Audio Description of Art: The Role of Mental Imagery and Embodiment

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How can we make visual art accessible for audiences with visual impairment and blindness? Can audio description help blind and visually impaired (BVI) audiences to understand and experience art? Which ingredients must AD contain to evoke and stimulate the creation of vivid internal mental images? Can AD engage the target audiences and contribute to their aesthetic experience and enjoyment? What other means are there to enhance inclusion and immersion? The paper focuses on how audio description can evoke and stimulate the creation of vivid internal images via verbal descriptions of art and thereby contribute to an embodied aesthetic experience for the BVI audiences. It introduces research on image perception, image description, and mental imagery, relevant for audio description; summarise guidelines and recommendations for audio description of art; and offers authentic examples of AD of art tailored for the target audiences. The paper underlines the importance of reception studies and discusses the issue of inclusion and multi-sensory experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
JournalLund University Cognitive Studies
Issue number181
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug 30
EventExploring visual art auditively. Art, language, and sounds in culture and museums - Inter Arts Center, digital event, Malmö, Sweden
Duration: 2021 May 202021 May 21

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Communication Studies
  • Visual Arts
  • Other Humanities not elsewhere specified

Free keywords

  • visual art
  • accessibility
  • audio description
  • audio guide
  • mental images
  • aesthetic experience
  • blind and visually impaired audiences
  • embodiment
  • multi-sensory experience
  • image perception
  • image description


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