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  • Writer's pictureMonica

Art, Light and the Power of Curated Collaboration: An interview with international art collective teamLab

In the light of their work on the Turandot Opera, we had the opportunity to interview the famous art collective teamLab, which has permanent artworks in museums around the world, like the MOCA (Los Angeles), Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney), the Asian Art Museum (San Francisco), Borusan Contemporary Art Collection (Istanbul) and is regularly featured in publications like designboom, FastCompany, Time Out and WIRED.

They are known for challenging the status quo and pushing boundaries in the art world. For the past months, they have been working on the stage design for an opera — a first for them — and give us a little insight into what goes on behind the scene, quite literally.


As teamLab you call yourselves an „Art Collective“ — what does that mean concretely?

teamLab (f. 2001) is an international art collective, an interdisciplinary group of specialists such as artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians and architects whose collaborative practice seeks to navigate the confluence of art, science, technology, and the natural world.

We are all connected by the fact that we want to create works and exhibitions that no one has ever seen or experienced before. The toughness and dynamism of the team’s production process lies in the fact that these disparate directions collide in the process of creating the work, and at the same time, the work is completed as one teamLab.

teamLab’s work in action at the Turandot Opera — Photo credit: Magali Doudgados

How many are you and how do you work and collaborate together?

Ever since the founding of teamLab, we’ve created pieces through collaborative creation as a collective rather than individuals. teamLab is a laboratory by a team, a place where the team can experiment, and a place where experimental creations are encouraged.

teamLab’s creativity is based on “multidimensionality,” where members with different specialities create together by crossing their boundaries, as well as their “transferable knowledge,” a type of knowledge that can be shared and reused. As a result, teamLab generates what we call ‘collective creation’, the creation of something of higher quality by a group, thus strengthening an entire team. An individual person may not be directly involved in the project but his or her shareable knowledge might be. This continuous process of creating and discovering the transferable knowledge at a high speed yields the power of the group.

How can someone join your team? Do you hire conventionally?

teamLab is currently looking for a wide range of people: CG artists, programmers, architects, engineers, mathematicians, website and smartphone UI / UX artists and designers, public relations, internal and external project managers (called Catalysts), technical artists, etc. Details can be found here — we’re always on the hunt for talent!

Now to the reason for the interview: the Turandot Opera currently showing in Geneva! This is the first opera show you have worked on. Please, tell us more about this experience and how it compares to what you usually do.

Read more about teamlab's work on the Turandot Opera here on the original publication from 10th January 2023 on our medium page.

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