Yes indeed a lot to cover and agreed its not really worth in this
discussion voicing ongoing the ongoing relationship between contemporary
art and new media based practice.
Just as a quick adjunct to my previous post, we wrote this article
With Nottingham based critical writer Will McCrory to unfurl some of these
discussions and attempt to gain some critical distance on the laboratory
project in Sideshow. I think also it may well resonate with Andy Gracie's
> Thanks for the post Mat. So many issues to address...
> I don't want to go into the debate concerning the relationship between
> mainstream contemporary art and new media practice other than to observe
> that artists can choose their domain in order to actively seek
> Their motivations can be highly varied but there will always be those who,
> when they see their domain becoming mainstream, choose to move on before
> crowd arrives.
> The lab-life activity you mention sounds very interesting. I assume you
> read Latour, Biagioli, Ingold and others on lab culture and will be aware
> that there are many initiatives around the world, over the past few
> where artists have been able to work in lab environments for extended
> periods, sometimes for years. Some of these activities have been studied
> written up.
> Is your lab independent or is it part of a larger infrastructure? If it is
> independent I would be curious to know how you sustain its activities. If
> is part of a larger organisation I would be equally interested to know how
> you justify its existence to those who hold the purse strings.
> What activities do you undertake in the lab? Do you work with scientists
> various disciplines) or are you seeking to appropriate lab methods to
> artistic activities? Or do you see the lab as something distinct from
> scientific practices?
> The crowd-sourcing dimension of what you are discussing is also of
> particularly as we are undertaking a research project that is looking at
> some closely related areas (www.elmcip.net). I am sure you are aware of
> Furtherfield are setting up their activities as an open lab or studio,
> extending from real space into network space. Are there connections with
> your initiative or is what you are doing quite different?
> On 03/03/2011 00:45, "Mat Trivett" <[log in to unmask]>
>> Hi All,
>> This is the first time for me posting on this list, so excuse my
>> naivity. I think for me the Laboratory Life project/exhibition/
>> residency/laboratory/workshop/experiment is really interesting.
>> Unfortunately I didn't get to make it down but friends and
>> collaborators of mine did. I feel that there is a disconnect between
>> the realms of the digital and the analogue in the way that so called
>> 'digital art' is viewed by institutions and funders and therefore
>> framed to the viewer or audience.
>> I think a lot of artists and curators don't necessarily work with
>> digital technologies but possibly more with the lexicon and protocol
>> of digital technologies, the language of network culture as the basis
>> for their work. With laboratory life, this blurring of disciplines
>> and egos relates in a way to the ways in which digital technologies
>> are changing the ways of making. Closer to our biology, closer to the
>> language of the internet and of the media used to make work.
>> Last year during the premiere of the British Art Show in Nottingham
>> (UK), I was involved in a similar project commissioned by Sideshow
>> (the fringe to BAS7) titled LAB (as was the moniker under which we
>> worked) http://wearelab.org/ it reflected a desire to borrow from
>> hacking culture and open-source dynamics to explore new models of the
>> 'making' you describe. What might laboratory practice look like
>> across a range of media? How might a lab be different from a studio
>> or a residency? What does this collaborative process or online
>> processes like the wiki look like in real world scenarios? We are
>> currently attempting to archive the various conversations, experiments
>> and micro-projects that emerged from this messy process.
>> There have been various projects both individual and collaborative
>> that formed as a result of this cataclysmic process. What was called
>> LAB is now called The Institute for Boundary Interactions Andy I
>> would really like to speak with you more about your practice and
>> furthermore about Laboratory Life.
>> What space is there within 'digital art' structures for projects or
>> artists who utilise this language of networks in the real world or
>> across worlds? What happens when the media is human and not digital
>> at all but more about connecting things? Connecting people, sharing
>> knowledge and creating structures for sharing knowledge borrowing from
>> the successes and failures of the 'many minds create knowledge' adage?
>> There is one question that I am really interested in, in my personal
>> practice currently of how might we understand vernacular or heriditary
>> knowledge in the connected world? So relating back to the topic...how
>> might analogue knowledge be digitised or conversely how might digital
>> knowledge (semiotics) be humanised? How might 'networked' knowledge
>> be generational?
>> Mathew 'Newbie' Trivett
>> On 2 Mar 2011, at 22:44, Ele wrote:
>>> Hi Andy,
>>> This sounds a truly rich and exciting experience. The fluid and
>>> improvised nature of the experimentation sounds like it really
>>> worked too. It seems to reflect an integrated approach to making
>>> using whatever materials necessary (reminds me of the art school
>>> breaking down media specific art disciplines to just be Art). But
>>> did the project also rely on some in-depth subject-specific
>>> knowledge too?
>>> But do feel free to put those rehearsed debates aside. Were there
>>> over-arching lines of enquiry that emerged? Ideas, concepts,
>>> critical frameworks that worked across the board?
>>> I've just been to a talk by Boris Groys on the contemporary nature
>>> of the contemporary art musuem based on the questions of time based
>>> art similar to those discussed on this list over the last ten years
>>> (the loop, the original, hot and cold media etc). And I was reminded
>>> of McLuhans claim that every new media investigates the aesthetics
>>> of it's preceding media (or something like that). Perhaps this can
>>> be apparent in art exhibition making too. In that each generation of
>>> curators adopts the curatorial critique of the artists before
>>> them(?) Groys argued that the truly contemporary work emerges at the
>>> point of exhibition. And your description of the provisional nature
>>> of the 'workshop lab in public' or 'lab as exhibition' seems to keep
>>> the contemporaneity of the work alive in a particularly strong way.
>>> It would be interesting to hear of other examples of this involving
>>> different kinds of making?
>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>> On 2 Mar 2011, at 17:52, andy gracie <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> hi all
>>>> I'm Andy Gracie, and i'm excited to be invited to join in with this
>>>> I'm just nearing the end of a thrilling two weeks in Brighton,
>>>> where I was leading the 'laboratory life' project with Lighthouse
>>>> and The Arts Catalyst. This project was based on the Interactivos
>>>> model devised by Media-Lab Prado in Madrid and featured 5 lead
>>>> artists whose practice engages with science, and 17 collaborators
>>>> drawn from various artistic and scientific fields.
>>>> I think that the things that have been going on here reflect pretty
>>>> much all of the themes that have been outlined for this discussion.
>>>> We have had home made performative human centrifuges, challenging
>>>> probes into the legality of our own bodies and those of the people
>>>> being used as human test beds, dressmaking with micro-biological
>>>> dyes, realtime scientific interpretations through automatic
>>>> drawing, the construction of a functioning and operative sterile
>>>> laboratory using items from hardware and gardening stores, and
>>>> hacker/craft constructions of astrobiological simulators with
>>>> custom bred fruit flies. The fact that all this was being carried
>>>> out under the intense scrutiny of the public eye ensured that the
>>>> performative and challenging aspects of each project were to the
>>>> One of the beautiful qualities of all this inter-disciplinary,
>>>> hybrid, analogue meets digital, craft meets bioart, function meets
>>>> theatre process was that it was completely and utterly fluid and
>>>> improvised. And all completely complimentary. I like to see it as
>>>> evidence that it is when we decide to push the analysis of media
>>>> and approach to one side we can really begin to let our hair down
>>>> and generate ideas, projects and collaborations that produce
>>>> results that are always fresh, always innovative and always thought
>>>> ||||<web>|||||::: hostprods dot net
>>>> ||||<blog>|||||::: hostdev dot wordpress dot com
>> Mat Trivett
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>> Mob: +447738879173
>> Skype: mathewtrivett
> Simon Biggs
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