The Cross-Domain Re-interpretation of Artistic Ideas


The goal of this study was to investigate the translate-ability of creative works into other domains. We tested whether people were able to recognize which works of art were inspired by which pieces of music. Three expert painters created four paintings, each of which was the artist’s interpretation of one of four different pieces of instrumental music. Participants were able to identify which paintings were inspired by which pieces of music at statistically significant above-chance levels. The findings support the hypothesis that creative ideas can exist in an at least somewhat domain-independent state of potentiality and become more well-defined as they are actualized in accordance with the constraints of a particular domain.

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