LABoral celebrates its 4th anniversary

852 works have been shown in the 51 exhibitions organised during its four years of existence

Published: Mar 31, 2011
LABoral celebrates its 4th anniversary

The Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial. Photo: Marcos Morilla

LABoral celebrated its fourth anniversary yesterday with a fully implemented plan in all its areas -exhibition, training, production, research and public programme_mediation- and a space which has already been consolidated as a major centre generating and disseminating artistic, scientific and technological knowledge in Spain.

The public programme of Gijón’s Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial deals with any kind of issue related to information and network society; the perception of territory and the relationship between society and ecology and sustainability; gender equality rights, citizenship; and new narratives that show the pre-eminence of the image in the codes and practices used in artistic practices. Its goal is to open a space for debate and reflection on today’s culture and contemporary society in an attempt to respond to the huge changes taking place in around us.

Inaugurated on 30th March, 2007, as an interdisciplinary space aimed at supporting artistic exchange and fostering the relation of art, science, technology, industry, society and industrial creation, the Art Centre in Gijón has produced 102 works, of which 41 were created by Asturian artists, during this period. In its four years of existence, 631,000 people have visited the exhibitions or participated in the workshops, courses and seminars organised within its public and educational programme.

Since its conception, LABoral is the only existing centre in Spain dedicated to technological culture, artistic research, production, training, exhibition and the dissemination of art and creative industries. Since opening its doors, on 30th March 2007, it has produced a total of 51 exhibitions, in which 44 curators selected 852 art works, produced by 827 artists and collectives.  The exhibitions have stood out in the quality of the exhibited works, the curatorial content development, the exhibitory design and the standards of assembly and presentation. For the set design of the different shows, LABoral has worked in close collaboration with emerging architects who have supported their work and are firmly links this creative industry to the Centre´s activities at the same time as offering a museography in accordance with the curatorial discourse.

Every exhibition has featured round table discussions, symposia and workshops with the objective of favouring dialogue with the public and stimulating debate and reflection on society’s relationship with today’s technological culture. LABoral carried out 80 activities in this field with 16 seminars, theoretical meetings or simposia. The workshops, led by professional, students, families and children, were conceived as an accompanying programme to the exhibitions, always bearing in mind the specific needs of the professional community and creative local community. Emphasis has been placed upon education and the use of free open code software for creative ends.

Mediateca_Archivo_Biblioteca [Media Library and Archive]
Opened on 2nd March as an open access, free space for both specialists in diverse areas and the general public, this media library offers access to bibliographical, printed and digital material, as well as to audiovisual records of the most experimental work of contemporary culture and creation, with a special interest in the fields of art, science and technology. The documentation at Mediateca, which includes the archive of Teatro de la Laboral [Laboral Theatre], the Asturian production of the Festival Internacional de Cine de Gijón [Gijón´s International Film Festival] and the Archive of Asturian Artists is made up of 2,457 library records; 6,420 photographs; 525 video archives; 572 text archives (dossiers and press releases, catalogues, graphic materials, etc.); 7,438 archives of media appearances; 85 files on Asturian artists.

Research, Production and Resources
The area of research at LABoral was developed principally through cReaTic, Laboratorio de Creatividad e Investigación Tecnológica [the Laboratory for Creativity and Technological Research], a space providing methods and means to stimulate technological research as an engine for social and economic progress. Additionally, cReaTic is a decided move towards supporting talent, art, science, technology and innovation in an environment in which young researchers materialize their ideas in collaboration with well-known businesses and organisations. It is an initiative of La Fundación CTIC, promoted by LABoral Centro de Arte, which counts on the economic support of Alcoa and the Government of the Principality of Asturias.

As its primary objective for 2011, LABoral considers its primary objective for 2011 to be the consolidation of Plataforma 0_Centro de Investigación, Producción y Recursos, constituted by a modular and flexible structure that functions in different service programmes aimed at work groups, individual and collective creators and educators. As part of its new functions, Plataforma Cero offers new resources:
fabLAB. Laboratory of digital fabrication putting at the creators´disposal machinery which is normally outside of financial reach and making possible the instantaneous creation of prototypes, design-sharing and collaborative work in the local creative communities.
LABees. Experimental Electronics and Software Laboratory offers an equipped space for the development of electronic prototypes and software in addition to an advisory service.
ecoLAB. A meeting point and a space for experimentation in the intersections of open electronics, art and ecology.
LABtv. LABoral´s televisión channel via Internet. It is a meeting point and space for artistic production, reflection and contemporary culture; a place for dialogue, learning and the promotion of emerging Asturian, national and international artists in the field of visual arts and industrial creation. In addition, it is equipped with an audiovisual services area, with the necessary tools for editing, production, post production, video and digital photography broadcasting.
radioLAB. Developed throughout 2011 as an online radio channel broadcasting the public programme and Centre’s activities.
Plat0. A space for experimentation and research based on expanded performative practices, interactivity with tele-presence and new audiovisual forms and hybrids.

Public Programme_Mediation
Fitting in with the rest of the project, LABoral Works towards the dissemination of new artistic practices and creative industries that mainly use technological media. In this regard, the Art Centre organised a total of 182 activities, including 8 festivals, 42 concerts, 18 seasons of film, 6 seasons of theatre, 16 awards, 8 proposal calls, and 42 activities intended for the various users and visitors of the Centre, also including planned events for children and families and marginalised groups at weekends.

Institutional Relations
In everything it does, The Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial in Gijón maximises collaborative networking. This is why it has signed collaborative agreements with nearly 374 public and private organisations of a cultural, academic and social character, in the interest of fostering the exchange of experience and knowledge that contribute to the development of a creative and innovative society clearly committed to its times. In this way, and in developing its activities, the Art Centre has collaborated with 359 Asturian companies and has worked with suppliers from the rest of Spain and abroad  and another 245 companies.

National and International Repercussion
The impact in the communication media has been increasing year by year, reaching an audience estimated at 2.025 million people through printed media, radio, television and digital media between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2010.

LABoral has recorded an average of 3,987 yearly appearances in the different types of media. This figure indicates that the Centre and is activities have been reported on every day in almost 11 communications media. In 2008, its audiences increased by 90.3% in relation to the year 2007. In 2009 an estimated audience of 756,433,628 people was reached through the printed media, radio and television, compared to 447,186,828 people in 2008. This involves an increase of 69%. In 2010, the year in which the crisis led to the closure of numerous medias, the Art Centre connected with an audience estimated at 586,775,723.

National and international and Asturian publications have echoed the activities going on at the Art Centre, through their critiques of the exhibitions, reviews of programmes, or reports on their own field of investigation.

Along with ABC, El Mundo, El País, La Razón, La Vanguardia, among other national media, specialised publications such as A Mínima,  Art Notes, Arte Contexto, Arte y Parte, Auto Bild, Cahiers Du Cinema, Descubrir el Arte, Diseñart, Exit, Neo2, Nuevo Estilo or On Diseño have dedicated large spaces to LABoral. In the international field, other prestigious publications which have brought the name of Gijón and its Centre of Art to different countries all over the world and praised  its work are: Financial Times, Monocle, ArtForum, Art News, Art Review, Arte Mondadori, Clarín, Exibart, L'Expresso, Flash Art, Frame, Frieze, Forbes, Kunstzeitung, La Nación, Libération, Neural, Newsweek o Segno, among others.

Other Incorporated Resources
Over these four years LABoral has been incorporating different resources and so providing additional services to the public and its audiences.
LABshop, an online shop, where the visitor to LABoral can find a wide variety of books on art and new technologies or acquire the latest publications on the market or limited edition art and design objects.
Chill-out, designed by the Asturian architect studio Longo+Roldán, sets up a rest area open to experimentation and enjoyment, leisure and rest where the visitor to LABoral can take a break while visiting the exhibitions at the centre.
MathsLAB, an open, suggestive playful and interactive space the opens channels for experimentation and knowledge. Mathematics, technology and the image form the foundations for the development of this place for creativity opened last April.

Visitors and Users
Between 30th March 2007 and 31st December 2010, a total of 621,024 people have taken part in the diverse activities organised by LABoral. In the first two months of 2011, a total of 6,952 personas visited one of the exhibitions at the Art Centre or have participated in its proposals. This information, along with the historical importance of LABoral, has led to LABoral celebrating its first four years with an accumulation of 631,000 people.

In 2008, 2,167 students visited LABoral or participated in one of its workshops. The figure increased by 267.11 %, in 2009 reaching 5,789 students. This rising tendency was again reflected in the year 2010, with 7,066 children, representing a 125.88 % rise in the number of school children who visited LABoral in 2009.

The Board of Patrons
The Laboral. Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial Foundation is an initiative of the Government of the Principality of Asturias, created with the aim of reinforcing the field of technological culture, as part of its strategy to redesign alternative models for the future in Asturias and continue with its progress in the development of the knowledge society. The Foundation was formed in September 2005 as a private, non-profit cultural and educational organisation. The Board of Patrons is the main governing, representative and administrative body of the Foundation.

Leandro Guillén Barba, President of Alcoa, from 15th September 2005 to 27 June 2007
Jesús Manuel Hevia-Aza, President of Sedes, from 27th June 2007 to 29th December 2008
Mercedes Álvarez González, Minister for Culture and Tourism of the Principality of Asturias, from 29th December 2008 to present

First Vice President: Jorge Fernández León, representing the Principality of Asturias

Second Vice President: Nicanor Fernández, representing HC Energía

Secretary: José Pedreira Menéndez
Alejandro Calvo and Agustín Tomé Fernández, representing the Principality of Asturias
Ministerio de Cultura [Ministry of Culture]
Ayuntamiento de Gijón [Gijón City Council]
Autoridad Portuaria [Gijón Port Authority]
Caja de Ahorros de Asturias [Cajastur Bank]
Fundación Telefónica [The Telefónica Foundation]

Strategic Corporate Members
Alcoa (Year 2008: Laboratory Project: Creativity and Technological Research, cReaTic. Year 2010: fabLAB)
Sedes (until 2010)

Associate Corporate Members
Duro Felguera

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  • Los Prados, 121
  • 33203 Gijón (Asturias)
  • Spain
  • Phone: +34 985 185 577
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