Monday, 31 May 2021

Just What Do You Think You're Doing Here?

After being granted a Werkbijdrage Bewezen Talent by the Mondriaan Fund, my name, together with a link to my website, has been listed on the website of the fund.
From time to time I monitor the behavioural statistics of my website and I noticed a peculiar pattern was present in the behaviour of the visitors who were referred to my website through the Mondriaan Fund.

At the moment of writing I've had 42 visitors who arrived at my website by clicking a link on Mondriaan Fund's website.
Of those 42, six left immediately, having only visited the home page. Which makes me wonder why they bothered clicking the link at all.
A further five people proceeded to visit my Biography page. Four of them leave immediately after. One stuck around for a bit, but they only visited the landing pages of other categories, without seeing any images of work.
 
Most people however do come to my website see my work and of the 42 people who visit my website, 27 of them proceeded immediately to the Work header. 
14 people clicked on the first item of the list that is presented there and ten of them leave without seeing any other work. Only three visitors to the Work header clicked any item other than the first, with only two continuing further to other pages. The last ten people who initially visited the Work section proceeded on to other sections without looking at any works and none of them saw any images before they left my website.

The remaining group of four people first visit the Exhibitions section. One of them leaves immediately after, but the other three visit multiple pages, seeing a number of works and other images available on my website.

In summation, 33 of these 42 visitors saw only one work or less on their visit to my website.
I find it difficult to recognise myself in this behaviour. It is of course impossible to spend a lot of time looking at the work of every artist on the planet. I thus don't expect that every single visitor looks at every single thing. Yet at the same time, these statistics also don't adhere to what I would say is the bare minimum of effort one has to exert in order to form any kind of idea about another's work.
Whenever I make the decision to visit the website of an artist whose work I don't know, I always make sure that I get a fairly good idea of what they are working on. That means sampling at least a few works to try and distinguish their general ideas or working methods. Looking at one work, or none at all, of course doesn't allow you to do this. 
Only seeing one work of an artist says little about their concerns or abilities. Even if one only sees the first in a list and thereby assuming it to be the 'most important', it could still very well be the case that whatever they find important might not be what you find important. Making sure you see a number of things is therefore imperative for forming any kind of idea about another's work. 

There's also a marked difference with the behaviour of visitors who arrived at the website through other channels. Other visitors' behaviour is less predictable, with no clear pattern emerging for the length of their stay or their interests. While visiting the first listed item in the 'Work' section remains popular, for the rest the behaviours of the other visitors are more varied, mimicking my own personal behaviour more closely. 
I don't have an explanation for why the behaviour of the Mondriaan Fund visitors is somewhat atypical (and apathetic), but it's worthwhile to remark that it has been.