1st International LABO in Potsdam [summary]

The idea of International LABO grew out of regular Swiss LABO meetings for art therapists run by our dear colleague, François Lacroix. Suddenly, we felt a longing for connection with other practitioners, who appreciate expressive arts as a therapeutical method.

We imagined a space where international expressive arts enthusiasts could meet, chat, play with arts, and take time to discover how digital technologies can support us in art-making. What happened later, we can only be described as a fantastic experience of exchange and flow.

Our 1st International LABO took place on February 17th, 2019 at Werkhaus Potsdam. We decided to explore the concept of Movement Extravaganza. Our need was to simply move, play, let go and have fun together. The intention was to learn something new and bring those learnings to our working environments.

Together with colleagues from L’Atelier in Geneva and Move Your Thoughts from Berlin, we came up with a structure that allowed us to move through the day with awareness and presence.

~ Move Your Thoughts in action ~

Katka and Magda from Move Your Thoughts took us on a journey with dynamic movement exercises. Later on, each of us chose just one movement to work with. Then we made a bunch of videos like slow motion, time-lapse, and stop motion. Finally, we created short video pieces and combined them with self-written poetry jams recorded in one of the available smartphone apps.

~ Excerpts from experimental LABO videos ~

Through active participation in the art-making process, we learned that technology can be easily used with groups and individuals. Of course, it has its own limitations. However, in low-budget projects and places with little access to art materials smartphones can become an interesting tool to play with.

It was fascinating to see how funny animations and videos transformed our movements and brought them to the next, deeper level. The effects of our work unexpectedly became very touching. They definitely were a big surprise to many of us.

~ A video piece by Joanna ~

Last but not least, we realized one more time how important it is to exchange knowledge and ideas, experiment with a community, and receive gentle and constructive feedback.

This meeting gave us more courage to play with arts and bring our daring concept into actual spaces, where people can experience the creative process in a safe and non-judgemental way.

Our next International LABO will take place on November 2nd, 2019 in Antwerp, Belgium.

The effect of our 1st International LABO can be seen also here.

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