artwork emotional? In this work, we consider a set of 500 abstract paintings from Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto (MART), where each painting was scored as carrying a positive or negative response on a Likert scale of 1-7. We employ a state-of-the-art recognition system to learn which statistical patterns are associated with positive and negative emotions. Additionally, we dissect the classification machinery to determine which parts of an image evokes what emotions. This opens new opportunities to research why a specific painting is perceived as emotional. We also demonstrate how quantification of evidence for positive and negative emotions can be used to predict the way in which people observe paintings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMM 2012 - Proceedings of the 20th ACM International Conference on Multimedia
Pages349-357
Number of pages9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Event20th ACM International Conference on Multimedia, MM 2012 - Nara, Japan
Duration: Oct 29 2012Nov 2 2012

Publication series

NameMM 2012 - Proceedings of the 20th ACM International Conference on Multimedia

Conference

Conference20th ACM International Conference on Multimedia, MM 2012
CountryJapan
CityNara
Period10/29/1211/2/12

Keywords

  • abstract paintings
  • emotion recognition
  • eye tracking
  • visual art

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software

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    Yanulevskaya, V., Uijlings, J., Bruni, E., Sartori, A., Zamboni, E., Bacci, F., Melcher, D., & Sebe, N. (2012). In the eye of the beholder: Employing statistical analysis and eye tracking for analyzing abstract paintings. In MM 2012 - Proceedings of the 20th ACM International Conference on Multimedia (pp. 349-357). (MM 2012 - Proceedings of the 20th ACM International Conference on Multimedia). https://doi.org/10.1145/2393347.2393399