Facebook expands its arts programs with Artists in Residence and Analog Research Lab
Tina Vaz (pictured top), previously the deputy director, Global Communications at the Guggenheim, is joining Facebook to become Head of Facebook’s Artists in Residence Program & Analog Research Lab. In this role, she will be responsible for the worldwide Art programs.
Jennie Lamensdorf (right), previously the director & curator, Art-in-Buildings (Time Equities, Inc.), is becoming the Bay Area Regional Lead of Facebook Artist In Residence / Analog Research Lab. In this role, she will head up the Bay Area expansion of Facebook art programs, building relationships and curating commissions for art installations in Bay Area sites.
Both will work at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park.
“Facebook has been a champion for artists since Day 1,” said Facebook representative Katie Zeiser. “Most famously, artist David Choe painted the walls of Facebook’s first office.
“How we engage and support local artists has evolved tremendously since then and today includes a number of initiatives that help make art a part of the Facebook employee experience and make our corporate culture feel not-so-corporate. These initiatives include the Analog Research Lab, the Designer in Residence program, and the Artist in Residence (AIR) program.”
The Analog Research Lab (ARL) was born in 2010, when two Facebook marketing managers, Ben Barry and Everett Katigbak, set up shop in an unused corner of a warehouse at the company’s Palo Alto office. The two shared a passion to create a space where employees could make handmade art, something tangible, as opposed to the digital which was so impermanent, and an opportunity to exercise the other side of their brains. Mostly done in their spare time and primarily funded or built and scavenged themselves, they managed to put together the original printmaking equipment.
The program quickly caught on and soon became an integral part of Facebook’s culture, often referred to as the company’s “heart and conscience,” because of the role it played in driving dialogue and provoking important questions with the aim of opening employee’s minds to new ideas and perspectives. In time, Analog Research Labs opened up across offices around the world and brought in designers (via the Designer in Residence program) to teach workshops and to contribute their own screen prints and posters to Facebook’s offices.
The Artist in Residence (AIR) program was formally launched in 2012 under the direction of artist Drew Bennett, who helped Facebook move past its original street art aesthetic and into a more deliberate curation of art, first in the Menlo Park office, and then around the world, with a mission of fostering creative experimentation and supporting artistic communities.
Through AIR, Facebook’s Art team invites contemporary artists to use our campus as a canvas — not to simply realize a commission, but to be who they are and make the work that they make, taking risks and sharing messages they feel are important to our community. By the end of 2019, Facebook will have commissioned over 700 projects by local artists around the world through the AIR program.
“Art has the power to connect people and cultures and to alter the way we see and experience the world,” said Vaz. “As a community of builders and a catalyst for connection, Facebook has much to contribute to the global dialogue about the vital role art of art in advancing ideas and innovation. I look forward to working with Facebook to extend its commitment to art, artists and the creative process in new ways.”
Photos courtesy of Facebook