Live Lab

The Brief

The Magnum LiveLab is a multiple photographer residency program, producing work which directly responds to the location and community in which it is situated. Over the course of two weeks, a number of Magnum photographers, along with a curator, work in an experimental ‘lab’, to produce a new body of work about, for and with local communities, followed by pop-up exhibition. Magnum Photos partners in each location with a prestigous cultural institution, which provides a home and legacy for the new work produced.

The chemistry between the participants: the curator and the photographers, along with the city that serves as the inspiration for their new production, creates the unique outcome of each lab.The process of making, editing, printing and curating the work is performed in full view of the public. The audience is invited to ‘join’ the journey in-situ as new work begins to populate the walls and online through digital publication, as it unfolds. The outcome is a process of discovery for both participants and audience alike and serves to highlight the collaborative nature of production at the heart of the Magnum Photos cooperative.

A dynamic creative experiment, Live Labs have been hosted in London, Shenzhen and Paris, supported by brands and companies with a unique way to meet both community-based social responsibility aims, contribute to an important historic record of a city and align with world-renown cultural institutions.

FRANCE. Paris. November 2, 2017. Agata. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos

Evolving pop-up exhibitions

Behind the scene videos

Portfolio of prints gifted to partner museum

Public programming with featured artists and curators

Editorial features on

Digital amplification on Magnum social media

© Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos

Working within the defined geographical zone outlined here, the three photographers respond to this framework; reflecting on the structures, the historical and contemporary characters and the richly diverse culture that makes up this place.

Anna Sparham, curator, Museum of London
Members of London's Italian community gather for lunch at the Italian community centre in Clerkenwell. 2017. GB. England. © Olivia Arthur | Magnum Photos

We are faced with ourselves in this project. It’s passionate, but that creates a certain pressure. Personally, I have to truly go and find deep down in myself the things that I want to see and to show.

Jerome Sessini
GB. England. London. Clerkenwell. From 'Magnum LiveLab' May 2017. © Mark Power | Magnum Photos
Barbican From 'Magnum LiveLab' GB. England. London. May 2017. © Mark Power | Magnum Photos

The Live Lab exhibition is an evolving 'pop-up' presentation of work created as part of a collaborative residency program. Responding to 'place', each Magnum photographer engages with both the landscape and the local community, creating a constantly changing display to disseminate the process of making in real time.

Live Lab workshop with Alex Majoli and Christopher Anderson. China. Shenzen. 2017. © Magnum Photographers | Magnum Photos
Live Lab workshop with Alex Majoli and Christopher Anderson. China. Shenzen. 2017. © Magnum Photographers | Magnum Photos
Live Lab workshop with Alex Majoli and Christopher Anderson. China. Shenzen. 2017. © Magnum Photographers | Magnum Photos
China. Shenzhen. 2017. © Alex Majoli | Magnum Photos
Scene #4638. CHINA. Shenzhen. 2017. A buddhist monk being transported to the boat from the shore. The boat is loaded with fish that will be released out at sea as part of “Life release”, or (...) fangsheng in Chinese, the traditional Buddhist practice of freeing captive creatures. © Alex Majoli | Magnum Photos
© Live Lab London | Magnum Photos
© Liev Lab Russia | Magnum Photos

Next Partnership


‘Now is the Time’ with Boston Consulting Group

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the Boston Consulting Group collaborated with Magnum Photos and designers Kram/Weisshaar to create a cutting-edge exhibition documenting five key conditions exemplifying the world at a crossroads. Five photographers worked across ten cities where changes that will transform the world over the next 20 years were visible.