Analytical Report:
Results of the project “Creative Laboratories”
Expectations and Strengths for the Upcoming Laboratory
Short description of the project "Creative Laboratories" (CL):
CL is the project aims to create embodied multicultural dialogue at the intersection of modalities—contemporary visual art, dance, literature, philosophy, improvisation, eco art, physical theater, voice, and more.
CL consist of workshops and explore several examples of artivist (artist/activist) calls to action and their embedded aesthetics and politics as a starting point for discussion and a practical exercise.
Each CL includes artists from Belarus and European countries with the goal of mutual professional enrichment as well as acquaintance of Europeans colleagues with Belarusian culture and its modern representatives.
CL aims to build dialogue of different cultures, languages and means of art expression and designed to enhance this voice of the Artist and the Human.
Expectations from the Laboratory:

Initially, laboratory participants - interdisciplinary artists from different countries - in a survey process before the start of the laboratory expressed a variety of expectations for the upcoming СL. Here are the key points:
-New Connections:
  • Some participants hope to establish new connections during the laboratory.
  • They seek opportunities to collaborate, exchange ideas, and potentially initiate joint projects.
  • The desire for interdisciplinary interactions is evident.
-Rest and Inspiration:
  • A few respondents mentioned wanting to take a break and find inspiration.
  • They view the laboratory as a space to relax, recharge, and gain fresh perspectives.
-Activism in Art:
  • Some respondents specifically mentioned wanting to exchange different ways of activism in art.
  • Interest in exploring social impact through creative expression.
Expectations Met:
  • Expectations were not only met but exceeded. Participants anticipated adventure, artist encounters, inspiration, relaxation, and support, and all of these expectations were fulfilled.
  • Some participants didn’t have specific expectations initially, but the laboratory surpassed whatever they might have imagined.
Impressions During the Lab:
  • The artists themselves left a lasting impression. Their creativity permeated every aspect of the experience.
  • The atmosphere was characterized by friendliness, understanding, sincerity, acceptance, and trust.
  • The safe environment and beauty of the surroundings contributed to a positive inspiring experience.
  • Participants had new experiences and impressions, and they encountered fresh opportunities.

Skills and Knowledge Gained:

Language and Art practice Exploration:
  • Participants engaged in various activities, including practicing English, improvisating performance, exploring photography and videography, voice practice, etc.
  • Musical experiences, including playing unconventional instruments, were enjoyed.
  • Interest in developing sound mixing skills emerged.
  • Constructive feedback on their work was received, contributing to a positive experience.
Exploring New Places:
  • Participants discovered and fell in love with new locations.
  • Intense socializing in beautiful places enriched their experience.
Community and People Insights:
  • Participants learned more about people and community dynamics.
  • Topics included the political situation in Belarus, individual circumstances impacting life and artistic production, and models of community and solidarity.
Interpersonal Exchange:
  • Person-to-person exchange was highly valued.
  • Participants gained stories, knowledge, and firsthand art experiences from Belarusian and other countries represented art landscapes.
  • Exposure to amazing artworks and new recipes also contributed to their learning.
Group Dynamics and Collaboration:
  • Skills related to dealing, acting, and cooperating within a group of previously unknown individuals were developed.
  • Participants got to know their colleagues’ work.
Insight into Belarus and Self-Presentation:
  • Participants gained insight into the current situation in Belarus.
  • Correct pronunciation (emphasizing it’s not Russia) was highlighted.
  • Some embraced new performative experiences.
  • The skill of self-presentation was learned from more experienced colleagues.
  • Some participants learned a few words of Belarusian (especially “ДЗЯКУЙ”).
Results of the CL in long-term perspective:
  1. Meeting Artists and Sharing Experiences: The most valuable aspect of the lab experience is meeting fellow artists, sharing experiences, and bonding. This interaction provides a sense of ownership over new discoveries and possibilities.
  2. Response to Experimental Work: The artist hopes to receive feedback on their experimental work and find opportunities to showcase it elsewhere.
  3. Memories and Refreshed Perspective: The lab has already resulted in touching memories and a refreshed view of art practice. The intense exchange with other artists has been significant, akin to experiences during university.
  4. Curiosity and Future Labs: The artist now feels curious about participating in more labs. The lab has set a high standard for what such experiences can be.
  5. Meeting as People: Beyond artistic interactions, meeting fellow participants as people has been the most precious outcome of the lab.
  6. "Infection with Viruses": Metaphorically, the artist feels “infected” with ideas and inspirations that will reveal themselves through new works.
  7. Continued Collaboration: The artist remains in touch with other lab participants and anticipates future collaborations.
  8. Heightened Sensitivity: Since the lab, the artist has noticed increased sensitivity to vulnerable topics, which may continue to influence their perspectives and artistic practices in the long term.
Solidarity and Interaction.
During the laboratory, there was a strong sense of solidarity and a desire for interaction and mutual assistance among the participants. They discussed common projects, exchanged recommendations, and explored potential collaborations. Some even connected specific works or projects to individuals they met, which bodes well for future interactions. Overall, it appears that the experience fostered a supportive and cooperative atmosphere.

Long-Term Impact and Future Continuation

The continuation of this laboratory seems to be a topic of great interest! Based on the Labs surveys, the potential of such projects is underestimated and needs to be developed. All the participants expresses readiness to continue the laboratory either in its current location or a new one. They aim to capture significant moments beyond the immediate present, focusing on the “eve of the unknown.” Introduction to the Belarusian context highlighted the absence of independent art institutions in Belarus, which led to appreciation of the lab’s freedom from external pressures. In this process, the arts community moves beyond repressive barriers to a more open cultural context, emphasizing strengthening community and deepening exploration rather than exploitation and fixation on monetized themes. While acknowledging the challenges, the participants see potential for establishing something unique and valuable. Maintaining the current format could delve deeper into topics like collective memory, trauma, identity and artivism. Although connecting with institutions is a possibility, the lab’s independence remains precious.
Concerns about the Upcoming Lab:

The respondents also shared their concerns regarding the laboratory:
Relevance and Skill:
  • Some participants worry about their potential lack of relevance or skills.
  • They want to ensure that their participation enriches the experience for everyone involved.
Time Constraints:
  • A few respondents mentioned busy schedules and a lack of time for personal reflection.
  • Balancing commitments may be a challenge during the laboratory.
Clarity of Purpose:
  • Another concern is the clarity of what to work on together.
  • Participants hope for clear guidance on collaborative projects.
Strengths Participants Want to Showcase:
Collective Strength:
  • Some respondents emphasized the importance of collective strength.
  • They aim to contribute to a supportive and collaborative environment.
  • They showcased the ability to work effectively within a group, contributing to successful interactions.
Text and Body Work:
  • Some participants highlighted their ability to work with both text and physical expression.
  • This versatility could enhance interdisciplinary interactions.
Listening Skills:
  • The ability to actively listen and hear others emerged as a strength.
  • Effective communication and empathy are valued.
Connecting and Offering Possibilities:
  • Participants want to connect people and create new opportunities.
  • Their goal is to foster collaboration and open up fresh avenues.
Understanding Diverse Perspectives:
  • Understanding how their artistic practice can be interpreted by people from different backgrounds is important.
  • This reflects an openness to diverse viewpoints.
Skills to Develop and Improve:
Understanding Presence:
  • Some participants seek to enhance their awareness of presence.
  • This could involve mindfulness, self-reflection, and being fully engaged in the moment.
Performative Understanding:
  • Understanding the world through performance is a desired skill.
  • Participants may explore how artistic expression can convey meaning.
Reflection and Meditation:
  • Developing reflection and meditation skills is a priority for some.
  • These practices can enhance creativity and self-awareness.
Knowledge Enhancement:
  • Participants want to expand their knowledge base.
  • Continuous learning and curiosity are essential.
In summary, the upcoming interdisciplinary laboratory holds promise for new connections, creative exploration, and personal growth. Participants bring diverse strengths and aspirations, and addressing their concerns will contribute to a successful and enriching experience.

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