Last week, the artists who received awards through our Art + Technology Lab program visited L.A. This is the only time all six artists will gather as a group, so it was a valuable opportunity to introduce everyone before the artists commence work on their respective projects over the course of the coming year with support from LACMA and our advisory board of scientists, engineers, technologists, and artists.
We had a packed schedule that included a trip to Gensler’s downtown L.A. headquarters, where we met with advisor Philippe Paré, principal at the firm. We toured the model shop, talked with a technical expert about reality capture and parametric design, heard Tam Tran give an amusing overview of his experiments with drones, and learned about the virtual-environment generator and multi-surface experiments going on at the firm.
We headed to Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the second day for a tour with Dan Goods. We battled the heat in order to check out a replica of the Mars Curiosity rover, visited the Earth Orbiting Missions Operation Control Center, and talked with experts about the history of space exploration at NASA and JPL. We also got to see Dan's latest project, in his role as visualization strategist at JPL: a giant sculpture that expresses the constant transmission of data to and from space.
The group also spent time with Gwynne Shotwell, president and COO of SpaceX, who visited the Lab at LACMA to meet one-on-one with each of the artists and offer suggestions based on her perspective as an engineer. Max Maxwell and Chris DeFay of Google, Brian Mullins of DAQRI, and Shari Wenker of Accenture also spent time in conversation with the artists.
In the evening, we hosted a public event in the Lab, one of the first of an ongoing series, featuring artist John Craig Freeman (of the international collective Manifest.AR) and advisor Brian Mullins (CEO of DAQRI). Brian gave an overview of the current state of augmented reality and experiments with EEG technology, and John Craig followed with a rousing discussion of virtual space and public art.
The Art + Technology program allows artist projects to evolve in response to ideas, materials, methods, and opportunities they encounter via our advisors and LACMA. Tavares Strachan, Annina Rüst, John Craig Freeman, Rachel Sussman, Taeyoon Choi, and E Roon Kang will pursue their projects over the coming year. There is no requirement to collaborate with an advisor, and we have not made one-to-one matches between artists and participating organizations. The process is more organic; we know from the original Art and Technology program at LACMA in the late 1960s that sometimes the most idiosyncratic connections spark the beginnings of a new direction for an artist, and the role of the Art + Technology Lab is to facilitate those connections and encourage new work.
For more information and invitations to upcoming public programs, visit lacma.org/lab and join the mailing list.
Amy McCabe Heibel