Founded in 2001, the goal of the Rhizome Commissions Program is to support emerging artists by providing grants for the creation of significant works of new media art. By new media art, we mean projects that creatively engage new and networked technologies and works that reflect on the broader social and political impact of these tools and media in a variety of forms. Rhizome defines emerging artist as artists who exhibit great potential yet are not fully recognized within their field. Commissioned works can take the final form of web-based works, works that engage mobile platforms, performance, video, installation or sound art. Projects can be made for the context of the gallery, the public, the web or networked devices. Rhizome Commissions awards generally range from $1,000 to $5,000.

This year, Rhizome is placing a specific focus on projects geared that address social issues and/or promote individual advancement through education or participation. Our focus is not restricted to this theme, but it is a priority.

Rhizome will award ten grants: eight grants will be determined by a jury of experts in the field, and two will be determined by Rhizome’s membership through an open vote.

The following criteria will be used while reviewing submissions:

  • Feasibility. Is it a sound proposal that can be executed successfully within a year?
  • Aesthetic innovation, conceptual sophistication, and impact. Will it push the field of technology-engaged art forward?
  • Adherence to the Call for Proposals. Does the proposed work creatively engage technology or offer insightful reflections regarding the impact of new tools and media?
  • Momentum. The Rhizome Commissions Program supports emerging artists. It is important to consider at what moment in the artist’s career this Commission will be delivered. The Commission should help artists reach the next stage of their development.