MCD special issue nr.4 - LAb[au]

digital cultures and music magazine
Special issue 04

about : Live A/V
Audiovisual performances

LIVE A/V : The special issue published by MCD, dedicated to audiovisual parformances.
Live Cinema, new trends in Vjing and visual arts, diversity of artistic practices mixing sounds and images in real time, festivals...

With 52 Portraits of Artists from the A/V Scene :
Abstract Birds, Addictive TV, AntiVJ, Cécile Babiole, Matthew Biederman, Frank Bretschneider, Byetone, Cellule d'Intervention Metamkine, chdh, Defasten, Demolecurisation, Evelina Domnitch & Dimitry Gefland, Louis Dufort, D-Fuse, Exyst, Gangpol & Mit, HC Gilje, Kurt Hentschläger, Ryoji Ikeda, incite/, JoDi, Yuki Kawamura, Herman Kolgen, Ryoichi Kurokawa, LAb[au], Ulf Langheinrich, lsd room, Mikomikona, Joachim Montessuis, Mylicon/EN, Carsten Nicolai, Otolab, Julien Ottavi aka The Noiser, Jean Piché, PurForm, Quayola, Tasman Richardson, RKO, RYbN, Chris Salter, SATI, Antoine Schmitt, Synchronator, Telcosystems, TeZ, The Light Surgeons / Christopher Thomas Allen, Transforma, TvEstroy, UVA United Visual Artists, Edwin Van Der Heide, XLR project, Yro

140 pages
english / french

Avalaible :
Print and digital format (pdf)


01_Can you tell us about your background, your influences and artistic references?

LAb[au] started as a collaborative trans-architecture agency in 1997 and has over the past twelve years evolved to an art studio with core members Manuel Abendroth, Jerome Decock and Els Vermang. LAb[au]'s name refers to the French phonetic writing of laboratory, 'labo', which stands for a place of artistic and technological experimentation and research, and the German reading of 'bau' which stands for construction and realisation. Further on, the use of 'bau' directly refers to the Bauhaus movement which for us stands for a milestone in the quest to examine and rearticulate the technological progress in relation to artistic practice, hence its prefiguring of design. The shift form the industrial to the post-industrial information society transposes our notion of design to the one of metadesign, displaying the theme of space- and time constructs relative to information processes. On the level of arthistoric av referencing, the work of Le Corbusier and Xenakis represents another milestone, aiming to embody the man versus technology concept within f.e. Le Poeme Electronique, a pavilion and audiovisual performance, prefiguring the conception of sound, vision and motion in an interdisciplinary coherence, where the pavilion's spatio-temporal construct elaborated a shift in the architectural conception of space with walls becoming the fluid embracing of the multidimensional space within. Architecture becomes here the modulator of different media among which space, sound an image.

02_How would you describe the video/audio dimension of your work?

LAb[au] has a transdisciplinary approach focusing parametrically on the transposition of different media, among which sound and vision but also light, kinetics and printed matter. Our most referential work within av is 'sPACE, Navigable Music', an immersive 3d engine allowing to render image in 360 degrees within polyphonic sound, with which created performances and installations until the beginning of 2007, and embodies some of the creation we hope to take up again in the future.


How do you go about composing and diffusing your work?

LAb[au]'s works are at the one hand custom creations for site-specific requests and at the other hand conceptual derivates of these site-specifically created artworks. This often results in large scale (inte)r(e)active urban artworks and small scale generative gallery artworks. Once a work is created its starts its journey through happenings, festivals, museums and galleries across the world, followed by a loyal group of curators.

Do you consider audio/video performances to be a (new) artistic discipline in their own right?

Audiovisual creation has been a commodity since centuries, going from antique times' sonic 'tableaux vivants' to opera to 'ballet mecaniques' to experimental film and successively introducing nowaydays' audiovisual performance. The technological progress changed the tools and methods, but the concept of interrelating media such as sound and image is revisited ever since.

03_How have technical breakthroughs modified/defined your work? What kind of impact do you think future breakthroughs will have on your artistic practices?

LAb[au]'s works are defined by technological progress in the sense that its research exists within the according transformation of spatial settings in n-dimensional form, following a technological determinism shaping man and the artifacts, art, we produce. As such our work concerns the research of an artistic language proper to the technological progress where digital media redefine all forms of expression. From this point of view technological breakthroughs have modified and determined our work and will continue to in the future.

04_Festivals, events, dvds, internet, etc.... which distribution model suits av best?


The character of a work defines its mode of distribution where the quality of a work assures its distribution. Further on, the complementary effort of the work's presence on events (festivals, happenings, ...), press, web 1 and 2 will do the rest. Distribution packages such as dvd and merchandise will promote and as such also diffuse the work, ideally branded by the artist's quality and / or labeled.

05_What projects are you currently working on? What have you got in the pipes?

At the moment we are preparing our exhibition at the Kunst Station Sankt Peter in Koln, Germany, where we are invited to premier electronic arts after 20 years of very contemporary features of artists such as Francis Bacon, Anish Kapoor, Carl Andre, Jenny Holzer,... etc. We're outputting for this occasion a new series of large scale computer-generated notations accompanying the lumino-kinetic sculpture 'f555'. Also LAb[au] is currently working on the realization of a permanent artwork for Paris; a sound-reactive light sculpture of 24 meter high in the South of Ile-de-France.

Contact Store Facebook Projects pdf en | fr | nl

Metalab02 History Navigator (requires the Adobe Flash Player 8+).