Inverting Metaphors with Artsy

This article seems to make the assumption that having a taste in music is the comparable to having a taste in art. While not blatantly stated the article seems to assume that most people need more help in developing a taste in art than in music. It also seems to aim to help people develop a more sophisticated taste in art, so it assumes that this is what people want. Art education and information are central to their mission their values seem to lie around this. It seems like they aim to make art more accessible to people of different socioeconomic backgrounds. 

My inverted goal was both to make art the opposite of data points, as in unconnected, mysterious, physical entities and to cater to “lowbrow” tastes. I came up with a mobile app called ‘Found’ that generates and art scavenger hunt for the user to go on. The user doesn’t get to know what they’re going to see, there’s no way to search for or connect the different locations of art in the app. Additionally the app directs users toward all kinds of art not just museums and galleries but comic shops, street art, soda can labels etc. It assumes that people want a surprising and tactile experience with art, it assumes that they’re open minded when it comes to “what art is,” they they’re open to both the high and low brow. The values of this would be to make art inconvenient, something one has to work to enjoy. It also makes art less pretentious because it’s more open about what art might be considered.  

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The biases I uncovered were about location, that this app isn’t accessible to all people. Some places might not have enough art resources to span the full high and low brow spectrum. Most art is concentrated in more affluent areas and this kind of plays into the pretense that the app is trying to challenge by keeping users in those areas. 

The principles it supports from Sengers’ “reflective design principles” would be that I inverted metaphors and attempted to cross boundaries, through making art the opposite of data point and including both high and lowbrow tastes. As well as used reflection to uncover the limitations of Artsy, through inverting the metaphors and values I was able to understand better the biases of Artsy in terms of its pretense.




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