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Art + Technology Lab at LACMA

A lab where art bounds up with technology

William Trossell and Matthew Shaw of ScanLAB Projects

Art and technology, a reunion

© ScanLAB Projects

What corporations and art always carry in common is that they always pursue innovation for a better world. The partnership between Hyundai Motor and LACMA(Los Angeles County Museum of Art) is based on the common area “technology and innovation” and this includes an interesting project besides exhibitions. The project called the “Art + Technology Lab at LACMA” encourages encounters between the ideas of next-generation artists and technology that can realize those ideas.

The inspiration for this program is from about 50 years ago. From 1967 to 1971, LACMA conducted the “Art and Technology Program”, which matched artists with the companies in Southern California that led sophisticated and innovative technologies and inventions at the time. Under the goal of creating artworks beyond the borders of art and technology, the museum provided an opportunity for local companies and artists who have always desired innovative techniques. Artists such as James Turrell, Roy Lichtenstein, and Robert Irwin participated in the program becoming partners with companies including Hewlett-Packard and IBM.

This innovative program has come back to us as the “Art + Technology Lab.” The lab provides grants, in-kind support from leading companies and facilities to develop prototype projects. Through the partnership between LACMA and Hyundai, the Art + Technology Lab will be sustained through 2020 and the public will be offered chances to explore the convergence of art and technology along with the artists.

Giving wings to borderless imaginations

The artists who apply for “Art + Technology Lab” come from various backgrounds and countries. Besides contemporary artists, enthusiastic architects, designers, and developers from all around the world including Ghana, Ireland, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Korea have applied to participate. In 2015 and 2016, 11 teams and artists in total were part of the Art + Technology Lab. They showed a broad spectrum of subjects and methods, as if proving their uniqueness respectively. For example, Jonathon Keats applied a neuroscience theory to clothing design to distort the images he created. Titled <Superego Suits>(2015), this project studies through sensors and robots about how a pair of clothes affect the identity of the person who wears it.

ScanLAB Projects, formed by Matt Shaw and Will Trossel, studied the works of Eadweard Muybridge, which show the majestic beauty of the Yosemite Park, and recreated the scenery with 3D scanning. Nonny de la Peña and Alex Rivera also tested the limits of the VR storytelling technology to foster critical thoughts on the power of technology, while John Gerrard drew attention by revealing his awareness about the environmental issues such as climate change and energy consumption by using gaming technology.

Jonathon Keats and <The Roadable Synapse>, a neuroscientifically-driven future car

Jonathon Keats has integrated cars and neuroscience just in time, when cognitive science and neuro-aesthetics are the most pressing subjects of interest. Keats’ project is part of the Art + Technology Lab at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where he conceived the brilliant idea of enabling a more vivid driving experience by stimulating the driver’s auditory senses through the vehicle’s speed, power, aerodynamics and driving efficiency. <The Roadable Synapse> sprouted from the question, “What if the future of the car was to go in the opposite direction of the autonomous vehicle and make it more of an extension of the driver?”

In imagining the future car, Keats closely collaborated with Hyundai Motor over the past two years and finally introduced the <The Roadable Synapse>. He thought outside the box to find the intersection between neuroscience and art, and he received technological advice from Hyundai Motor to realize his idea. Keats’ car is equipped with unique functions and augments the driving experience, and thereby establishes a very special relationship between the vehicle and the driver. In 2015 and 2016, Jonathon Keats applied neuroscientific theory to garment design and developed a “Superego Suits” that allow for individuals to alter self-perception.

ScanLAB Projects: Exploring the Yosemite Park in 3D

A+T ScanLAB film
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A+T ScanLAB film

Eadweard Muybridge, a pioneer of photography, took photographs of the Pacific coast and Yosemite Park on a request by the U.S government in the mid-19th century. He camped in the mountains for months to record the nature and printed the photographs, which were enough to deliver the overwhelming beauty and wonders. In May 2016, the UK-based creative studio, ScanLAB Projects decided to follow the trails of this great predecessor via the “Art + Technology Lab” by applying a rarely used technology, 3D scanning. Even with several years of experience in using razor scanning technology to create artworks, it was a challenge for them to film the Yosemite Park with its exceptionally rough terrain and waterfalls. Santa Fe SUV of Hyundai Motor, a sponsor of the project, was a part of the project throughout the whole journey

Living in nature and traveling around the park on a Hyundai SUV, ScanLAB Projects captured more than 150 scenes, among which was the lively footage of flowing water recorded for the first time. To present these amazing results, the automobile that has been used during their on-site filming, will be remodeled into a small exhibition space and presented at LACMA’s Zev Yaroslavsky Plaza from 6th April 2017 until 18th April 2017 so that the viewers can enjoy the views of the Yosemite Park realized in 3D digital diorama. ■ with ARTINPOST

  • The Roadable Synapse at LACMA. © Museum Associates/LACMA

  • The Roadable Synapse at LACMA. © Museum Associates/LACMA

  • LACMA Art + Technology Lab grant recipient Jonathon Keats demonstrates the Roadable Synapse. © Museum Associates/LACMA

  • ScanLAB Projects, Post-lenticular Landscapes, ⓒ ScanLAB Projects, photo ⓒ Museum Associates/LACMA

    ScanLAB Projects, Post-lenticular Landscapes, ⓒ ScanLAB Projects, photo ⓒ Museum Associates/LACMA
  • Installation photograph, ScanLAB Projects, Post-lenticular Landscapes, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, April 6, 2017 - April 18, 2017 ⓒ ScanLAB Projects, photo ⓒ Museum Associates/LACMA

    Installation photograph, ScanLAB Projects, Post-lenticular Landscapes, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, April 6, 2017 - April 18, 2017 ⓒ ScanLAB Projects, photo ⓒ Museum Associates/LACMA
  • LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director Michael Govan and the ScanLAB Team, ⓒ ScanLAB Projects, photo ⓒ Museum Associates/ LACMA

    LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director Michael Govan and the ScanLAB Team, ⓒ ScanLAB Projects, photo ⓒ Museum Associates/ LACMA
  • Matthew Shaw and William Trossell of ScanLAB Projects in May, 2016, with terrestrial laser scanners, atop their modified Hyundai Santa Fe.

    Matthew Shaw and William Trossell of ScanLAB Projects in May, 2016, with terrestrial laser scanners, atop their modified Hyundai Santa Fe.
  • William Trossell and Matthew Shaw of ScanLAB Projects

    William Trossell and Matthew Shaw of ScanLAB Projects
  • © ScanLAB Projects

    © ScanLAB Projects
  • © ScanLAB Projects

    © ScanLAB Projects
  • © ScanLAB Projects

    © ScanLAB Projects
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