Culture Lab: A laboratory for culture

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  2. Professor Atau Tanaka
Author(s)Tanaka A
Publication type Editorial
JournalMCD Musiques et cultures digitales: Media Labs in Europe
ISSN (print)1638-3400
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It is nearly 45 years since the seminal early work at the intersection of art and science took place - in 1966, the Experiments in Art & Technology brought together engineers from Bell Laboratories with artists, composers, and choreographers in the downtown New York scene. The concept of the media lab took form now 25 years ago with the founding of the MIT Media Lab in 1985, putting in place methods of innovation, a vision of a digital society, and models of governmental and industrial sponsorship that set the pace through the era. Now with wide penetration of broadband Internet access and with advanced mobile technologies in the lay-person’s pocket, the digital society has arrived. Media laboratories have sprung up internationally. They can be industry labs, they can be art labs, they are in universities as much as they can be embedded in local communities. The notion of a medialab can be embodied in one word, but there is no longer a single definition much less a single institution. Meanwhile with the rapid democratisation of technology, the social relevance and societal purpose of the medialab has shifted.
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