Cahoots Lab

Ngunnawal country April–May 2023 Cahoots Lab shares work-in-progress showings of interdisciplinary and experimental art, with the occasional presentation of fully realised artworks.

Cahoots Lab events might include music, theatre, film, poetry, workshops, panel discussions, sculpture,  listening parties, circus for kids, sound installation,  projection, animation, dance, augmented reality, glass, and more.

Cahoots Lab exclusively presents work developed by artists and producers who have undertaken the Cahoots residency (and their collaborators).

You can view the Cahoots Lab 2023 program here.

Cahoots Lab 2023 is supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and the ACT Government.

The Cahoots residency reliably leads to the creation of new, ambitious work. Cahoots Lab is an integral stage of the creation process, an event season for artists and producers to present work-in-progress, test experimental and innovative ideas, and experience critical engagement from Canberra’s creative community, including peers and audiences. Risk taking and experimentation is encouraged from the conception of work to its realisation. Many artists use emerging technologies to experiment with content, format and delivery of their work, to investigate and test new approaches within their practice.

YAH Creative Producers work with the artists to articulate what they want to test and receive feedback on, and refine their intended audience. We then collaboratively develop testing and feedback mechanics, to support the artist’s development and further iterations of their work.

Each event is a little different, but Cahoots Lab aims to create spaces for connection and to welcome everyone who is interested in art in Canberra… It is our invite to be part of a creative community that supports and critiques each other’s work.

It  is also a development opportunity for the presenting artists. Every artist is supported to ensure Cahoots Lab is a rich and rewarding experience that contributes to their own understanding of their artistic output and how an audience engages with it. We work with artists to determine what to show, how to show it, what they’re testing, what feedback they need, and how to get it. The time producers spend with each Cahoots artist results in fine-tuned, tailored and responsive support, both to their artistic output and their wellbeing. Events may be designed for public audiences, or invited peers. Artists may show work-in-progress, iterations of work over multiple years, or launch finished work. Artists may show their work once, or show it multiple times in different locations, go big with production value, or scale down to something simple.

Cahoots Lab builds artist capacity through experimentation in form, modes of practice, ideas, materials, and iteration.

Presented Canberra-wide, Cahoots Lab brings art experiences to audiences all across the ACT.  Most events are free, all are in accessible venues, and we work towards providing safer spaces for all people of marginalised identities.

We have run Cahoots Lab twice – once in September 2020 and once in June 2022, as well as showing work by Cahoots artists in the 2019 You Are Here Festival (which led to a shift in our model of how best to serve the Cahoots participants wanting to show work-in-progress). You Are Here will run Cahoots Lab in April 2023, and then annually in April thereafter.

Read about Cahoots Lab 2023 in HerCanberra

Hear more about Cahoots Lab on Queering the Capital (31st May)

Listen to Creative Director Ketura Budd speaking about Cahoots Lab on ABC Radio:

For all media inquiries contact: