Art Laboratory Berlin was founded in Autumn 2006 by an international team of art historians and artists. As a non-commercial art space, it was established as a platform for inter-disciplinary exhibition projects in an international context. Our main focus is the presentation of contemporary art at the meeting point of art, science and technology.
Sustainable interdisciplinarity - Arts & Science
Art Laboratory Berlin pursues a sustainable form of inter-disciplinarity, going beyond the mere juxtaposition of art and science. We want to create constructive synergies between artists and scientists, to enable transparency and content production. Often, in our exhibition and research projects, we have been able to create lasting networks which extended beyond traditional relationships between the science and art, to create new forms of inter-disciplinary exchange.
Immersive inductive curatorial practice
It is also an important aim of Art Laboratory Berlin, in the form of a close, long-term collaboration with artists, to follow the creative processes and make this visible in the exhibitions. Although we always base our exhibition series on a general theoretical concept, we understand our curatorial practice not as deductive, but inductive. Instead of subordinating the works on exhibition to theory, we are interested in an inductive approach - that rather places the individual artistic work at the centre of inquiry.
Individual forms of art education
Art Laboratory Berlin has achieved a model form of art education by using various formats to reach a wide international audience of all ages. Through a conscious openness to different disciplines we manage to take a variety of specialized approaches to each exhibition. Many students groups visit us. In the form of seminars, we discuss current positions and issues in the context of ongoing exhibitions and events. Art Laboratory Berlin also offers regular artist and curator talks that make the artistic and curatorial processes of our projects transparent to a wide audience. Children's workshops are aimed specifically at young visitors and make important topics accessible in a creative way.
One part of our art education programme has been to make literature and source material available in our spaces: an example of this was the macro/microbiologies library, a study room which existed parallel to the last of the four exhibitions of our [macro]biologies & [micro]biologies series. A wide variety of specialized books and texts, relevant to the topics of the series, as well as source books about the works of the artists, allowed the public to delve deeper into the subject matter. Discursive debate is an essential part of our curatorial practice. Art Laboratory Berlin has also expanded on its exhibition programme on several occasions with international inter-disciplinary conferences highlighting current scholarly and artistic research.
Points of Focus
Since 2012 Art Laboratory Berlin has increasingly concentrated on a curatorial practice which is closely linked to current issues and phenomena of the 21st century (see below). Our initial focus point on inter-disciplinary practice, from 2007-2009, brought forth the exhibition series: Art & Music, Art & Text, Art & Science, Arts & Law. The series Artists in Dialog (2010-11) involved two artistic positions to which a subject, motif or an artistic strategy was the starting point for a exhibition in dialog, which also sought to transgress the traditional roles of artist and curator.
In 2011 Art Laboratory Berlin presented Sol LeWitt: Artist's Books with the entire artist books of the American conceptual artist Sol LeWitt. Visitors could take the artist books from custom built cabinets for individual study. Parallel to the exhibition Art Laboratory Berlin organised an international inter-disciplinary Sol LeWitt_Symposium to support a dialog between art and scholarship as well as theory and practice.
In 2011/12 Art Laboratory Berlin presented a series of exhibitions, performances and talks, Time and Technology, which took as its theme the effects of the latest technology on our perception of time, and places this in the context of international artistic production. The technological developments of the last 25 years have considerably changed the way we live, work and communicate. The series presented artistic contributions that reflected the latest technologies and their effect on changing forms of work and communication (such as altered senses of time and new forms of temporal perception).
From Autumn 2012 to Summer 2013 Art Laboratory Berlin presented a series of four exhibitions along with an inter-disciplinary conference on the theme of Synaesthesia. The increased interest in the phenomenon of synaesthesia, a diverse form of multisensory perception, has made itself noticeable in both science and contemporary art. A strikingly strong interest for coupled sense perception can be seen in many current artistic works. This is not surprising, since multimedia and multi-sensory experiences have become increasingly common in our daily lives. The inter-disciplinary conference Synaesthesia. Discussing a Phenomenon in the Arts, Humanities and (Neuro-)Science completed the series in July 2013.
Through March 2015 Art Laboratory Berlin presented a series of exhibitions, talks and events - [macro]biologies & [micro]biologies - with the goal of creating a multi-faceted theoretical platform for artists, scientists and the public to discuss topics such as the planet, "nature" and organisms in connection within the context of art and the life sciences.
In 2016-17 Art Laboratory Berlin presents a series of exhibitions, events and conferences on the theme of Nonhuman Subjectivities and Nonhuman Agents.
Berlin is run by Christian de Lutz and Regine Rapp.
Christian de Lutz is a visual artist and curator, originally from New York. He works in photography, new media, video and installation. His artworks deal with social, political and cultural themes, with an emphasis on technology, migration and cultural borderlines. He has collaborated with artists and institutions in Germany, Spain and Southeast Europe as well as exhibiting in Europe, the USA and Japan.
As a co-founder
of Art Laboratory Berlin he has curated over 30 exhibitions and developed
a number of series, including Time and Technology and Synaesthesia
as well as [macro]biologies & [micro]biologies. His curatorial
work concentrates on the interface of art, science and technology in the
21st century. Additionally he has published numerous articles in journals
and books, and is active in a number of collaborative organisations including
transmediale/ re-Source, Synapse (Haus der Kulturen der
Welt) and The Berlin Network of Free Project Spaces and Initiatives.
Regine Rapp is an art historian and curator. Her specific fields of research for 20th and 21st century art are installation art, image text theory, artist books, and art & science collaborations. Currently she is researching spatial aesthetics of contemporary installation art. She worked as Assistant Professor for Art History at the Burg Giebichenstein Art Academy Halle until Autumn 2013.
She is co-director of Art Laboratory Berlin, which she co-founded in 2006. She curated over 30 exhibitions (exhibition series on Time and Technology, Synaesthesia and macro/microbiologies) and has published several books. Concurrent to the exhibition Sol LeWitt. Artist's Books in 2011 she conceived and realised the international Sol LeWitt_Symposium at Art Laboratory Berlin. Together with Christian de Lutz she developed the international transdisciplinary conference Synaesthesia. Discussing a Phenomenon in the Arts, Humanities and (Neuro-)Science, 2013 at Art Laboratory Berlin. Her new publication [macro]biologies & [micro]biologies. Art and the Biological Sublime in the 21st Century reflects theoretically Art Laboratory Berlin's last series from 2014-15.
She is a
member of the International Association on Word and Image Studies
(IAWIS) and SYNAPSE Curators' Network (Haus der Kulturen der Welt).
Olga Shmakova studied Art History at the Russian State University for the Humanities (RGGU) in Moscow, with a research focus on modern and contemporary art (visual arts, installation art, art in context). In 2008/2009 she researched at the Humboldt University, Berlin on her project "The Search for an Ideal Artistic Language in the Multimedia Projects of the Russian Avant-garde and the German Bauhaus." She has recently completed her Masters in Art History and Image Science with an outstanding master's thesis on Synesthesia in art of the 20th century.
studied Biology at the Dayalbagh University in Agra India, with a research
focus on Genetics, Molecular Biology, Biotech technology, and pharmacology
etc. From 2010 to 2015 she researched at the Dayalbagh University, Agra
on her project "Phylogenetic Studies in selected groups of Squamates
in semi-arid region of Agra, India." She received a fellowship by the
University Grant Commission Research Fellowship in Science for Meritorious
students, India, for research. She is currently employed with Leibniz Institute
for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW). At Art Laboratory Berlin she is responsible
for collecting and structuring data from various sources and generating
actionable insights, with a current focus on the Nonhuman Agents series.