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LACMA introduces lab offering artists grants and lab space to experiment with new technologies
Former LACMA curators Jane Livingston and Maurice Tuchman discuss the granzfeld concept with artists Robert Irwin and James Turrell. Photo: Malcolm Lubliner.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art announces its Art + Technology initiative, a new program and lab space that promotes innovative ideas and fosters collaboration across disciplines and industries. The endeavor will award grants, in-kind support, and facilities at the museum to help artists take purposeful risks in order to explore new boundaries in both art and science. The Art + Technology Lab and artist projects at LACMA are made possible by Accenture, DAQRI, and NVIDIA, with additional support from Google and SpaceX. A grant from the Los Angeles County Productivity Investment Fund is supporting the public lab at the museum to house the initiative, including artist demos and public programming.

“In 1967, LACMA introduced the Art and Technology program to inspire collaboration with artists and industry,” said Michael Govan, LACMA’s CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director. “Nearly 50 years later, we’ve updated the program to encompass the entrepreneurial spirit redefining so many industries. The Art + Technology Lab is designed to be an open and impartial space for artists to explore new frontiers.”

Advisory Board member and SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell said, “Artists, technologists, and engineers are all innate creators, and the results of this initiative will be inspiring.”

The original Art and Technology program at LACMA (1967–71) paired prominent global artists such as Robert Irwin, James Turrell, Claes Oldenberg, and Andy Warhol with major technology and engineering corporations. The impact of that exhibition, which was presented at EXPO ’70 in Osaka, Japan and LACMA in 1971, is still recognized by artists and scholars as a landmark moment in the history of art in Los Angeles and beyond. The new Art + Technology Lab is inspired by similar principles and will encourage new collaborations between artists and technology innovators in an independent lab setting.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) is available online at Interested artists and artist collectives should submit their initial proposal by January 27, 2014. With the support of the Advisory Board and LACMA, grant recipients will pursue new interactive projects to be presented at the museum. Prototypes, case studies, and data resulting from Art + Technology projects will also be published online.

“We're enthusiastic in our support of LACMA’s Art + Technology Lab,” said Thomas Williams, Google Senior Director of Engineering and Los Angeles Site Director. “It's daring and intriguing as a publicly accessible experiment between two worlds that can be well served by spending more time with each other.”

The Art + Technology Lab will be located in LACMA’s newly renovated Balch Research Library, transformed to house the project with support from the Los Angeles County Productivity Investment Fund. The Lab can accommodate up to 30 participants for hands-on workshops and public programs, including talks and demonstrations by artists and technologists in residence. Additional Art + Technology programming, including lectures, film screenings, and activities for students and families, will take place throughout LACMA’s campus.

“LACMA has an established history of pairing artists and technologists to create projects that advance public understanding of both disciplines. The Commission unanimously approved funding for LACMA’s Art + Technology Lab to continue this history and expose the public to meaningful experiments with emerging technologies,” said Victoria Pipkin Lane, Executive Director, Quality and Productivity Commission, County of Los Angeles.

“LACMA is on the cutting edge of new ideas for the 21st century, and we are proud to play a role in helping them achieve their goals,” added Edward T. McIntyre, Chair, Quality and Productivity Commission, County of Los Angeles.

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