A Multiple Case Study for Measuring the Experience of Virtual Reality and Physical Art Installations in the Museum

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


The present research investigated the audience responses to two installations selected from the exhibition “The Intelligence of Plants – an Alliance of Science and Art” at the Frankfurt Art Association. The first installation is ‘Embalmed Twins I & II’ by Berlinde De Bruyckere, and it is composed of two sculptures of fallen trees made of different materials. The other is ‘Treehugger: Wawona’ by Marshmallow Laser Feast, a Virtual Reality (VR) installation that explores the inner world of a tree. Visitors that voluntarily participated in the study contributed to the data collection by answering questionnaires and/or by wearing a wireless wrist-worn device (Empatica E4).The collected data concerned three experiential dimensions: 1. Affective dimension. Subjective reportage of the experience includes tools such as the Geneva Emotion Wheel (Scherer et al., 2013), Bodily Sensation Maps (Nummenmaa et al., 2014), and Perceived Self-Size scale (Bai et al., 2017) aimed at identifying the type and strength of the experienced emotions, as well as the bodily feelings underlying them. 2. Physiological dimension. Empatica E4 detected electro-dermal activity, heart rate, blood volume pulse, and interbeat interval for an exploration of the audience’s bodily changes during the experience of the installations. 3. Behavioral dimension. Empatica E4 3-axis accelerometer recorded motion-based activity to analyze movement in relation to the physical and VR environments of the installations. Findings of this multiple case study will allow insights into the following research questions: (1) How do the emotions elicited by the physical and VR installations relate to one’s self-awareness of bodily changes? (2) How are physiological and behavioral responses elicited in physical and VR installations? (3) What is the relation between the three dimensions of experience in the two installations? (4) Which installation evoked a more transcendent experience of sublime (in terms of intensity of emotions and feeling of small self)?
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 20-Jan-2023
Event Visual Science of Art Conference 2022 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 24-Aug-202227-Aug-2022


Conference Visual Science of Art Conference 2022
Abbreviated titleVSAC 2022
Internet address

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