LAb[au] practice

How would you describe your practice?

LAb[au]'s work is situated between art and architecture ranging from permanent public art to installations and artworks. The three members of the studio have an architectural background and even if our works would rather be seen as art, they are grounded on a deep architectural thinking. Many projects involves programming, sound, light... design and as such we are a multi/cross/trans... disciplinary studio but I think the most common and simple description would be that we are installation artists.


LAb[au] methodology

What informs the way you work?

Our work is characterised by a methodological approach based on the combination of three approaches. The first is about systems since all our projects are - or involves in their fabrication, conception... - reactive, interactive, generative, analytical systems. The second is about concepts which are recurrent and proper to our work. For example the concept fLUX, the relation between light and flows, or the one of 'binary states', the relation between programming and the state of a kinetic, luminous... artwork. The third is defined by our reductionist language dealing with fundamental and elementary 'issues' of art such as the one of form, colour... Consequently we see our work in direct relation with 'art concrete' and in continuity to kinetic and cybernetic art of the 60's. For this reason we use the term of systems art when talking about of work.


What are you working on at the moment?

For the moment we are working on an exhibition called 'digital poem' at Brussels' Atomium. We present during the entire summer new works exploring the 'issue' of colour and how we relate it to parameters such as time, (chrono.prints) movement (m0za1que) and temperature (chroma). At the same time we are starting the realisation of a permanent public art project for the 'Femto' research centre in Besancon, France. Here the question of the 'femto' scale, reaching the level of light photons, inspired us to conceive an artwork based on magnifying lenses to modify the perception of our environment though the bending of light.


future ideas

What are the most important challenges, ideas or opportunities facing architects and designers in the near future?

The technological developments of the last decades are at the base of the shift from an industrial to an information society, where computation and communication technologies extend our very 'senses'. The notions of body, matter, space and time are increasingly defined by the unit of information; introducing new parameters of space and time - presence, such as immersion (real/virtual) and interaction (real-time, entropy) as well as new parameters of materiality (nano-technologies and smart memory materials) or biological (gene technologies) ones in its definition. These developments questions not only production methods but involves deep social, political and economic change and as such is opening a huge artistic field of exploration for new cultural codes and semantics.


from sense to sense

How does your work relate to this?

We often use the expression 'from sense (esthésis) to sense (sémiosis)' when discussing how our work relates to the above mentioned challenges and changes. We are concerned about new aesthetics and mostly the notion of beauty which we only can apprehended when considering a specific time. We understand 'beauty' as an aesthetic and ethic value, a synthesis of the sensibility and deep meaning of our time.


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