About the TechLab
Read about the background, mission, and operations of the TechLab.
The TechLab is the only dedicated venue for the production and presentation of digital art in a contemporary art museum in Canada. It sits next to our main exhibition space and also serves as a studio for our digital artists-in-residence.
Surrey Art Gallery proactively responds to new developments in art and provides visitors with opportunities to learn about and experience contemporary art using new medias. The TechLab was originally conceived in 1998 to acquire the tools to exhibit digital artwork and build an audience for new media. An in-house specialist assisted Gallery staff to anticipate and deliver programming using new technologies. In the spring of 1999, the Gallery constructed a prototype digital media lab within its main exhibition hall, made possible with funding from the City of Surrey's Millenium grant program, fundraising by the Surrey Art Gallery Association, and a grant from the Canada Council.
In 2002, the TechLab was redesigned with the input of media artists as a purpose-built venue and opened as a permanent facility. Its original mandate, modified with feedback from digital artists, continues in its present operation.
Artists are commissioned to work in the lab, dividing their work into three equal parts.
- Creation of new media artwork
- Allowing visitors to see the process of digital art creation
- Advising the Gallery in its planning for art exhibitions and programs using digital media
The Artists' Mission
- Help the public view and understand how digital media is currently being used by artists
- Show art in the process of its creation as well as finished examples
- Provide a forum for investigation, expression, and dialogue on how digital media affects contemporary culture and society
- Explore the possibilities digital media opens for communication, interaction, and expression
- Assist the Gallery in addressing challenges and opportunities presented with the development of exhibitions and other programming
- Provide a dynamic learning opportunity for both visitors and staff
- Attract new audiences and partners to Surrey Art Gallery
Operation of the TechLab
The operation of the Techlab has been under the direction of the Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at Surrey Art Gallery. Day-to-day technical support is provided by the Gallery Preparator. Staff from the City of Surrey Information Technology Department have assisted with more advanced technical requirements of the Lab. With each project, the resident artists have requested additional equipment be added to the Lab's inventory. In turn, the artists provide specific technical assistance with the Lab's operation.
Jordon Strom, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections, Surrey Art Gallery
13750-88 Ave, Surrey, BC V3W 3L1