Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory

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Društvo Ljudmila, laboratorij za znanost in umetnost
Slovenska 54, SI-1000 Ljubljana
Luka Frelih, President

Past Events
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Ljudmila in lights.jpgLjudmila in lights, Ljudmila - Ljubljana Digital Media Lab, the predecessor of Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory.

Set up in the mid-1990s, Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory has been bringing together technology, art, science and civil society ever since. As such, it is not only a place where hackers, researchers and artists meet, but also a platform for reflecting and modifying culture through the lens of politics, as generated by the developments in communications technologies.

As of 2017, Ljudmila shares the 8th floor of a skyscraper in the centre of Ljubljana with two other NGOs, the Delak Institute and the Projekt Atol Institute. Together, they work on running it as a multifunctional venue for new media art and contemporary theatre. It is called Osmo/za.

Ljudmila's programmes are rather diverse and wide-reaching. It runs the art&hacking meeting PIFcamp and organises workshops on the uses of open source software and on making DIY technological hacks; supports the production of new media artworks; and more. Since 2010, it operates the Culture.si portal and, as of 2013, also the metasearch engine and culture aggregator Kulturnik.si. For a time, starting in 2011, it acted as a public lead of Creative Commons Slovenia.


Ljudmila engages in the development and popularisation of open culture, free licences and software, and in new ways of data distribution. It detects the ways through which the transformations in the field of information and communications technologies affect the society and encourages the corresponding cultural and artistic practices.


The laboratory is a successor to the Ljudmila - Ljubljana Digital Media Lab, as of 1994, a programme of the Open Society Institute Slovenia and, later, also the KUD France Prešeren Arts and Culture Association. Self-proclaimed as "the latest spin-off" from the Open Society Institute – Slovenia (1992–2000), the Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory was established by 10 new & all media artists, software developers, hackers and computer engineers in 2010.

The founding members of the Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory are Urban Belina, Mitja Doma, Luka Frelih, Tomaž Ižanc, Žiga Kranjec, Igor Križanovskij, Zoran Obradović, Alenka Pirman, Robertina Šebjanič and Živa Zupan.

Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory 2014 Dorojevic Stupica Neur-O-Matic Photo Miha Peterlic.jpgNevromat [Neur-O-Matic] by Lenka Đorojević & Matej Stupica, produced by Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory and Projekt Atol Institute, 2014

Educational programmes

Ljudmila organises regular courses in basic and advanced use of open source software (Blender, Pure Data, MediaWiki), as well as the Free Circuit (Prosto-vezje) workshops and Digital Dish public lectures and artist talks by international new media artists.

The workshops usually feature various modes of "tinkering" with electronic circuits and technology in general, hacking and re-imagining it with the help of free software ("home-made synths" and "wearable electronics" serving as a typical example). The participants are encouraged to search for further uses and include the findings in their artistic work. Since 2013, Ljudmila has been developing its education programmes together with the Projekt Atol Institute.

Ljudmila - Ljubljana Digital Media Lab 2012 Interactivos Photo Helena Bozic (3).jpgInteractivos?’12 Ljubljana: Obsolete Technologies of the Future at Ljudmila - Ljubljana Digital Media Lab, 2012

Art projects and residencies

Ljudmila's artistic endeavours, also often involving Projekt Atol, usually fall under new media art. It focuses on young artists, offering them technological and other support for their productions. Some of the artworks produced by Ljudmila are Neur-o-Matic, an awarded analogue media-art installation by Lenka Đorojević & Matej Stupica; and the interactive generative sound installation Time Displacement | Chemobrionic Garden, created by Robertina Šebjanič, Aleš Hieng and Ida Hiršenfelder, which was nominated for the STARTS Prize – the Grand Prize of the European Commission honouring Innovation in Technology, Industry and Society Stimulated by the Arts.

The laboratory also organises artist residencies, inviting and hosting one artist from abroad per year. Participating residents have included Hannah Perner-Wilson, Peter Edwards, Servando Barrerio, Bengt Sjölén, James Powderly & Eun-Jung Son and Chris Sugrue.

PIFcamp and festivals

PIFcamp, a temporary hacker-base set in the idyllic valley of Trenta, Slovenia, was first set up in 2015. Hands-on workshops, presentations, field trips, artistic explorations and random gadget tinkerings take place in an atmospehere of collective research and creation. Participants are assisted by experienced local and international guests from different fields.

It regularly collaborates with Lighting Guerrilla Festival with its Lighting Guerrilla Laboratory programme. In 2020 it organised a week long international festival of new media art called A dela? [Is It Working?],

Portals and digital agenda

On the behalf of the Ministry of Culture, Ljudmila ran two web portals in the period 2009–2020: Culture.si, which offers information on Slovene cultural producers, venues, festivals and support services, all in one place; and Kulturnik.si, a digital aggregator and search engine for all things (Slovene) culture.

In 2013, Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory was invited by the Ministry of Culture to collaborate with the National and University Library and Archives of the Republic of Slovenia and organise a line of discussions related to the Digital Agenda in the Field of Culture in order to identify the issues and outline basic standards and recommendations for a common strategy. The working group led by Ljudmila focused on data acessibility, while the other two groups discussed the processes of digitisation and permanent data preservation.

Ljudmila has also been collaborating with the Slovene Museum Society, organising discussions on museums and the web. It advises art institutions on web design, manages the servers infrastructure for various NGOs, and is generally interested in the developments of digital politics and policy.

Other past activities

In 2013 Ljudmila launched the Strictly Analog Festival, then an international joint project with partner institutions from Graz, Trieste and Tokyo as well as with the locally based Lighting Guerrilla Festival, MoTA Museum of Transitory Art and Projekt Atol Institute.

As a result of a theremin and theremidi physical interface workshop at Ljudmila in 2011, the electronic noise ensemble Theremidi Orchestra was founded in 2011, in collaboration with Borut Savski from Cirkulacija 2. The Theremidi audiovisual public presentations at festivals are usually combined with open workshops on making DIY instruments and gadgets.

Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory 2013 Theremidi Orchestra.jpgTheremidi Orchestra, group of enthusiasts from Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory performing at Mladi levi Festival and 7th edition of U3 Triennial of Contemporary Slovene Arts, 2013

See also

External links


Društvo Ljudmila, laboratorij za znanost in umetnost +
Luka Frelih +
46.056 +
Društvo Ljudmila, laboratorij za znanost in umetnost +
14.506 +
SI-1000 Ljubljana +
President +
Slovenska 54 +
Set up in the mid-1990s, Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory has been bringing together technology, art, science and civil society ever since. +
Set up in the mid-1990s, Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory has been bringing together technology, art, science and civil society ever since. +
Društvo Ljudmila, laboratorij za znanost in umetnost skozi povezovanje polj umetnosti in tehnologije ter DIY in open source pristopom goji inovativno okolje za interdisciplinarne projekte, skupine in posameznike. +
Ljubljana +
SI-1000 +
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