Art Centre in the technical college: La LABoral

Laboratory Art

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Amazing and surprising are both the words that best define the new Art Centre of the Laboral University, in Gijón. This is a cultural space with a fururist overtone, with diaphanous architecture, large spaces and technological contents that catch public’s attention and involve them into an artistic atmosphere, combining the industrial, the media and the cyber space.

Art Centre La Laboral is an automated museum, constantly renovated thanks to the new applications brought from the chats, the internet, webcams and the electronic mail, that find analogies in the videogames. All this is projected on walls or is emitted on plasma screens with a deeply interactive vocation that adds the functional component that big art galleries lack.

This is also an immense space with a total of 14,400 square metres of area, which more of 4,000 are set aside for exhibitions rooms, around 700m for workshops and laboratories and more than one thousand metres stand for the LabCafé, a multipurpose place that apart from being a Café and a restaurant, also offers concerts and performances.

Its dimensions are close to those of a big museum, but this particular one keeps a different essence, with proposals that can not be found in other contemporary art centres, since it looks for an experimentation around new concepts and artistic languages. To get this, new talented people are formed, artistic grants are given, itinerary circuits are planned in the different Asturian localities in search of new publics, festivals and seminars are promoted, prizes are called and publications are edited.

All this is done keeping a pragmatic perspective, understanding creativeness as the most important element to achieve scientific development. But deep on its philosophy, it aspires to discover new creative processes for the society welfare, so for this reason, it is shown as some kind of “laboratory”. The own brand “Laboral” with “Lab” underlined, shows the will to be.

To begin with an international character, the city of Gijón has called the most prestigious commissioners in the area of the new media art. It gives as a result a first exhibition that shows the clear innovative approach of The Laboral University, focused on the new means and technologies. In fact, those in charge of this centre, whose director is Rosina Gómez-Baeza (also director for 20 years of Arco fair), want to show four great exhibitions yearly in the areas of visual arts, and other four in the field of industrial creation. There will also be rooms called “plataformas” (rooms that join the two main ones) and whose protagonists will be elected by juries from both thematic contexts.

The equipment comes from the old workshops of the Campus of the Laboral University, restructured in order to satisfy the needs of the new centre, since it is the main centre for a wider plan: The City of Culture that will be approaching the old space of the University. This is a huge building that is two times and a half bigger than the El Escorial, built under the supervision of the architect Luis Moya Blanco. It has been considered the most important architectural jewel of Asturias during the XX century. Firstly thought as an independent city, closed and self-sufficient, according to the autocracy of the Franco’s regime, now it assumes the goal of approaching its big interior space into a very different way. The imminent City of Culture will be opening its doors little by little to new concerns and groups. Among its goals there are the projects of a Superior Centre of Dramatic Art, a theatre and a conservatory.

Texto: © Ramón Molleda para

Information of interest

Los Prados, 121
33394, Gijón

Contact telephone: 985 185 577

More information: Art Centre in the technical college: La LABoral