– Interactive, Digital, Performance Art –

Inflatable Engineering | Dan Mikesell

Inflatables by Dan Mikesell

Wednesday, February 14th
Spokane Create
Bay #1, 840 E Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99202
Facebook Event Link

Do you like objects? Are you generally dissatisfied with the fixed quantity of gasses they contain?

If you answered ‘yes’ to both questions, come join Laboratory artist-in-residence Dan Mikesell as he introduces and demonstrates techniques for working with inflatables!

Dan’s going to be showing several different techniques which can be used to make small inflatable actuators and objects using fabrication techniques such as 3d printing, thermal polyurethane fabric, and silicone casting. Learn how to make things inflate, deflate, and move around based on said level of inflation and deflation. Join a rich history of inflatable objects, stretching from 8th century hot air balloons to objects of social protest. Inflatables are inherently, and literally, flexible allowing for objects that can be large but portable, so come out and learn some techniques for adding them into your practice.

We will be hosting this at Spokane’s premiere maker space, Spokane Create, which is across the street from the Gonzaga baseball field, located in the Toolbox building.

Future Defecations | Keenan Bennett

Future Defecations - Keenan Bennett

Tuesday, January 30th
5 – 8pm
Richmond Art Collective Gallery
228 W. Sprague Ave.

Join experimental architect Keenan Bennett as he leads a participatory community forum exploring public restrooms as a community resource, in which viewers are prompted to consider and design radically open, somewhat subversive—but overall playful—public park restrooms.

Casting a line from the redevelopment of Riverfront Park to histories of gay cruising, the project is largely informed by a city park proposal by queer, anarchist poet George Cecil Ives. He made the case (in 1880s London) for the social utility of state-sanctioned cruising zones, arguing that spontaneous romantic encounters were the key to unifying the classes and ending class warfare. (He sent these ideas to Karl Marx, too.) Like Ives’ proposal, Future Defecations explores the socio-politcal possibilities of queering and de-familiarizing our shared social spaces. The exhibition asks, “In an age where technology continues to exacerbate our sense of alienation, can reformatting our most intimate public spaces—public restrooms—move us toward restoring the social bond?”

The center of the exhibition is a large, interactive park model loaded with toilets (traditional and abstracted), moveable scenery, and meandering paths. Low to the ground, viewers are invited to sit around the model and design custom outdoor park restrooms at their hearts’ content. Documentation of the community-generated restrooms will be submitted to Spokane’s Parks and Recreation office for consideration. The interactive model is accompanied by several sculptural ‘sample’ restroom models designed by Bennett. Photographs are also on view, featuring the provisional toilet models and natural forms that define the aesthetic of the models. As an added perk for viewers at the reception, they will be offered to take home their own model toilets.

Keenan Bennett in an architect and landscape designer based in Philadelphia. He attended the School of Design at University of Pennsylvania, has served as a member of the William Way LGBT Community Center Art Gallery Committee of the Board of Directors, and was a graduate lecturer at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Organisynth | Alex Mann and Thomas Ruble

Thursday, December 28th, 5-8pm
Richmond Art Collective Gallery
228 W. Sprague Ave.
Facebook Event

Join Richmond Gallery and Laboratory Spokane for an evening of sci-fi electronic music where you become part of the experience. Create musical patterns with your friends and others using simple, intuitive music creation devices. Experience new sights and sounds as every change you make affects the environment around you. All are welcome.

ORGANISYNTH is the culmination of a 4-month residency at Laboratory Spokane. This project was created by Spokane-based artist team, Alex Mann and Thomas Ruble.

ORGANISYNTH is an interactive and collaborative music performance system. The system is composed of individual devices, each with specialized roles, that together allow individuals to engage in the creation of music with others. 

The exhibit is modeled after an “organic, sci-fi theme,” which was inspired by a dystopian story of post-Earth civilizations attempting to preserve human creativity in an entirely controlled, artificial environment. Audiences will experiment with a custom, collaborative sequencer formed into a giant, glow-in-the-dark flower, hand-held “powercubes” to control different sound effects, and digital interfaces which, used together, create an immersive audiovisual experience.

These devices are networked and synchronized, so that users essentially can’t “mess up”. Unlike playing a traditional instrument, participants will not need to understand the music theory or the techniques which make the music sound good—nor will they need the technical know-how necessary to use a commercially-available synthesizer. Instead, the interfaces are designed to be playful with a focus on joy. In this way, Alex and Thomas hope to encourage the would-be musician to learn more by means of immediately successful results.

Sound Maps and Listening Spaces | Maxwell Stein

Wednesday, November 29th
7:30 pm
Richmond Art Collective Gallery
228 W. Sprague Ave.

Max Stein is a media artist based in Montréal. His work explores urban spaces through field recording, site-specific performances, installation art, and online mapping.

Over the past month, Max has been exploring, listening, and making field recordings around Spokane. He is working on developing a praxis for mapping the sonic activity and daily rhythms that occur within a space over time. This includes making tools and software to record and visualize a soundscape over a 24-hour period of time.

Max will share his research and interventions over the past month here in Spokane and discuss his artistic practice of creating sound maps, performances, and installations within cities.

Feed/me | Tomer Baruch and Andrea Vogrig

Feed/me by Tomer Baruch and Andrea Vogrig

Saturday, November 18th
Object Space
1818 E Sprague Ave.

Facebook Event Link

Feed/me is a performance and an installation in which the Facebook news feed is transformed into a playable musical instrument. Using algorithmic means the sound of the incoming videos is transformed and manipulated according to the actions of the user in the news feed as well as according to the notifications they receive, thus creating a recontextualised social network experience in which everyday offhand interactions change their meaning. The audience is welcome to participate either by interacting with the performer’s using their mobile devices or by browsing the modified news feed themselves.

Feed/me is a work in progress by Tomer Baruch in collaboration with Andrea Vogrig. It is supported by the Digital Culture Grant of the Stimularingsfonds (NL) and developed at Laboratory Spokane.

Tomer Baruch at Object Space

Tomer Baruch - picture by Anastasya Romanovsky

Sunday, November 12th


Object Space

1818 E Sprague Ave.

Facebook Event Link

All the way from Israel by way of the Netherlands, Laboratory artist-in-residence Tomer Baruch combines synthesizers, samples, and custom programming to put together some amazing music. Come join us for an informal concert, where Tomer will be talking about process, playing some music, and showing off some rad instrumentation.
Listen to some of Tomer’s work here:

Immersion + Fighting with Air | Deirdre O’Toole and Rossina Bossio


Friday, August 25th
5-8 PM
Saranac Art Projects
25 W. Main Ave.

Facebook link

New video work by Laboratory artists-in-residence!

In Immersion, Irish Filmmaker Deirdre O’Toole has joined with Jacqueline Bertagnoli, Caley Edwards, Halle Goodwin, Sydney Skinner, and Suzanne Ostersmith from Gonzaga to develop a set of film and VR experiences that use dance, projection, and narrative to explore near-drowning experiences.

Meanwhile, Rossina Bossio’s multi-channel video installation brings together dancers from the Vytal Movements dance company, Mackenzie Fagras, and Bossio herself, all exploring experience, movement, and iterative exploration of creation.

This work is funded in part through a grant from Spokane Arts. Thanks!

nevertheless | Sangjun Yoo + Karla Parbon + Brooke Grissom + Melanie S Williams

Thursday, August 24th
8:00 PM
CMTV Studios
104 W. 3rd Ave., Suite B

Facebook link

Korean new-media artist Sangjun Yoo, Whitworth Director of Dance Karla Parbon, and the Partners Through Art Adaptations company dancers Brooke Grissom and Melanie S Williams present ‘nevertheless’, a dance performance combining modern choreographies and improvisation with real-time interfaces, smartphones, and data visualizations. Influenced by common characteristics of a young generation, it examines the existential crisis of the millennial generation, portrayed through the lens of smartphones and selfies.

Special thanks to CMTV for the generous use of their space and Spokane Arts for funding support.

Phygitalide | L:ED

Thursday, August 17th
9:00 PM
Saranac Art Projects
25 W. Main Ave.

Facebook link

If you’ve been with us for a while, you might have seen Dorianne Wotton’s movement-based work here a few years ago. Well, she’s back from France, and she’s brought a crew.

This Thursday, she joins with her other artistic half, Xavier Exomene, as L:ED, and with the help of local artists and dancers Anna Czoski and Matt Doval, present Phygitalide, an interactive combination of projection, sensors, and tango.

This project has been funded in part through Spokane Arts’ SAGA grants program.
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Hiromi Okumura + Valerie Williams

Saturday, July 1st
Fellow Coworking
304 W. Pacific Ave., Second Floor

Visual artist Hiromi Okumura and choreographer Valerie Williams have collaborated since 2006 mixing images, movement and human/computer interaction. Working together in Spokane at the Laboratory, they have started working on a new series of installation/performances based on the unfolding of experience from hard objects. Opening an object such as a curtain, book, or window initiates sound, video and dance that soon lets the viewer participate in the experience.

Hiromi Okumura and Valerie Williams present a work in progress exploring interaction between dancer, computer, and video at the Fellow Space in the Washington Cracker Building at 304 Pacific in Spokane.

Hiromi Okumura is a visual and performance artist. She received MFA at Iowa State University.
Her work has been shown and collected internationally. She is a Fine Arts faculty at Washington State University.

Valerie Williams has been dancing professionally in modern dance, musical theater, opera and Renaissance dance in North America and Europe since 1973. Artistic director of Co’Motion Dance Theater since 1978, Ms. Williams also researches early dance and performs with Musica Antiqua.

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