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photos © caroline rabourdin

Une Architecture Des Humeurs:

dates : 22.01.09 - 26.04.09


le vendredi, samedi, dimanche, lundi de 12h à 19h

tarif:  plein tarif 6€ / tarif réduit 4,5 €


4 rue du Bouloi

75001 Paris

tel: + 33 1 78 09 49 50

site: www.lelaboratoire.org

plan: www.mappy.fr

Amazingly located near the Louvre and the Palais Royal, this place is unique in Paris. Le Laboratoire was founded in 2007 by David Edwards, franco-american scientist and writer (who also happens to be Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and member of the Académie des Technologies). Le Laboratoire is a hub of interdisciplinary experiments between artists and scientists (though sometimes the ‘artist’’s definition slips to ‘designer’ or ‘architect’, which I think are probably closer to scientific disciplines than the artist is in the first place).

David Edwards teaches at Harvard University, where a sister ‘Lab’ has recently been created, called the Artscience Lab. David Edwars also wrote ‘Art Science, Creativity in the Post-Google Generation’ in 2008, published by... Harvard University Press.

The word Artscience I find is really well suited to the venture. To me it is essetially Bilingual : neither French, nor English and yet both at the same time.

It’s a hybrid. Since I am interested in these intersections, I visited the gallery between Christmas lunch and New Year’s eve ... when the exhibition Innovations dans l’Air du Temps was on.

Not knowing what to expect, or rather not expecting anything in particular, I ended up seeing what was in fact a retrospective of the recent projects launched by the Laboratoire, presented like a ‘journal de bord’ or notebook of ideas.

Between cooking experiments (you can also take lessons of ‘molecular gastronomy’ at the Laboratoire), some environmental designs or applied technology, there is no hierarchy or linearity, no sense of order (or clarity). But isn't it exactly what the Post Google generation is ? We flutter from one thing to the other, take what we need and make of it what we can.

What grabbed most of my attention - apart from the place itself, vast underground space with sparse slim columns, and a huge potential - was probably the Musetrek software, created for the IPhone and proposing museum ‘journeys’ or travels, giving information as you go along about the pieces you see. Most interestingly even, it enables you to create your own journeys and share them. I don’t own an IPhone, but I know a few people who would be interested in this application. (now, is it an app or a software? and is there a difference?) I particularly like the idea of these promenades, be they real or imaginary, and to remember the work of Janet Cardiff in the Missing Voice in London. Walking in the street, but being elsewhere.

This exhibition is now over, but I hope the next one will be ever so interesting: Une Architecture des Humeurs, which opens on the 22nd of January is a collaboration between a scientific team and  R&Sie (François Roche & Stéphanie Lavaux architects). And one of my former students has been working on the project... so I’m eager to see it.

In the meantime, if you do happen to be in the neighbourhood, do not miss the building of the Ministère de la Culture by architect Francis Soler, just around the corner.