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(Research in progress) Formation of an Art Concept: How is Visual Information from Drawing Utilized by an Artist in Concept Formation?

Doctoral Program, Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies,
The University of Tokyo

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Keywords: concept formation, contemporary artist, drawing, interview data, case study

When producing a new series of artworks, how does the artist form an art concept? This case study analyzes from the perspective of cognitive science the early process of art-making by a contemporary artist, Takeshi Shinohara, active internationally since the 1970s. This research is important because, until now, the early processes in the art concept formation have not been elucidated empirically. In order to capture this the formation process, we interviewed Shinohara about his creation process once a month for some ten months.

In our previous study (Takagi, Kawase, Yokochi & Okada, 2015) , his generation of art concept was identified as falling into three phases (Drawing, Photography, Hands-on in chronological order) by quantitative analysis using text corpus. This study focuses on Shinohara's concept searching activities during the Drawing phase. It includes a bottom-up analysis of drawings and discussion of critical key words as a qualitative analysis using the data from our case study. This shows that the visual information collected from the drawing led to his generation of sub-components of art concept "border" inspired by The Large Glass by Duchamp. Furthermore, "border" worked as a strong constraint and led to generation of his art concept White Noise being found in the Photography phase. This research also discovered that the formation process of the art concept was influenced by feedback from the externalization of his ideas and by the process of actually making the artworks. These findings are consistent with the cognitive studies in the domain of art (e.g., Stokes, 2006) , and also in the domain of engineering and design (e.g., Suwa & Tversky, 1997) . Further studies of multiple cases and different domains will be needed to generalize our findings.

Takagi, K., Kawase, A., Yokochi, S., & Okada, T. (2015 b). Proceedings, Formation of an art concept: A case study using quantitative analysis of a contemporary artist's interview data. 37th Annual Cognitive Science Society meeting, Pasadena, California, U.S.A. July 23-25th.
Stokes, P. D. (2005). Creativity from Constraints: The Psychology of Breakthrough. New York: Springer Publishing
Suwa, M., & Tversky, B. (1997). What do architects and students perceive in their design sketches? A protocol analysis. Design Studies, 18, 385-403.

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