When ideals of capitalist progress become the driver of societal value, a position of refusal can be a political and necessary act. Eyebeam’s 2020 Residency Open Call asks applicants to consider refusal as it relates to technology and its impact on society. How do acts of refusal manifest in one’s life and work poetically or directly?

Guided by the central prompt “what are the terms of refusal?” Eyebeam’s 2020 Residency will be punctuated by four key intensives which will be focused on research, experimentation, and exchange. They will be 3-4 days in duration, and organized by international and local visiting professionals who are working creatively as technologists, activists, and stewards of ideas in their fields. The intensives will dive into ideas of refusal in direct response to the residency cohort’s projects and research.

Potential areas of focus include:

  • Capital and consumer driven notions of technological innovation
  • “Win-or-fail” models of success and value
  • Technological waste and resource extraction which disproportionately harm low-income communities and people of color
  • Technology used to centre pleasure and beauty for disabled people
  • Refusal as activism; recentering oppressed narratives
  • Climate justice as a guiding principle in the development of emerging technology
  • Ancestral knowledge and present reimaginings of technology
  • Histories of refusal as political action
  • Institutional power, influence, and accountability

2020 Residency Advisors

This open call was conceived in collaboration with an advisory team of seven artists, writers, researchers, and arts organizers nominated by previous residents and Eyebeam staff. This new process builds on the last three years of residents’ inquiry with a commitment to deeper learning and discourse around the urgent issues raised by our community.

  • Alejandra Duque Cifuentes; Executive Director, Dance/NYC; Gibney Curatorial Advisor
  • Betsy Ribble Pine; Manager, Fellows Team at The Obama Foundation
  • Gelare Khoshgozaran; Artist and writer; Visiting Art Council Professor at UCLA Design Media Arts
  • Jamie Allen; Canada Research Chair in Infrastructure, Media and Communications at NSCAD; Senior Researcher at the Critical Media Lab Basel
  • Madison Zalopany; Coordinator of Access and Community Programs at the Whitney Museum
  • Rahel Aima; Freelance writer and editor; special projects editor at The New Inquiry; correspondent at Art Review Asia; contributing editor at Momus
  • Simone Browne; Associate Professor in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies (University of Texas at Austin)
  • Alejandra Duque Cifuentes; Executive Director, Dance/NYC; Gibney Curatorial Advisor
  • Betsy Ribble Pine; Manager, Fellows Team at The Obama Foundation
  • Gelare Khoshgozaran; Artist and writer; Visiting Art Council Professor at UCLA Design Media Arts
  • Jamie Allen; Canada Research Chair in Infrastructure, Media and Communications at NSCAD; Senior Researcher at the Critical Media Lab Basel
  • Madison Zalopany; Coordinator of Access and Community Programs at the Whitney Museum
  • Rahel Aima; Freelance writer and editor; special projects editor at The New Inquiry; correspondent at Art Review Asia; contributing editor at Momus
  • Simone Browne; Associate Professor in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies (University of Texas at Austin)

The Residency

Eyebeam’s flagship program, the Eyebeam Residency, is a prestigious award for those creating work which engages technology and society, through art. Residents’ projects are experimental and wildly interdisciplinary, often existing outside of more traditional structures in the fields of both art and technology. With this in mind, Eyebeam invests in this groundbreaking work by providing the space and resources needed for the deep research, risk taking, and invention. In the past 20 years, Eyebeam has supported more than 500 artists through our residency program.

In our 20th year, Eyebeam is shifting its residency structure to be more responsive to artist needs as well as provide more dynamic support to our larger community. The 2020 Residency will launch as a 6 month research and experimentation-focused program for creative practitioners. The residency will be awarded to 4 individuals or collaborative projects and will run from January 2020 through June 2020, with extended access to Eyebeam’s shared workspace and equipment through September 2020.

The 2020 Residency will introduce four intensives led by invited visiting professionals for deep learning and exchange, and will end with a public sharing of their work and research in fall 2020. Residents must commit to attend all four intensives (3-4 days each; exact dates TBD before acceptance) and participate in the public sharing component.

A stipend of $22,000 is offered to all residents.