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ART(ifact) : the Lab

August 16, 2012 | By | Reply More


–originally published in Plastic Antinomy Issue #1 2009

 On a chilly December First Thursday, I decided to pop into the Lab and see what it was all about.  One of the board members, Christina LaSala, had been my teacher at CCA.  Given the quality of her art and the caliber of her person, I figured that the Lab had something to offer and by god, I was going to see what it was.  After navigating 16th street, dodging both the homeless and the cool kids loitering on the sidewalk, I found my way to the entrance, tiptoed up a dimly lit and somewhat eerie stairway and walked into what can only be described as a “happening”.  An explosion of light and sound greeted me in what turned out to be the opening night of “Listening: Living Art From Japan & San Francisco”.  Sound, Video, Performance and Installation art mingled with the buzz of the crowd, becoming the soundtrack to my DaDa-esque evening.  While an East/West couple fed each other spaghetti with ridiculously long utensils (3 ½ feet or so?), others ran around in circles, tethered by a figure-eight shaped neon orange inner tube in what I can only guess was a commentary on working together.  Clutching my drink tightly, I picked my way through artfully arranged collections of detritus from the streets of Tokyo and San Francisco, oddly disturbed by the beauty of a pile of dirt swept from the gutters of Capp St.  At some point, fistfuls of confetti flew through the air, punctuating a heartfelt reading in Japanese and across the room a gaggle of people congregated around a haphazardly constructed table, really a pile of leftover plywood and 2 x 4’s nailed together in a semblance of a circle.  It was here that, with a little patience, anyone could have a customized piece of art created for them right before their eyes.  Nine artists and the tools of their trade, from sewing machines to scissors, markers to safety pins awaited my pristine Fruit of the Loom t-shirt (compliments of the Lab) in order to artfully defile it.  This is mine…


The LAB, a non-profit arts group, programs visual art, music, theatre, performance, film and spoken word.  They encourage experimental and emerging artists and are particularly interested in showing interdisciplinary work, frequently hosting artists who combine a performative or interventionist element into their pieces.



2948 Sixteenth Street  @ Capp St.

San Francisco, CA 94103


Hours: Wed – Sat 1pm to 6pm

Category: Art(ifact)

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