What’s ERL Really About?

Ethereal Research Laboratories is a project created by Los Angeles artist Carol Es. Each “specimen” is completely original, handmade and sewn. Each “design” is tagged, then signed and numbered in editions of 12. The artist has given these things fictitious names, and tagged each specimen with locale, mythical dates, and hosts – just as they would be if they were found in an archaeological dig. They are then placed in a glass, Pyrex Erlenmeyer flasks that are used in biological research.

This project was born in 2007 and was meant to eventually be a mobile laboratory that included a reference and research library, all contained in a gutted out ice cream truck. The mobile lab would move from school to museum to library to community arts centers all over Los Angeles as a means to enlighten and educate young people about art, science and research. The program came with a component of interactivity for the participants to log their findings inside reference books that would be kept with the mobile library and shared with the next group and so on to compare findings with new groups of individuals. Workshops for young people to make their own made-up specimens would also have been a part of the curriculum.

Instead, and for now, small editions have been created to sell in order to raise money to create more editions. Eventually the artist hopes to raise funds and/or grants to bring about the entire project as it was once conceived with the assistance of a team. Until then, this first leg of the project is what you are seeing here on this website, partially funded by a special Kickstarter campaign at the end of 2011.

Thank you for reading.