General Questions for Visitors and Friends

What, exactly, is Eyebeam? An artist residency, a startup incubator or a think tank?

Eyebeam has developed a unique model that draws from the best aspects of the artist residency, the startup incubator, and the think tank. Unlike most artist residencies, Eyebeam artists are encouraged to take advantage of new technologies and think organizationally. Unlike incubators, Eyebeam projects are not required to have any commercial application, least of all a scale-and-sell strategy. Finally, unlike a think tank, all of the research in Eyebeam is applied through a creative practice.

Can you give us some examples?

You can learn more about alums and residents on the Stop Work, our content platform. To see who’s been here before, browse our list of alums, going back to 2000.

I don’t understand what you mean by “Stop Work!” What is the difference between your digital content and your real-life event?

Eyebeam’s content platform is named “Stop Work!”, after the name of our traditional monthly critique. It’s an excuse to drop your devices and to-do lists to focus simply on old-fashioned thought and dialogue. The new online content platform allows Eyebeam to spread this new research to reach more people, since each event only admits a few invited guests.

What do you mean by technology?

Eyebeam defines technology differently from most. The most exciting forms of technologies aren’t just gadgets, but strategies, processes and ideas that have the potential to change the way we live. Past residents have focused their research on such topics as race, painting, or sailing—all as forms of technology.

I thought you were an “Art and Technology Center”?

While the creative use of technology is still at the core of Eyebeam’s mission, the phrase “art and technology” no longer feels informative. All art is now technologically enabled, and tech startups have copied the artistic avant-garde. As of 2013, Eyebeam removed “Art and Technology Center” from the name.

What kinds of events do you hold?

Not only exhibitions, but also demo’s, talks and open studios. Subscribe to our newsletter, Re: Eyebeam, and follow us on social media to stay tuned. Links below.

Are you still in Chelsea?

We moved in 2014 from Chelsea to Sunset Park, a thriving creative neighborhood in Brooklyn.

I heard you do R&D. Can I hire you to design my website?

Eyebeam does not do direct client work.If you have an idea for web design or a prototype, we encourage you to read the guidelines for applying for a residency.

I’d like to rent your space.

We occasionally rent part of our Industry City headquarters, which provide a creative and light-filled space with many computers. Events here provide guests with an inner window into the process of creation. We have successfully hosted events by the New York State Council of the Arts and the School for Poetic Computation, among other organizations. Please contact info@eyebeam.org to inquire about rates.

I’d like a tour.

Our studios are generally open during events. Subscribe to the newsletter, Re: Eyebeam, and follow us on social media. Links below.

I (or my organization) like the work that you’re doing. How can I support you?

Donate. Additionally, if you are interested in partnering or sponsoring Eyebeam Residents and would like to arrange studio visits, please email info@eyebeam.org. We will get back to you if we think it’s a good fit.

Questions for Potential Applicants

When is the next Open Call online?

There’s an Open Call online right now, for Research Residents. The other Residencies are nominations-based. Learn about the 2016-17 Open Call on Power. To understand how the different residencies are structured, click here.

How do I know if I’m a good fit for the residency?

The first thing you need to check is the annual theme. Does this approach your field of practice, interest and research? The best way to determine your fit is to look through the most recent blog posts on the stories on our Stop Work! and the people pages. Don’t simply try to imitate what you see, but ask yourself instead: are these people I want to be around? Do these projects teach, excite, or infuriate me?

I don’t live in New York. Is that OK?

Yes. That said, all Residents are responsible for travel costs, accommodation, and moving expenses. Eyebeam staff will assist Residents as much as possible in finding accommodation in New York and contacting Visa agencies.

How much financial support do you offer?

Most residencies offer two kinds of support. The living stipend is tied to the cost of living and depends on the time expected at the studio, and is given in instalments over the course of a residency. It is separate from the living stipend. Residents may donate part of their living stipend back to Eyebeam, so that more residents can join. See more info here.

The Research Residency living stipend is kind of a strange number, isn’t it?

There’s a reason for it. The goal of the living stipend is to make time for people who often have none or little. That’s why we peg the stipend to the cost of living—so it can relieve you of some of the burden of unrelated work. We expect Research Residents to commit to being at Eyebeam 3 days, 8 hours a week during the course of 9 month. We take the Living Wage of $14.30 for Brooklyn, calculated by MIT, and we double it because it just feels too low. That leads us to this calculation: $14.30 x 2 x 8h x 3d x 39weeks = $26,769.60. Together with the $5,000 material grant, this stipend is a 6% increase on the previous amount of $30,000.

What is the material grant?

In addition to the living stipend which some residents receive, Residents receive material grants. The material grant is intended to cover the costs of production for a project—because resource costs vary by field, these are available on an internal application basis to residents. All Research Residents can apply for material grants, including Honorary Residents. The maximum amount also varies by residency. During orientation for new Residents, further detail and instruction will be provided. Please include an estimate of material needs and cost in the application. Please see full list of Eyebeam’s in-house equipment and tools here.

Does asking for less money help my case?

In a just economy, productive work should be compensated. All applications are treated equally regardless of financial need. Many alums also choose to donate part of their honorarium back to support the work of others. Any reduction in your honorarium directly subsidizes the costs of an additional resident.

What is an Honorary Research Resident?

While Honorary Research Residents have continued access to material grants, they do not receive a living stipend.  They can also be Research Residency who are invited to extend their work after one year. While applying, residents are able to select whether they would be willing to work as an honorary research resident.

What am I committing to? What do you want from me?

Requirements for attendance and deliverables vary by residency. Please check before you apply if the mandatory attendance will work for you. We also ask you to be an active part of the Eyebeam team and community. Learn more here.

Are collaborative projects eligible for a Residency program?

Collectives and collaborations can apply, but a single person will be responsible for committing as a resident for the year, and be the point person for communications and payments. Your work samples should reflect a history of working together.

I’m an alum. Can I apply for another residency?

It depends. If you were previously a Research Resident or an Honorary Research Resident (or Fellow), you may not reapply for the Research Residency. If you did a Project Residency or a Student Residency, or worked with us as a Collaborator or a Teaching Artist, you may apply for the Research Residency. Basically, you can’t apply for (and get) the same residency twice. However, you may apply again as part of a group, if the other members haven’t been residents. We’ve also just created a new residency called the Impact Residency—it’s for alums who would like to expand their research and ideas into a full-blown Eyebeam community program. We are currently developing the application and call process for the Impact Residency, so stay tuned. Email the staff if you have any questions.

What skills do I need to have? Do I have to know something “tech-y”?

We don’t require any single skillset—you don’t have to be a programmer, painter or preacher. However, all Residents are expected to possess the skills necessary for their work, or an ability to identify and learn the required skills, or to independently locate collaborators. Eyebeam does not provide project-specific technical assistance. However, Eyebeam residents often assist one another. It’s the advantage of working in a communal studio environment.

What is the workspace like?

Eyebeam is a shared, communal studio space. You will have a dedicated desk and storage cabinets within the studios. All worktables, tools, prototyping equipment, and editing facilities are shared. If you are selected for an interview, the jury will ask you about your space, equipment and tool needs to assess how you and your project might fit within Eyebeam. An up-to-date equipment inventory is available here.

How will my work be presented at the end of my residency? Do I get a solo show?

There’s no exhibition. We don’t promise anything by way of exhibitions. Research Residents can be part of the Open Studios. It depends on the timeline with other resident formats.

What other services, in terms of network and promotion, do you provide?

We strive to provide total support. Eyebeam programs professional development and skillshares for residents, as well as offering visibility, studio visits, and mentorship from thought leaders and established practitioners.

What happens once I submit my application? 

After you have submitted your application, a link will be emailed to you. you will be able to edit your application until the deadline passed. we will then lock the form…

What is the jurying process like?

For our Open Call, we have a very rigorous set of internal reviews for the first round, before passing on a shortlist of applicants to the external jurors. A subset of the shortlist is selected for interviews. And this is unique among all residencies: we promise to give all applicants at least one sentence of feedback.  We know that the time it takes to prepare an application is an investment, and want to thank all applicants for their time, rather than punish them for the risk they took.

What are the criteria for selection? 

In addition to reviewing the excellence of the applicant’s past work and their practice’s relevance to the theme, residents are selected based on Eyebeam’s core values:

Openness: Through experimentation and collaboration, the impossible becomes imaginable.
Invention: Limited resources, original thinking, and creative making lead to great impact.
Justice: By addressing structural and systemic wrongs, we can make progress towards liberation.

Do you provide housing or insurance?

No, but we would like to eventually.

And what are the questions for the Open Call? 

You can download the questions for the Open Call here. We will ask you for this information:

Short Bio
(Less than 1200 characters)

Curriculum Vitae

Video Statement: Provide a link to a video statement about your practice. Don’t spend more than 5 minutes making this video. (About 1 minute long)

In one sentence, what do you want to do at Eyebeam? Tell us how your research relates to Power. What specific areas of the Open Call are you interested in?
(Less than 500 characters.)

Tell us about your practice, interests and field.
(Less than 500 characters)

What is the impact of you practice, potential or actual?
(Less than 1500 characters)

What do you need most to do your work?
(Less than 500 characters)

2 Work Samples with Description (As links)

Diagram: A visual document, in PDF format, that will help the jury understand the questions and methods you’re proposing to research. The diagram might take the form of a data flow, project sketches, a timeline, schematics, an inspiration board, or more. It need not be fancy.

I live in China. I can’t use Google. How do I apply?
Email us at laura.welzenbach@eyebeam.org and we’ll send you a form.

Any other tips?

Many awarded applications are very short. You may not have to max out the word count. Be clear about your research and ideas and keep feasibility in mind!

Questions for Eyebeam Alums

How do you define alums?

We define alums as people who have worked with Eyebeam as fellows, residents, commissioned artists, or teaching artists. However, lots of people were involved deeply in Eyebeam without their title reflecting that, especially in the earlier years—if you’ve worked in Eyebeam a lot before 2012, and think of yourself as an alum, we’ll accept you as one.

Can I use your space?

We’re defining a policy right now for how alums can get preferential access to our space, facilities and equipment. Stay tuned.

Can you help promote my work?

We’re a small operation, but fill out this form and we’ll do our best to drop a mention. If it’s time-sensitive, make sure you give us some notice!

What happened to the research groups?

We’ve turned research groups into Eyebeam programs. The most lively programs are Computational Fashion, which focuses on style and wearable technology, and Radical Networks, which focuses on community organizing and network infrastructure.

I have a program I would like to lead at Eyebeam. How do I do that?

We normally aren’t able to host alum-led events at Eyebeam. That said, you might be a good fit for an Impact Residency.

What is the Impact Residency, and how does it affect me?

Every single one of Eyebeam’s programs are led by Impact Residents—you can see them on the Community page. If you’d like to take your research or ideas and scale it up into a full-blown Eyebeam community program. In current Impact Residencies, alums have piloted and scaled programs like the Rap Research Lab (Tahir Hemphill), a data science workshop for teens focusing on hip hop, Playable Fashion (Kaho Abe and Ramsey Nasser), which teaches games, garments and gadgets, or Radical Networks (Sarah Grant and Amelia Marzec), a conference for alternatives to the internet.

Where did my person page go?

Your person page is still available on archive.eyebeam.org. We’re working on uploading all the previous years of residents to the website.

I want to see everyone again! Can I host an Eyebeam alum hangout?

You have our blessing!

I’m confused about the different categories. What happened to “Fellows”?

Eyebeam’s tried many ways of structuring the residencies. In 2014 the fellowships were renamed “research residencies”, and the residencies were renamed “project residencies.” In 2016, we turned longer-term programmatic relationships (including “teaching artists”) into “Impact Residencies.” You can use either the current title or your previous title in your CV.

How do I stay in touch?

Eyebeam’s always maintained a lively list-serve—you can request to join it by clicking here. Also, make sure you’re on our general newsletter. And, of course, you can also reach out to any of the staff.