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Bring exciting art, music, and performance projects to life by rebuilding San Francisco's most important space for experimental art!
Bring exciting art, music, and performance projects to life by rebuilding San Francisco's most important space for experimental art!
Bring exciting art, music, and performance projects to life by rebuilding San Francisco's most important space for experimental art!
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601 backers pledged $54,221 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$54,221

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Hello, we're The Lab!

Founded by art students in 1984, The Lab is one of the last remaining experimental art and music spaces in San Francisco. We've hosted jaw-dropping exhibitions and events with the likes of Jack Smith, Nan Goldin, David Wojnarowicz, Lydia Lunch, Mike Kelley, Bruce Conner, My Bloody Valentine, Barry McGee, Mark Flood with Culturecide, Carrie Mae Weems, Wolf Eyes, Orlan, Barbara Kruger, Caroliner, Kathleen Hanna, Jello Biafra, and countless others, but, like many other alternative art spaces hit hard by funding cuts, The Lab has fallen into disrepair. We need your support to rebuild and start a new chapter in Bay Area history, one that proves that art is crucial to the richness of city life.

TELETHON WITH US DURING THE LAST 24 HOURS OF OUR KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN!

November 15-16, noon-noon, we will present for YOU a variety show of EPIC PROPORTIONS!!! At The Lab, LIVE before a rotating studio audience and broadcast online at thelab.org.

ADMISSION TO THE LIVE BROADCAST IS INCLUDED WITH LAB MEMBERSHIP. PLEDGE NOW TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT TODAY. TICKETS INCLUDE 2 FREE DRINKS AT OUR BON VIVANT DESIGNED PIANO BAR!

Full program lineup here: http://www.thelab.org/schedule/events/754-telethon.html

To wrap up our Kickstarter campaign in style, we are prepared to bring you something so over the top that it will stop you in your web-browsing tracks: The Lab's 24-Hour Telethon! A Jerry Lewis style variety show of all that is weird and wonderful about San Francisco, broadcast live and online from noon November 15 till noon November 16. This final push during the last 24 hours of our Kickstarter campaign includes a kickoff with Survival Research Labs, robot demonstrations by Kal Spelletich, a conversation with Chris Messina, inventor of the hashtag, a TURF dance battle, morning cartoons curated by Jacob Ciocci, appearances by Wavy Gravy, Peaches Christ, a performance by Tommy Guerrero, V. Vale, Frank Chu of 12 Galaxies fame, and much, much more.

Lonnie Holley sent us this gorgeous video:

Check out this little video that James Franco sent us:

The Lab is housed in the Redstone Building in San Francisco’s Mission District. Built in 1914 and originally named the Labor Temple, the Lab’s 3,000 square foot space was the former home of the union meeting hall that hosted the vote for the 1934 General Strike, which led to the forty-hour work week and standard minimum wage. Over the past two months, The Lab has undergone massive renovations to return the space to the look and feel of its original 1914 architecture, taking out the dilapidated linoleum flooring, drop ceilings, and temporary office walls put up by a federal unemployment office in the 1970's.

However, we need a minimum of 50K to complete the restorations and start new operations: refinishing the hardwood floors, rewiring the electrical system, buying tables and chairs, and developing a groundbreaking new website. If we get to 150K, we will launch a program of new commissions by local and international artists and musicians in early 2015. 

Your donations are tax-deductible over the material value of the reward, and will give artists an exciting acoustic and aesthetic laboratory to produce new work. This also provides you with a truly unique place to congregate, play, share a drink, laugh, test out ideas, and meet new, interesting people. Your extra support will make us all the more fabulous and exciting!

So, help us build The Lab. Among other things, we need:

  • Furniture: audience seating and work tables $5,000
  • Equipment: computers, projectors, and speakers $10,000
  • Acoustical treatment: keep the sound in and the cops out $10,000
  • Electricity: general rewiring and installation of sustainable lighting $15,000
  • Restoration: conservation of Margaret Kilgallen’s hand-painted Lab window, preservation of other historic building details $2,000
  • A new website: it will be like no other $8,000
  • Funding for art exhibitions, concerts, and events $100,000

  • We have some fantastic rewards for your donations!
A mock up of our poster! Add on to any reward for $25.
A mock up of our poster! Add on to any reward for $25.
A mock up of our tote bag! Add on to any reward for only $35.
A mock up of our tote bag! Add on to any reward for only $35.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Over The River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado, 23.5 x 31.5 in., signed
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Over The River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado, 23.5 x 31.5 in., signed
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Over The River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado, 28 x 72 in., signed
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Over The River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado, 28 x 72 in., signed
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Over The River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado, 27.5 x 23.5 in., signed
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Over The River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado, 27.5 x 23.5 in., signed
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Over The River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado, 20 x 30 in., signed
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Over The River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado, 20 x 30 in., signed


Our mission: 
The Lab is a catalyst for artistic experimentation. Our projects ignite critical dialogue amongst individuals, organizations, and communities. We support diverse and underserved artists, providing them with essential resources, time, and space to develop work that takes risks and pushes the boundaries of the non-profit platform. As a site of constant innovation and iteration, our programming exposes the elements of art making and transforms the creative process here and abroad.

Thank you! The Lab runs on your donations.  

We would also like to thank our dedicated volunteers and devoted fans, especially Michael Goldwater, Bonnie Banks, Joshua Brooks, Daniel Healey, Emily Hunt, Oliva Mole, Jenny Sharaf, Bennett Schatz, and Kara Q. Smith. 

Video credits: Many thanks to filmmaker Anthony A. Russell, who helped make our great Kickstarter video with footage from The Lab's archives. Those clips, in order of appearance: Amidst (2010): video and sound installation by Ursula Scherrer and Flo Kaufmann, with live performances with Shelley Hirsch and Fred Frith; Vibrators Love Sound (2013) by Betty Apple; Static Room (2002) installation by Scott Arford; Caroliner (2009); Wunderkabinet (2005) an experimental opera and installation by Pamela Z; Half of Half (2013)art.tech (2009)M V Carbon (2012); Dynasty Handbag (2009)Lucas Murgida (2010) for Pieces-of-you-topia exhibition; Samin Son (2013); Christina Stanley for Organ Spectacular (2009); Bonnie Banks exhibition with Scummerai (2010); Godwaffle Noise Pancakes with Styrofoam Sanchez (2012); The Adventures of Lucky M (2002) by Michelle Handelman. Music by Travis Corwin

Yours sincerely, 

The Lab's Board of Directors – Dena Beard (Executive Director), Elisa Durrette, Al McElrath, Alan Millar (President), Julie Norris, Benjamin Petrosky, Jessica Shaefer, Vikki Tobak, and Shari Wilk.

Risks and challenges

If we meet our goal of $50,000 by noon November 16, 2014, you can expect a new Lab, with renovated space and website to launch by mid 2015. If we can make it to $150,000, discover the immediate satisfaction of knowing that local and international artists will have enough funding to begin working on new projects for exhibition in Fall 2015.

We're building everything from the ground up, so it's entirely possible that we'll meet delays. We want it to be great and won't stop until we get there.

On the reward side, the physical objects are designed and will be ready to order as soon as numbers and individual specifications are finalized. We will need some time to process and mail, but we will let you know of our progress. Conceptual objects will be negotiated individually starting 5 days after the Kickstarter’s completion.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Instant validation: we will tell you of our undying gratitude for your existence in a nice email.

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    A singing telegram: we will make that email extra nice by adding in a link to download our exclusive Lab playlist of never-before-seen-or-heard video footage and sonic waves.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Paper monument: as testament of our love for you, we will send you a piece of The Lab–a poster depicting our legendary former ceiling, in all its dilapidated glory, plus all of the above rewards. Plaster it on your own ceiling, and enjoy the ruin porn.

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    The haul: we know your locally sourced veggies want to be as edgy as your imported vinyl, so we've designed a bag that can tote them all.

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    Telethon with us: One reserved seat for the 6-9pm portion of our live telethon. Expect the unexpected, and treats!

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    Telethon with us: One reserved seat for the 9pm-12am portion of our live telethon. Expect the unexpected, and treats!

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    Telethon with us: One reserved seat for the 12am-6am portion of our live telethon. Expect the unexpected, and treats!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Telethon with us: One reserved seat for the 6am-12pm portion of our live telethon. Expect the unexpected, and treats!

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    Telethon with us: One reserved seat for the 12pm-6pm portion of our live telethon. Expect the unexpected, and treats!

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    The club: Join us! Lab membership gets you one year of free admittance to our music, art, film, and literature events and access to our members-only bar, with exclusive recipes by renowned mixologists, wild performances, and edgy films.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Full booty: Get all the Lab schwag–email, playlist, poster, bag, plus membership!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Call it what you will: The booty package, as above, plus naming rights! We will name a small Lab space of your choosing in your honor. A new chair will bear the moniker of your recently deceased hamster; a bar glass will be reserved in your name; you will live on in a part of our new acoustic ceiling. Basically, if you can help us save it, we will name it whatever you deem appropriate.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Dine if you dare: attend a secret supper and exhibition with celebrated chef Leif Hendendal. This unique event will be unlike any dinner you've previously experienced, and beyond delicious. Leif Hedendal is a cook and artist who focuses on social practices, pedagogy, health, agriculture, and food politics. Trained at noma, Citron, Greens, and numerous Barcelona restaurants, Hedendal's cuisine emphasizes micro-seasonality, humanely raised meat, under–utilized vegetables, urban agriculture, and wild forage.

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    Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Christo supplies non-profit arts organizations with photo-lithos of his and Jeanne-Claude’s "Over The River: Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado,” to be used by those organizations as fund-raising tools. The artists receive no funds whatsoever, as the entire amount is intended to benefit The Lab. Christo hand signs each of these large scale images, and his webMaster – and our neighbor – Jok Church makes sure they benefit the arts and education communities. Visit http://christojeanneclaude.net. This package also include naming rights to a small space in the Lab, and the full Lab schwag package–email, playlist, poster, bag, and membership!

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    Pledge $725 or more About $725

    Concierge: Art consultation with tour of 3 Bay Area artists studios, followed by dinner with The Lab's Director.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Christo and Jeanne-Claude: These internationally acclaimed artists generously donated three signed prints from their 40-year career. This package also include naming rights to a small space in the Lab, and the full Lab schwag package–email, playlist, poster, bag, and membership!

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    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    Host your own: we will give you The Lab's space for 3-4 hours. We'll help you to find a time, one when we aren't previously booked. Holiday party? Company bash? We can make it extra special.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Take over: we will give you The Lab's space for 8 glorious hours. Message info@thelab.org to reserve a time, one when we aren't previously booked. We can even make things extra special by finding great DJs, video artists, mixologists, clowns... Your heart's desire is our desire.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Name the Executive Director: for one year, the ED of The Lab will be titled with the designation of your choosing. "Benevolent Overlord of Noise" or "Director of San Francisco's Wombat Army," for instance. With such power come great rewards: private visits with artists and collectors, a Lab space rental, and plenty of special treatment presumably relating to public relations problems. We are up for it, are you?

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Funding period

- (32 days)