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TechLab exhibit, Every Bus Stop in Surrey, by Sylvia Grace Borda

Background

The TechLab is the only dedicated venue for the production and presentation of digital art in a contemporary art museum in Canada.

The Surrey Art Gallery proactively responds to new developments in art and provides visitors with opportunities to learn about and experience contemporary art using new medias. The TechLab was originally conceived in 1998 to acquire the tools to exhibit digital artwork and build an audience for new media. An in-house specialist assists Gallery staff anticipate and deliver programming using new technologies. In the spring of 1999 the Gallery constructed a prototype digital media lab within its main exhibition hall. This was made possible with funding from the City of Surrey's Millenium grant program, fundraising by the Surrey Art Gallery Association, and a grant from the Canada Council.

In 2002, the TechLab was redesigned with the input of media artists, as a purpose built venue, and opened as a permanent facility. Its original mandate, modified with feedback from digital artists, continues in its present operation.

The Artists in Residence

Artists are commissioned to work in the lab, dividing their work into three equal parts.

  1. Creation of new media artwork
  2. Allowing visitors to see the process of digital art creation
  3. Advising the Gallery in its planning for art exhibitions and programs using digital media

The Artists' Mission

  • Help the public view and understand how digital media is currently being used by artists
  • Show art in the process of its creation as well as finished examples
  • Provide a forum for investigation, expression and dialogue on how contemporary culture and society is affected by digital media
  • Explore the possibilities digital media opens for communication, interaction and expression
  • Assist the Gallery in addressing challenges and opportunities presented with the development of exhibitions and other programming
  • Provide a dynamic learning opportunity for both visitors and staff
  • Attract new audiences and partners to the Surrey Art Gallery

Operation of the TechLab

The operation of the Techlab has been under the direction of the Curator of Exhibitions and Collections of the Surrey Art Gallery. Day-to-day technical support is provided by the Gallery Preparator. Staff from the City of Surrey Information Technology Department have assisted with more advanced technical requirements of the Lab. With each project, the resident artists have requested additional equipment be added to the Lab's inventory. In turn, they provide specific technical assistance with the Lab's operation.

Contact Information

Jordon Storm, Curator of Exhibitions, Surrey Art Gallery
13750-88th Avenue, Surrey, B.C.
Canada V3W 3L1
phone: 604-501-5566, fax 604-501-5581
email: artgallery@surrey.ca

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