The artists’ group Sponge collaborated with The LAB to produce the second edition of their Sauna project, which featured “contemplative hybrid media spaces embedded into a public environment.” Sponge members were Chris Salter (lead artist for this project), Sha Xin-Wei, and Laura Farabaugh. Also collaborating were Erik Adigard, Amy Hoffman, Brad Niven, and David Robert.
The partnership with The Lab resulted in simultaneous outdoor and indoor installations. Three large cylinders, were mounted on the facade of the Redstone Building, where The Lab is located. These were illuminated from within by computer-controlled strobe lights. Visitors standing beneath the tubes were washed by waves of light and sound. The installation adapted itself to and was influenced by its changing surroundings. Inside The LAB, a behind-the-scenes exhibition showcased the project’s development and design process through texts, video, sound, drawings, sketches and interactive media.
Sponge was “born” in San Francisco in 1997 as an association of professional artists and researchers who shared a commitment to creating public experiments as artifacts of cultural engineering. All of the Sponge members had prior careers in their respective and widely varied disciplines. Chris Salter was trained in economics, philosophy, theater directing/dramaturgy, and computer-generated sound at Emory and Stanford Universities. Since 1990, he had been engaged in intensive work in digital sound processing, acoustics, multimedia production, and interactive performance systems.
The LAB is an interdisciplinary artists’ organization that supports the development and presentation of new visual, performing, literary, and media art. It assists artists in the creation of new work and presents work of high quality by emerging and experimental professional artists.