Founded in 2020, DARK LABORATORY is a storytelling project developed by Tao Leigh Goffe to explore the entanglement of stolen life and stolen land across deep time in the Western Hemisphere. With a focus on race, climate, and creative technology practitioners, theoreticians, and technicians create art installations, films, architectural models, podcasts, and research reports that document the layered histories of the dispossession of Native sovereignty and the enslavement of African peoples. In 2023, the lab staged a multi-sensorial activation by invitation of Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation called Dark Blueprints on New York City histories.
Inspired by Toni Morrison’s book Playing in the Dark, the lab invites collaborators to experiment in producing narratives that illustrate the dark blueprints of life across the Americas. Through media including film, sound, text, VR, and AR, Dark Lab looks to center the ethics of what it means to tell a “good story” through research. By tackling climate crisis and racial injustice together, the lab fosters a multimodal, interdisciplinary space between technology and the humanities. With members including coders, lawyers, designers, literary theorists, filmmakers, and choreographers, the lab works to translate between formal institutions and decentralized networks. The Dark Lab and its members have been commissioned to present work for Apple, Hulu, and the Guggenheim. Dark Lab has worked in collaboration with the New York Society Library, the Indigenous Futures Institute, and the New Museum’s incubator NEW INC to name a few of our institutional partners.