LABtoLAB is cooperation based. It is in these informal spaces where we locate our research, where we try to expand the notion of the contemporary ’media lab’. A testing ground where we investigate, explore, discuss, describe and enhance its values. LABtoLAB exploits ’in-between spaces’. Unlike clearly paired opposites such as amateur-professional, beginner-expert, art-science, success-failure, fields of operations such as experiment, improvisation, playing, collaboration, tinkering are open to be re-appropriated for multiple purposes. They continuously re-position themselves in the in-between and serve as a sand box, a testing ground, a drawing board for the improvement of media related skills and professions.
A media lab is a tool in the middle, a mediator, a space that can be openly approached, that can serve as a breeding ground, an incubator of thought and experiment. The lab positioned in the ’in-between’ has a bridging function, it functions as a connector space. By situating our workspace ’in between’, we explicitly attribute mediating values to our practice. Furthermore, LABtoLAB partners share an interest in free/libre open source software tools. Some partner organizations work exclusively with F/LOSS tools out of ideological reasons, some have a more liberal approach and mix proprietary and F/LOSS software in their work. We acknowledge the huge potential of F/LOSS software for artistic and educational purposes and engage in its production and use. The most important aspect of F/LOSS and the Internet is its cultural significance. How it has affected other spheres of culture and society.
In a way, LABtoLAB participants could be seen as a ’community of curiosity’. A community that involves members of organizations that are curious to learn from each others practice. Also within our groups there are different expertises to learn from, since many people connected to LABtoLAB are at the same time teacher, student, DIY amateur and specialist. We are artists, cultural operators, project managers, educational programmers, workshop leaders, researchers, trainers, computer scientists, administrators, mediators, and as such we can learn from our mutual perspectives. LABtoLAB is a demo that prototypes a network between laboratories-organizations looking for challenging fields of exchange through art, education and technologies.