history

Pavlov E-Lab started off as Pavlov Medialab, a media studio for imagination, innovation and adventure that operated for a significant number of years. Together with partners from all kinds of social backgrounds, from residents to architects and from archeologists to entrepreneurs, we made use of our expertise, and realized innovative projects.Often with the use of state of the art techniques. This resulted in a number of films, city expeditions and multimedia performances, among other things. These projects were characterized by the adventurous use of innovative techniques, the significant involvement of local communities, intersectorial collaborations and a main focus on the public space. The creative core members at the time were artistic directors Thuur Caris and Nathalie Beekman, and inventor and designer Gerad Harens.

Below we will describe a number of Medialab projects. For information about all Pavlov Medialab projects please click here.

Requiem for a city hall
This was a multimedia performance to mark  the occasion of the demolition of Groningen’s former city hall. This ’city ceremony’ marked the location in the heads of 5000 spectators that came to see the performance. Pavlov made a requiem in image and sound, performed by eighty musicians that stood in the windows of the dismantled skeleton of the structure, as a farewell to this important public building. They played a collage-like composittion that was accompanied by a video projection of images that brought about a stream of memories of the building throughout its lifetime. The hypnotic movement of a demolition-ball that swung like a metronome was accompanied by drummers, a string orchestra, a free jazz band led by Alan Laurillard, a wind section, an opera singer and a pop singer together, and a poet. Finally, a huge dinosaur-like concrete-cutter arose, and took a tentative bite out of the old building. A magnesium bomb flashed and it was over...
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Mobile
Pavlov started off as a medialab in 2001 with Mobile: a city expedition for the international architecture festival Blue Moon.
The theme of the festival was the exploration of new urban territories and the new functionality of cities. Mobile was the crowd puller of the festival. Fifteen hundred people took part in the expedition that took place in the evenings, six days in a row. Participants received directions from guides or through text messages on their mobile phones, which led them straight through private spaces of the unknown city: over rooftops, through gardens, under a cinema screen, along fire escapes and through bedrooms and kitchens.

The virtual space was also explored. Every evening the local radio station would broadcast fragments of mobile phone conversations of the expedition. Participants could also report on their adventures by phone, which was then broadcasted live. The guides carried ghettoblasters during the expedition, so the participants could tune in at any time. The finale of the expedition was a ringtone concert of 250 mobile phones.
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Labyrinthos
Labyrinthos was a unique internet project that took place from September 29 until October 16, 2005. During this period Pavlov hosted a virtual artist in residence: Peeter Laurits from Estonia. His work is so deeply rooted in the Estonian primordial ground, that we did not want to present it seperately. You could, in fact, say that the project concerned a ‘country in residence’.
During these 2 weeks a live internet video connection was established daily with this artist, who lives and works in the primordial forests of Estonia. The video-stream was projected onto a huge warehouse wall in the city centre of Groningen. By doing so, a direct link was established between the cultivated city centre of Groningen and the unspoilt nature of K├╝tiorg in Estonia; which includes one of the last European primordial forests.
A clash between the new and the old Europe: the spectators were in the street, but they were inside the artist’s hut at the same time; they were in the city centre, but they could also hear the gusty wind in the trees. Modern-day city people were able to witness a primordial, pagan world where dreams, rituals, myths and silence still play a magical role. The labyrinth is a symbol for the search of the origin of things; for the banished, primordial man inside us all, but it can also be interpreted as a present-day  symbol for the internet.
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Do the Rooftophop!
In the summer of 2006 Pavlov organized a building construction workshop, City on a Roof, and a manifestation, Do the Rooftophop!, together with the COAR foundation. Both projects were aimed at the exploration of unused possibilities of ‘rooftop landscapes’. The main question was whether this exploration might contribute to an expansion of free, creative space in the city centre.
The building construction workshop City on a Roof took place on top of the Puddingfabriek. Here, nine teams of architects and artists worked together on mobile prototypes for building in trees and on rooftops.

The City on a Roof teams included: S333 Architecture+Urbanism (Amsterdam/ London), What Architecture (London), Krijn Christiaanse and Kathalijne Montens (Rotterdam), Nora van der Ziel (Groningen), Petra Koonstra (Groningen), Team Zizi/ Spoetnik (Estonia/ Groningen), Onix Architecten (Groningen) and Reinder Huisman.

The Do the Rooftophop! manifestation took place on different connected rooftops in the city centre of Groningen. Artist collectives from New York, Berlin and London worked on ‘rooftop landscapes’ simultaneously, and their work included music, projected animations and interactive installations. By doing so, the hidden domain of the rooftops was opened up, and a new public space was created: an innovative playground for Groningen.

The Rooftophop teams included: Nika Offenbac and Devan Simunovic (CTRL Labs, New York), DJ Foefur (Groningen), Mo Stoebe and Sophie Clements (London), Soundbase (Groningen), Gerard Ammerlaan (Groningen) and Stephane Leonard (Berlin).
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> www.dotherooftophop.net

Inside out
For the Noorderzon theatre festival in 2008 Pavlov organized an intimate cinematic walk through the Ebbingekwartier district, a creative city area in the city centre of Groningen. With the idea that a city exists through the stories of its inhabitants, like in the book Invisible Cities by Calvino, we went in search of stories behind the facades of buildings. During the walk the participants had the opportunity to peek inside windows and to look behind facades, as to get an impression of the lives that take place behind them.

Images of shop interiors, workplaces, bedrooms and dancing schools were projected outside, through the windows of different buildings. We witnessed a ballet of meats in a butcher’s shop, uncomfortable intimacies in the dormitory of a hostel, and then headed for the rough city jungle terrain of the Verffabriek (a squatted paint factory). A ghostly Byzantine choir emerged on top of one of the old silo buildings on a desolate building site, and we could hear people bathing in the pot-holes in the street.
For this project the filmmakers Matthew Murdoch (UK) and Ladan Anoushfar (UK) worked together with the Groningen composers Matthijs van der Veer, Renger Koning and Michiel Rasker.
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New Grrunnen
free thoughts on Groningen 2.0

New Grrunnen was a thought experiment; it was an appeal to the inhabitants of Groningen to reinvent themselves and to find a place in the 21st century in a world that is globalized by new media. Participants were asked to place Groningen outside the context of the Netherlands, as an independent entity that can redetermine her partners, culture, economy and location in the world.

Fifty beds were set up on the main square of Groningen, the Grote Markt, and here people were invited to come dream about this topic. People were also asked to donate their ideas through the local media, on a website and through a number of think tank sessions. A cross section of the community, including artists, entrepreneurs and scientists, joined the project. The results of the project were published afterwards.

We concluded that imagination,ingenuity and knowledge are the raw materials of the 21st century; they form the basis for a possible new order.

This project skims along the margins of the arts, and, by doing so, tested the social relevance of (media) arts, which is a variation on the theme : ‘Art in everyday life’.
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