CONCEPT 2004_1 - LAb[au]

CONCEPT 2004.1
Korean architectural review

Jo, Hyeon-jin;
Concept, Architecture & Concept, CApress

featuring LAb[au]'s projects:

1_ en_jeu_x (EN 3+4 JEUx 3), interactive scenic performance
2_ hisTHORy, web-project for the Belgium dance company thor
3_ RGB pavilion

The publication takes part of a series, 3 issues, presenting a wide range of LAb[au] projects
The interview has been realized in relation to the 'Concept' publication series about lab[au]:

Concept 2003.10 - presenting LAb[au] projects:
mnemotic space ; electronic bodyness & space navigable music

Concept 2003.12 - presenting LAb[au] projects:
GameVillage ; lightscapes - displacement maps & CityScapes - imagineering the urban condition

Concept 2004.1 - presenting LAb[au] projects:
hist[h]ory , en3+4 jeu x 3 , rgb pavilion

Interview in-between Jo, Hyeon-jin _ Chief Editor Concept & LAb[au]
not published



Category: Net art , Net Design
project team: LAb[au] _ M.Abendroth, J.Decock, A.Plennevaux,
keywords: line in time, screen space, inter-textuality

hisTHORy : Official web-site of the Belgium contemporary dance company THOR conceived and realized by LAB[au].

The website displays the production of the dance company 'thor' of the last 11 years _ hisTHORy. The general idea of the navigation system of the web site is based on the principle of time indexing and this on the level of the general structure: the years of production, length of a dance performance or a dance sequence but also on the way the content (the image sequences) itself is structured.

The central frame of the web site is a scrollable horizontal (left-right) frame allowing the user to consult step by step the different image sequences [videos] of a dance performance. Each click extends the central frame, starting from a 'compressed' image of all the frames constituting a video sequence to the extrusion of it one by one. Through this extruded central image frame the user can navigate by moving the mouse left-right and where the speed (frame per second) depends on its x (horizontal) mouse position. By moving the mouse to the left/right border of the screen the images start to move [backwards/forwards] and where the maximum speed of 12 frames per second leads to a continuous view of the frames [images] _ a video sequence.

Thus the factor time is the main parameter through which the user experience the website visualized through the articulated line _ a line in time moving according to the navigation of the user.


More than a portfolio the web-site transcribes user interactions to a movement, a dance, on the representational surface of the screen.

Technological construct:

The web-site explores streaming technologies and variable based programming (action scripts); it is a dynamic conception of information display. The navigation system and the time based information indexation thus relate technology to visual and spatial concepts _ movements in infoscapes.


en_jeu_x (En jeu 3+4 X 3)
category: Performative Art
project team: LAb[au] _ M.Abendroth, J.Decock, A.Plennevaux, E.Vermang
.....................Wolf K _ Res Publica
keywords: Interactive scenic device, Combinatory play, Hypertext/Metatext narration

The performance Enjeu3+4 X 3 is the result of the collaboration between the French dance company res publica, the Belgian laboratory of architecture and urbanism LAb[au] and the French-Swedish composer Nils M├ęchin. By the triple approache - scenic, architectural and sound - the creation composed in a digital environment suggested a non-dissociable language of representation.

A time, given at the beginning of the show, initialises a countdown. What will happen in the given time span will be the result of the audience's intervention on the scenic setting of the performance via a multimedia interface, projected on the back of the scene and from which the options chosen by the audience will take shape.


Like a combinatory game, this space of projection and interaction, of 3+4X3 sequences, examines the relations between scene/space - where, actor/audience - who, and play/representation - what. In this manner the scene, the actors performance, the music and the interface constitute successively a language defining the performance as a trace to be negotiated with the public. The reduction to an elementary scenic language based on its very codes explores representation according to the introduction of real time interactivity, an inter-relation between the public and the actors. In this manner each representation constitutes a specific event questioning the modalities of a medium through an hypertextual device.


category: Architecture / Media Architecture
project team: LAb[au] _ M.Abendroth, J.Decock

keywords: Fictional space, Hypersurface, Mixed Reality, degree of virtualities

The pavilion project works out a concept for an exhibition and reception space while extending the entire building into an animated images space, thus transforming the traditional relation from architecture, space, and image, known as cinema or black box principle. Based on a light structure the pavilion is composed of an outer membrane in a transparent and printed, / CMYK code, plastic sheet, and a reactive and animated inner one, receiving video and light projection, / RGB code. This inner membrane is a 'blob space', drawn out of the video projectors angles, realized in a semi-transparent "un-tinted" plastic mirror getting animated by video projections.During daytime the inner membrane operates as a sun protection filter, transposing and reflecting the outer context of the pavilion into a distorting mirror play, anamorphous, while offering the possibility to project


video materials in the inner space of the pavilion. But the un-tinted mirror produce its most astonishing effect on non covered surfaces of the inner membrane where the visitor can see through the sheet while seeing simultaneously projected images on the surface of it. Working as an enormous 'Glasstron' (virtual screen) the inner membrane merges simulated realities with the one on the outside of the pavilion. Each visitor is thus entirely 'in' the space of projected images dealing with different degrees of representation (virtualities): from light-shadow and reflected ones to fictional space.

In the evening, when the projectors light inside the pavilion gets stronger than the outside light, the membrane turns into an animated screen, even visible from the outside. Furthermore, between the two membranes, RGB projectors sample colorful lights with the video projections, thus exploiting the cinematic construction of fiction and space as a light device. The entire device thus is working on the principle of contrast and intensity of light sources in order to project space and fiction. In this manner the design strategy proposes to erase the traditional relation between the viewer and the screen, the so-called 'black box' effect, in order to fuse fiction into real space.

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