Laboratory Residency

Come spend 1-3 months making awesome stuff

How to Apply

The Laboratory residency is open to interactive artists looking to spend 1-3 months working here in Spokane, Washington. We generally consider ‘interactive art’ to be artwork that reacts to people or live data, and we tend to focus on works that directly respond to the viewer, but we’re pretty open to whatever cool ideas you’ve got. We do a lot of projects that don’t involve electronics or programming, but engage viewers in tactile and immersive ways,like Karen Briem’s interactive sculpture work, or Margaret Kearney’s fort-building piece. That said, we also do lots with electrons, and do a lot to help artists gain skills in those areas. So, please, if you’re not sure that your proposal is ‘interactive’, drop us a line and let’s talk!

Our Summer ’18 session is specifically focused on projects that relate to our region (eastern Washington state and north Idaho), and we’re excited to hear your take on that prompt! You might look into the history of the area, our local tribes, our geology, our architecture, our urban revitalization, or some other element of our region that you find inspiring or fascinating, that you’d like to base your work from. We’ve compiled a list of things that we and our community partners have found interesting in the region, so check it out for some inspiration!

Speaking of partners, we’re working with an awesome and growing list of local agencies with deep connections to the region, including the Spokane Public Library, the Northwest Museum of Art and Culture, our local arts agency Spokane Arts, our downtown development agency DSP, our tourism agency Visit Spokane, and our local universities. We’re excited to help connect you with research, resources, and opportunities in our area, so you’ll have support if you want to think big.

We’re currently accepting applications for 1-3 month spring residencies between 01 June 2018 and 31 August 2018, with applications due 29 December 2017.

We don’t have a formal, fillable-PDF form, since we’re too cheap to buy Acrobat. Instead, we ask that you put together a two-page proposal consisting of the following Core Application and Project Proposal, and e-mail it to Please submit it as a single attached file, smaller than 10mb or so, since we have to send all of these to our jury.

Core Application (1 page)

Send us the following:

  • A 1 to 2 paragraph bio, focused on what you’re interested in and passionate about artistically.
  • 1 paragraph on your practice and what draws you to interactive art. This might be your artist statement.
  • A link to your portfolio website
  • A brief summary of your work history/experience (mini CV)
  • How you found out about Laboratory!
  • What times you could come out to Laboratory during the residency timeframe, and for how long.

NOTE: We try to keep as full as possible, so when informing us of your availability, know that when we make selections, we will be picking a time for you from your listed availability, and will likely not have availability during a different time period.

Project Proposal (1 page, extra images/drawings don’t count against that)

Depending on what track you’re applying to, also send us a 1 page project proposal that tells us what you plan to do here. Depending on your chosen track, your proposal should look something like:

– Production track –
This track is focused on making something cool, so give us a description of what you want to build. This should include some kind of preliminary idea of what technologies you want to use, and a rough schedule/timeline for how you’ll implement your project. This schedule should be 2 weeks shorter than your intended period of residency, since I think we all know how these projects go.

– Research track –
The research track is for people wanting to focus their time on pushing the boundaries of interactive art, whether that be creating new tools and techniques, or studying what it means to interact on a deep level. So, tell us how you want to develop new knowledge! Give us an idea of what kind of tools and supplies you think you’d need, and paint us a picture of what you’re trying to have by the end of your project here – will it be a new piece of software? A new hardware hack? A sociological survey of how people interact with different fabrics? For this application, it’ll be important for us to have a good idea of your skills, so a good portfolio and an idea of your previous work/progress is key. What sort of background research have you done? Depending on the nature of your work, a brief bibliography/works cited/list of frameworks you’ll use would be super useful to us.

– Learning track –
This track is for people wanting to develop their skills into specific creative coding domains, so let us know what skills you want to learn! We’ll be using your portfolio to get an idea of your style, and we’ll want to see some of the coding you’ve done beforehand, so include a link to your GitHub page, or send us some of the code you’ve personally written. You should also include a rough syllabus of how you plan on going about learning what it is you want to learn.
This is going to be the trickiest track for us to place, since it’s going to synergize the most with the other residents – if you want to learn Kinect, it’s probably the best if we’ve got someone working on Kinect stuff around, you know?