What is Slow Looking?

In our world driven by speed and constantly new technologies, Nxt Museum offers visitors an opportunity to engage with art on a deeper level. As part of our educational offering, our Slow Looking workshop is an exercise in slowing down the way we look at the world around us and how this practice can support deep learning and enhance impact.

How do we practice Slow Looking at Nxt Museum?
Through our expert-led Slow Looking workshops, visitors get to explore a single artwork through a series of guided activities, including close looking, careful listening and creative writing. Observing the world with care transcends the need for prior knowledge. The guiding philosophy behind slow looking is simple: the more time you invest in observing something, the more you see, and the more intriguing it becomes. This principle aligns seamlessly with our mission to provide an immersive journey, accessible to all, regardless of their expertise.

Fifteen Points / II (2019) by Random International

Open questions like, “What do you see? What do you notice? What are its parts? Why are they there?’ exercise observational skills, prompt introspection and invite visitors to connect with the artwork on a personal level.

In a rapidly developing world, there are few spaces dedicated to slowing down or practising mindfulness. The idea behind Slow Looking, apart from building cognitive skills, can also aid in stress reduction, allowing participants to navigate challenges by breaking them down into manageable parts. As artist Constantin Brancusi put it, ‘Simplicity is complexity resolved.’

What are we taking from Slow Looking in 2024?
The slow looking technique has been used by renowned institutions like the TATE Modern and the National Gallery, which have used the technique for mental health purposes – particularly during the pandemic times. Mindful engagement with art can offer visitors the time to look slow in a world of fast information.

Life In Our Minds: Motherflock / III (2023) by Random International and Danil Krivoruchko. Produced by Snark Art & PACE Verso

Our current exhibition, ‘Life in a Different Resolution’ by pioneering digital art group, Random International features 6 large scale immersive artworks visitors can walk around in and interact with. The artworks encourage slow looking not only by visual observation; it encompasses all senses, including sounds, reactions, energy, and emotions. In combination with the workshop visitors gain a deeper understanding of the art, enhancing the overall museum experience.

As we get into a new year, we invite you and your team to slow down to speed up. The mindful approach to observing, understanding, and connecting holds the potential to transform not only the museum experience but also the way we navigate the fast-paced, tech-driven world we inhabit.

Set aside some time for your group, book a visit to the museum and a meditative journey for your mind. Come away with the principles of slow looking and discover how deep focus sets you up for an impactful 2024.

Find our more about our workshops

Content Category
Team Nxt
29 Jan 2024