The value of artistic labor as a laboratory of ideas
Art Labor will share how ‘Unconditional Belief’ started as a kind of laboratory of ideas that began with a particular hypotheses about simultaneous belief in modern medicine and spiritual healing. This artist collective of 3 will share how their original hypotheses changed as a result of undertaking research into such things as ophthalmology*, to the story of illiteracy in Vietnam and the creation of a Vietnamese modern alphabetic script, to the occurrence of the ‘Magic Garden’ in Long An Province where people gather to heal their illness: all of which seeks to perhaps better understand the anthropological concept of ‘suffering’ in relationship to ‘animism’.
Art Labor will also talk about their own collective’s methodology — how their ‘idea- laboratory’ works as a think-tank, in which critical theorists and scientists are invited to consult, challenge and question their research. Such collaborations reflect how an artist’s practice is akin to other interdisciplinary forms of enquiry such as anthropology, history, architecture and medicine, which critically contribute to progressive ideas of social value in everyday life. The crossover dialog between art and science within the methods of Art Labor seeks to reaffirm that artistic production and practice is not limited by the white-cube gallery context. Indeed their practice demonstrates that such a nexus of minds is actually functional, educational, and a catalyst that can connect various publics to enact social change.