Eye tracking and visual arts. Introduction to the special thematic issue
There is no visual art without the eye, just like no music without the ear. Visual art does not happen in the eye, but it has to go through the eye. Even for artworks with little visual focus, as in Conceptual Art, we need eyes to create and receive them. In order to see we need to move our eyes. It is therefore not surprising that, for centuries, the eye and its movements have been a major topic of literature on art. It is equally unsurprising that along recent technological improvements of eye tracking, this technology has become prolific for studying visual arts. This special issue of the Journal of Eye Movement Research is the first platform that provides a broad picture of recent developments in this area. In this introduction we present a history of eye movement in art literature, followed by a sketch of some of the oculometric parameters used for studies of visual art. In the third section we showcase each contribution to this special issue.