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LACMA resurrects art and technology program, teams with Google

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More than 45 years ago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art created an experimental program to bring artists and technology companies together in the hopes of inspiring innovative thinking in the visual arts. This week, the museum announced that it is resurrecting the program in the form of a laboratory and has partnered with companies including Google and SpaceX.

LACMA said its new Art and Technology Lab will award grants and make museum facilities available to help artists explore new boundaries in art and science. Grants will be made for up to $50,000. The museum said that artists have until Jan. 27 to submit initial proposals.

The lab will allow participants to collaborate with engineers and technology specialists from varied disciplines. Companies supporting the lab include Accenture; DAQRI, an augmented-reality software developer; and chip company NVIDIA.

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The original program was launched in 1967 by LACMA curator Maurice Tuchman and ran for four years. Participating artists included James Turrell, Andy Warhol, Robert Irwin and Claes Oldenburg. The program yielded an exhibition that ran at LACMA and traveled to Expo 71 in Osaka, Japan.

LACMA said that proposed projects for the new laboratory should show artistic merit and engage with an emerging technology, such as digital graphics, robotics or mobile devices.

The lab will be located at LACMA’s recently renovated Balch Research Library. LACMA said that the projects developed in the lab will eventually be presented to the public at the museum.

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