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Please be sure to read the Open Call statement before applying.

We’re asking artists to generate ideas and actionable projects that enact solutions for rebuilding digital systems, and improving the overlap and interplay between them and lived, social experience.  We aim to fuel new means for creating space for deep contemplation and imagination, asking not only what can be built for tomorrow, but what should be built for a sustainable and thriving next 10 or 20 years. 


Rapid Response for A Better Digital Future will unfold in two phases. In Phase 1, the planning/idea stage, a minimum of 27 $5,000 grants will be made available for top applications, gathered through a free open call, open from April 21 until May 30, which includes two additional artists by nomination from the Open Call Advisory, in partnership with La Becque and Swissnex | Boston.

In Phase 2, the project/development phase, a minimum of five artists, selected from the initial group will be selected to participate and be awarded up to an additional $25,000 to build their ideas into actionable projects, based on their potential for real-world impact. 

The participants in Phase 1 will form an active cohort of practitioners, encouraged to collaborate between phases. Regular and robust virtual communication, expert consultation, skill sharing, and group critique and conversation will be provided to all of the supported artists, facilitated by Eyebeam.

The guiding question for this call is: how do we begin to exit surveillance capitalism as the dominating form of digital life and what can replace it?

We will prioritize work that addresses this through the following, interrelated, lenses:

  • New, online public spheres
  • Ethical or values-driven technology
  • Health and well-being
  • Development of public policy
  • Creating space for imagination
  • Individual autonomy, borders, and immigration
  • New and necessary skills for artists
  • Democratic engagement and fortification
  • Impacts of Covid-19
  • Increasing accessibility of online platforms
  • Artificial and natural intelligence

Successful applications will show clarity in ambition and purpose in:

  • demonstrating how resultant ideas and projects will be non-commercially distributed into the public domain and made available for anyone to use
  • striving for plateaus of imagination that have realizable potential without massive corporate investment
  • stretching what is thought to be possible, long into the future 
  • crafting ideas and build projects that combine enormous vision with DIY practicality


  • Individuals and collaborative projects (up to 5 participants) may apply. If applying collaboratively, a single person (21 years or older) must be responsible for committing for the term of engagement, and will serve as the point person for communications and payments. Collaborating applicants should reflect a history of working together in the context of art making.
  • International applicants are welcome and encouraged to apply, and you are not required to live or work in the US during the period of this grant. This program is being run virtually, with the options for in-person gatherings should that be possible in the future. 
  • Please note that if you are not a US citizen and do not have a visa to work in the US, but are planning to be in the US during the period of this grant, all grant payments are subject to an upfront 30% withholding by the IRS.
  • We have expanded the program to support 5 alumni artists in Phase 1 who have previously participated in the Eyebeam Residency. All applicants will apply through this online form. An added question on this application now asks ‘Are you a former Eyebeam Resident?” These 5 artists will also be able to apply to Phase 2. 


  • Alignment with Eyebeam’s values:
    • Openness: All the work here is driven by an open-source ethos. 
    • Invention: We build on ideas to generate new possibilities. 
    • Justice: Technology by artists is a move towards equity and democracy.
  • A dedication to the guiding question, "how do we begin to exit surveillance capitalism as the dominating form of digital life and what can replace it?” through one or more of the provided lenses, as outlined in the open call. 
  • Clear artistic intentions and goals.
  • A purposeful relationship to technology.
  • Social urgency and potential impact.


The Rapid Response for A Better Digital Future cohort will engage in online activities facilitated by Eyebeam. If opportunities for in-person gathering at our physical space become possible, we will work with the participants on coordination. 

For all online and in-person programs, artists and audiences are given opportunities to make access requests including real-time captioning, Sign Language, large print programs, PDFs or other means of making the program more accessible.

Eyebeam’s physical entrance is wheelchair accessible via ramp at our 199 Cook St entrance. Restrooms on the first floor are wheelchair accessible and the second floor restrooms are wheelchair accessible via an elevator. Restrooms are all gender. The nearest subway to Eyebeam is the L-Morgan station. The L-Morgan station does not have an elevator. The next closest station is JM-Flushing, which does have an elevator. For information on accessible transit on the MTA, visit new.mta.info/accessibility

Equity and Inclusion 

Acknowledging the breadth and scope of this initiative and the systemic inequities which have been further highlighted by this moment, Rapid Response for A Better Digital Future will endeavor to support a cohort of diverse artists across race, ethnicity, disability status, gender, immigration status, sexual orientation, age, as well as geographical location. It will do this by identifying and responding to disparities in access to funding for visionary ideas that aim to develop a more humane digital realm.

Deadline: May 30, 2020, 11:59PM Eastern Standard 

No late applications will be accepted. Virtual interviews will be scheduled for finalists. Applicants will be notified in June. For questions not covered in the FAQ, please email apply@eyebeam.org.  

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