Laboratory!

– Interactive, Digital, Performance art at 301 W. Main Street, Spokane Washington –

Building Code Call

This winter at Laboratory, we are honored to host game designer, multimedia theorist, and generally all-around badass Aliah Darke! As a part of the residency, Aliah is curating a VR show, Building Code, and is looking for awesome people like you to make awesome work exploring how we, as creators of virtual spaces, create and moderate the use of them by our participants. Or, in Aliah’s words:

In light of the dumpster fire that has been 2016, from the devastating (Aleppo, US election, Ghost Ship), to the Also Shitty (RIP Bowie, Prince, Kanye), I have been thinking a lot about what it means to hold space and resist.
As the virtual space grows more analogous to physical space I wonder who will own it? Who will be the property managers, the custodians, the tenants, the groundskeepers, the slumlords, the orange real estate moguls, the builders, the subcontractors?
Who will designate and moderate safe spaces, free speech zones, public space, protected space, creative space? How can we decentralize creation and control of these spaces?
Many of us have been thinking about social equality as a sprint towards some finish line, free of bigotry and oppression. Recent events remind us that it is in fact a marathon, and we must train, rest, nourish, laugh, work, and keep going. It’s my aim to create space for hope, agency, safety, catharsis, mourning while also empowering and emboldening others to create, express, commune and resist. So with all that in mind, I invite your collaboration on:
Building Code : Developing Mixed Use Space in Virtual Reality.
What would you create or exhibit if you weren’t beholden to the architectural, logistical, physical, social, curatorial or even gravitational limits of physical space?
You would be crafting a space to be connected in an actual metaverse, rather than discrete experiences.
For example, an artist could develop a traditional gallery filled with pots on top of pedestals. A user could pick up one of those pots, leave the space and be dropped into someone else’s 360 video, then smash the pot on the floor, activating the space in a new and unexpected way.
Or perhaps some of you will actively prevent that, creating your own kind of gated community?
Right now we’re limited to making stuff for WebVR. To make this easier for you and others to contribute, my friend and badass artist/developer/designer Erica Layton has built an artist toolkit for WebVR that can be found HERE.
Please mess around with it, hack on it and build stuff! We’d like to make this fairly accessible to anyone so let us know what additions would be useful, or feel free to add them.
This project will be exhibited as a work in progress at the beginning of February at Spark Central in Spokane, WA so please submit via email – contactaliah@gmail.com by January 20th, 2017. 
There will be another opportunity to show later in February, likely with the Richmond Art Gallery, still working out details for that.
Send me your work, your thoughts, your huddled arts.
(Feel free to share)
<3 Aliah