/// Info ///
senseofplace LAB is an artistic laboratory that develops projects/works that heighten a ‘sense of place’, usually in collaboration with community and artistic partners. It was founded by Laurie Halsey Brown in San Francisco in 2008 – based on research/art since 2000. Projects/works are created for many audiences: as temporary public/social practice projects, within an art context and in collaboration with – and then placed into – communities. Research and educational components are layered into each project/work. Projects are interdisciplinary, but with a strong focus on photography.
/// Mission ///
senseofplace LAB seeks to develop projects that heighten a relationship to place in order to facilitate a more meaningful relationship to one’s environment, and to create strategies for people to better communicate the value of their communities. My interest is in revealing the many layers of place in order to have people connect more deeply to where they are. I see this as a form of civic engagement. The more we experience a place, the more we care about it. Projects intend to shift the consciousness of the audience/participants in relation to how they engage with a place. Data gathered from projects is used to simultaneously expand cultural communication and inspire civic interrelationships.
/// History ///
senseofplace LAB was created after moving to San Francisco from the Netherlands in the Fall of 2007. While working in Rotterdam for five years beginning in 2002, I began research into art strategies that could give communities a voice in the development of their ‘place’. My practice in NYC before that included working in many forms and many areas that effected that research. Architectural Space. While my work has a long history of exploring a heightened relationship to architectural space, my practice became more focused on the field of architecture when living/working in Rotterdam, the Netherlands where there is a strong architectural scene, including Rem Koolhaas’s office begin there. senseofplace LAB views the built environment as an inherent contributor to ‘sense of place’. Social practice Works that bring art into the public space, and heighten a relationship to place began with a video projection onto a door and a public wall text piece that were created for gallery spaces in Dublin and Belfast. Following this, was the series Places We Are: site -specific video curatorial projects made for bars and on buses in New York, Belfast and Rotterdam. Net.art works were also created during this period that I saw as a form of public art, and were shown in digital festivals internationally. From 2003 to 2007, three large-scale intra-disciplinary projects were created in [and funded by] the Netherlands and UK to form the series: being there. The research and civic engagement aspects of these projects initiated senseofplace LAB’s mission. Curatorial Practice This began as a way to activate a multi-layered dialogue through connecting many perspectives/artists, in order to explore ideas not necessarily inherent in my own practice. Projects were organized with a special focus on works using video, film and net.art, and on diverse audiences: in public spaces, galleries, museums and film festivals. This work led to teaching a class I designed at The New School University called “Interdisciplinary Media and Contemporary Society” from 2000-2012 – as well as a guest lecturer at Piet Zwart Post Graduate Fine Arts in the Netherlands. senseofplace LAB predominantly collaborates with interdisciplinary partners, in order to deepen the investigation of ‘sense of place’ and to open the work to a diverse range of audiences.
/// Laurie Halsey Brown Art Bio ///
Laurie Halsey Brown is the Director/Founder of senseofplace LAB. She received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts. After which, she lived in New York City for ten years before moving to Rotterdam, the Netherlands for five years. She has been living in San Francisco since 2007.
A large scale interdisciplinary piece based on her residency in the World Trade Center was shown at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, NYC in 2001, and her work afterwards has been shown nationally in places such as Exit Art, White Columns and internationally, including creating several large interdisciplinary art projects funded by the Dutch and British government. She has also had video work shown internationally in such venues as the International Film Festival Rotterdam.
She was one of ten finalists for a 2012 Masterminds Grant from SF Weekly: Honoring the Bay Area’s Most Inventive Artists. Her photographs were in an 2011-2012 exhibition in the Bay Area juried by Sandra S. Phillips, Senior Curator of Photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Drew Johnson, Curator of Photography at the Oakland Museum of California – and won a Jurors Choice Award. She is also included in the 2011-2012 exhibition Before the Fall at the New York State Museum. In 2013, She was nominated for The Present Prize for research-based work and created eight new projects as part of senseofplace LAB.
Brown’s work has been written about in Art in America, and several times in The New York Times, and most recently in SF Weekly, The Bold Italic and KPIX. Her works are part of the permanent collection in the Museum Boijmans, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and in many private collections. She has been actively involved in guest residencies nationally and internationally including Belfast, N. Ireland; Berlin, Germany; Rotterdam, the Netherlands and in the UK.
/// Laurie Halsey Brown Teaching Bio ///
Laurie Halsey Brown has many years of teaching and education administration experience. After receiving her MFA from Cal Arts, she taught as a museum educator in many NYC museums, including the Guggenheim and the Whitney Museum of Art for several years. She then worked as the Education Director at several arts spaces including Art in General and Harvestworks Digital Media Arts, followed by a position as the Media Education Coordinator for the New Museum of Contemporary Art. She was a faculty member of the New School University, NYC from 1999 to 2012, where she designed and taught an online course titled ‘Interdisciplinary Media and Contemporary Society. Since moving to San Francisco, she has designed and taught several photo-based workshops through SkillShare, and was the Program Director for Art With Elders in 2012.
/// Articles/Reviews ///
2014 Robin Cembalest, 101 Women Artists Who Got Wikipedia Pages This Week ArtNews.com
2012 Jonathan Curiel, The Destination Artist, SF Weekly
2005 Marina Vishmidt, Crisis or Opportunity, Net Art News rhizome.org
2004 Grace Glueck,Sampling Degrees of Terror;TERRORVISION The New York Times
Ariella Budick Visualizing Fear Newsday
Jane Harris Getting Personal, Political, an Very Idiosyncratic at Exit Art Village Voice
Max Gross Living La Vida Terror Forward
2002 Stephanie Cash, Studios in the Sky Art in America
Martha Schwendener, Urban Renewal Time Out New York
2001 Karen Rosenberg, Lost and Found The Village Voice
Holland Cotter, The Studios Were Lost, But the Artists HaveTheir Day The New York Times
Ellison Walcott LMCC presents…Downtown Express
2000 Holland Cotter A Showcase for Emerging Talent The New York Times
Aidan Dunne Has Video Killed the Visual Arts? The Irish Times
Janel Purcell TCNJ Video Exhibition is a Moving Experience The New Jersey Times
1999 Jonathan Jones On View Belfast Guardian
Kenneth Johnson, Het Observatorium The New York Times NY Arts Magazine, Centerfold Project for Het Observatorium
1998 Munroe Galloway, Zing Magazine Winter
Alfredo De La Rosa, Fertile Waste Colorado Daily
1997 Roberta Smith, To See, and Spend the Night In, The New York Times
Bill Arning, Current Undercurrent: Working in Brooklyn, The Village Voice
1996 Kim Levin, Crest Hardware Show, The Village Voice
/// Presentations ///
2007 Presentation @ Interface: Virtual Environments in Art, Design and Education Conference Dublin Institute of Technology. Presentation titled: “Teaching Contemporary Art and Media Theory in an Online Environment”
2005 Megastad FM 93.9 Rotterdam interview regarding beingthere.v2.r’dam. 05
2004 SPARK! Design and Locality Conference Oslo, Finland invited to present LIVE!NUDE!SPACE!
2000 BBC Radio Northern Ireland radio interview regarding after a few drinks in Belfast
1999 BBC Television Northern Ireland television interview regarding exhibition at Catalyst Arts