Bruno Latour’s essay Give Me a Laboratory and I will Raise the World (1983), describes the laboratory as the place in science and technology where innovation happens. From the depth of the lab, the society is so directly modified. This essay examines the power of the laboratory to transform society, or of rebuilding the system in which it is embedded. Following such reasoning, this essay will make a case for how transformations in culture, capital and society that occurred during the 1990s are part of the history from which to explain the emergence of laboratory spaces such as hackerspaces, media labs and the lessfavoured sonic laboratories. Nevertheless, there are qualitative as well as quantitative differences between such places. Since their appearance, sonic laboratories have been aligned, for example, with critical and alternative practices, thus indicating a separation from the neoliberal economies of private sector galleries and established cultural institutions in the public sector (Jaron Rowan, 2015).
Reacting against these, the sonic laboratory is often characterised by using open source and digital media and focuses on radically transforming production denouncing how capitalistic market speculates with the value of art objects. The sonic lab offers a confrontation with the methods of capitalistic technologies, becoming its production more affordable and also, provides models of collaborative practices which encourage experimentation and creativity in the curation of sound arts. The sonic lab offers practices of instrument making that make production more personal but located in a community. Such labs can address new institutional opportunities in humanities to engage with practice-based knowledge creation and extend their mission to include tools, techniques and a new curatorial scope.