Research

Tine’s research contributes knowledge to how we play in culture and provides a working model for developing audience participation and social engagement. Her findings represent original research in the fields of interactive art practice, experience design and playable cities.

I believe that play is important to society as a whole. It is part of our social fabric and lies at the core of many social bonds. I don’t define play as being only for children. I view play culturally and as part of adaptation. Our own evolution and survival as a species shows the centrality of play’ says Bech.

In our culture we think of play as “silly” and see it as opposite to the seriousness of work whereas in fact the opposite of play is not work, but depression.’

In her PhD ‘Playful Interactions: A Critical Inquiry into Interactive Art and Play’ Tine Bech developed a model for making playful interactive artworks and the creation of a ‘vocabulary of play’ to demonstrate the different kinds of play initiated. It contributes to debates about the design and implementation of increasingly interactive and ‘smart’ environments. The model consists of a series of tangible making gambits (tactics) for eliciting playful interactions from the audience. Using practice-based research methods four artworks were created and presented in several exhibitions. Underpinning the process of creating conditions and possibilities for playful interaction were methods of observation of participant’s interactions, in order to improve the artworks throughout the research process.

Its conclusions represent original research in the fields of interactive art practice and playful experience design. The keycontributions to knowledge are:

  1. A conceptual framework for designing, and reflecting on, playful audience behaviour in the context of interactive art
  2. A comprehensive scholarly engagement with diverse theories of play and games resulting in new insights and syntheses of knowledge
  3. New robust and sensitive approaches to audience evaluation and observation for interactive art and other forms of playful experience design.

The thesis sets out a succinct but comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the history and discourses of playful interaction within modern fine art practice, along with a critical understanding of the relationship of the candidate’s practice and scholarly concerns within these discourses and history.

This is easily one of the most thoughtful analyses I have seen of how people engage with interactive work. It is grounded in extremely detailed observations of how audiences responded to four of Bech’s own artworks, and it lets us in on the making process for those works. It also surveys some of the different theoretical frameworks that other interactive artists have used for their work, some of the pitfalls of the area and the ‘gambits’ that Bech has developed to address these difficulties. It, therefore, gives a rich and informative view into Bech’s own process and the audience response to her different invitations to play. Alongside this, it provides a wider context that points at a lot of fascinating installations and texts by other artists (although, of course, it is not intended to be a survey of the whole field of interactive art). Plus, for a PhD thesis, it is shockingly readable!

-Holly Gramazio

The thesis sets out a succinct but comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the history and discourses of playful interaction within modern fine art practice, along with a critical understanding of the relationship of Bech’s practice and scholarly concerns within these discourses and history

-Dr Seth Giddings

Tine has been thinking very carefully about the dynamics of participation, about the affordances of different materials and social spaces for audiences and users to be playfully involved, sharing public experiences is unique. She has been formulating new ways of understanding and classifying these behaviours, new ways of provoking and promoting them. If this sounds dry I should stress that her work delights and enchants in equal measure.

Tine has the platform to become a leading light in a new wave of artists whose currency is experience, shared and celebrated. She has the potential to create experiences where participation, interaction and sharing have impacts on people and places that revitalize civic life.

-Professor Jonathan Dovey 

I do adore your works. As my thesis is about playful experience in urban spaces, I found you during my research process, and you are the most incredible artist in this field.

-Niloofar Nedaei