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Living Lab

February 2, 2024 @ 8:00 AM - January 12, 2025 @ 5:00 PM

We are taking what we learned in the 2023 collaborative programming space, the Living Library, and putting it to the test with another year-long laboratory of community action. Artist José Luis Torres’ The place as an object and the object as a place takes over the Living Lab with an architectural platform built for spontaneous exploration, creation, and exhibition.

Constructed as a site-specific installation, José uses everyday, provisional materials, and second-hand goods to build portals for future actions and sharing. The Gallery is filled with colourful structures lined with mirrors – creating a kaleidoscope – connecting people, place, and objects.

In this project, the collaborative efforts of contributing artists enhance the rare, new, and special elements found inside the gallery. This living experience, reminiscent of a cabinet of curiosities, seamlessly intertwines past and future, fiction, and reality. The Living Lab draws inspiration from both the natural world and the otherworldly to cultivate an evolving collection enriched by monthly artist-led workshops.

This cabinet of curiosities defies the conventional encyclopedic approach of categorical boundaries and linear narratives. The place as an object and the object as a place reveals the unknown and unreadable stories of the objects’ overlapping histories, ideas, and meanings. Here, there is no singular narrator; instead, the artists, the contributors, and your ideas take center stage.

Over the course of the year community organizers, artists, activists, and orators host a series of workshops, talks, craft-circles, demonstrations, and manifestations to slowly grow a collection of rarities. Every month, an invited guest guides participants through an exploration, inviting them to contribute an object that becomes an integral part of the expanding assemblage.

Step into this intricate experiment, where the stories shared by artists and participants stand as a living testament to the ever-evolving convergence of art, knowledge, memory, and imagination.

The artist would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.


February 2 @ 8:00 AM
January 12, 2025 @ 5:00 PM


Art Gallery of Burlington
1333 Lakeshore Road
Burlington, ON Canada
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Crowd gathered at stage with lake view