LACMA Names Grants for Art + Technology

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The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) announced the recipients of its 2014 Art + Technology grants on Wednesday. The awards include monetary and in-kind support for projects that explore artistic applications of emerging technologies.

The Art + Technology Lab at LACMA.
The Art + Technology Lab at LACMA.

LACMA’s Art + Technology Lab and its artist projects are made possible by Accenture, DAQRI, and NVIDIA, with additional support from Gensler, Google, and SpaceX. Professor Ken Goldberg and artist Dan Goods are participating as independent advisors. Additional support provided by the LACMA Director’s Circle. A grant from the Los Angeles County Productivity Investment Fund is supporting the public lab at the museum to house the initiative.

After issuing its first Request for Proposals in December 2013, the museum received over 450 submissions. The five projects selected hail from many artistic disciplines and backgrounds. They will merge their practice with emerging technologies in aerospace, astrophysics, augmented reality, robotics and more. Over the coming twelve months, LACMA’s Art + Technology Lab will host conversations with the artists and display works in progress, revealing the creative process as it happens.

Taeyoon Choi and E Roon Kang, based in New York and Seoul, Korea, will develop a project titled In Search of Personalized Time. They will create devices and methods to set one’s own time based on subjective perception and networked consensus. The team will also research the essence of presence and the present in relationship to contemporary technology by developing prototypes, a performance, and a workshop. Choi is co-founder of the School for Poetic Computation and directs the Making Lab, a community makerspace run by artists in South Korea. Kang operates an interdisciplinary design studio, Math Practice, and is a
TED Fellow, and has been a research fellow at SENSEable City Laboratory at MIT.

John Craig Freeman will draw on crowd-sourcing, augmented reality, and EEG (electroencephalography) technology in a project titled Things We Have Lost. The project will allow participants to “conjure” virtual objects by imagining them into existence using brainwave technology and augmented reality. Freeman is a founding member of the collective Manifest.AR, whose work seeks to expand the notion of public space by exploring how digital networked technology is transforming our sense of place.

Annina Rüst will develop a project called A Piece of the Pie Chart, inspired by the cover of LACMA’s 1971 Report on the Technology Program at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which exclusively shows men. The project is an interactive robotic gallery installation exploring the worlds of art and technology. Rüst teaches at Syracuse University and creates electronic objects and software art.

Tavares Strachan will develop a project called Lift Off, conducting experiments using glass rockets powered by alternative, locally sourced fuels; the project will also involve students from local schools. Most recently, Strachan represented the Bahamas at the 2013 Venice Biennale and his work was featured at the 2013 Lyon Biennale. Recurring themes in Strachan’s work include invisibility, displacement, and the capacity of people and matter to withstand inhospitable environments.

Rachel Sussman will be supported in her pursuit of a project titled The Poetics of Space, facilitated by exposure to Art + Technology Lab advisors from Jet Propulsion Laboratory and SpaceX. The Poetics of Space will scrutinize astrophysical and astronomical data to investigate the capacity and limits of human modes of perception in relation to deep time and deep space. Sussman is a photographer, a writer, and a TED speaker whose recent book, The Oldest Living Things in the World, was published in 2014.

The projects receiving awards this year were selected based on various criteria, including the artistic merits of the project; potential benefit from exposure to data, technology and expertise from the Art + Technology Lab advisors; relevance to current issues in art, technology, and culture; and the opportunity for meaningful public engagement. Priority was given to open-ended projects suited to the Lab environment of experimentation and iteration.

LACMA plans to continue funding artist projects through the Art + Technology Lab for several years on a rolling cycle. The next open call for proposals will be issued in December 2014. Interested artists are encouraged to sign up for more information by emailing [email protected]

The Art + Technology Lab is the first of its kind in which a major museum provides funding, space, and in-kind support from leading technology companies to develop technology-based artist projects, continuing a legacy begun in 1967 with the Art and Technology Program at LACMA.

For more information, extended biographies and descriptions of each artist project, visit

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