The Eyebeam is acting immediately to invigorate artistic creation of digital futures at this moment of systemic collapse. As economies and everyday routines are disrupted around the world, Eyebeam is taking action to support artists who are imagining a more humane digital realm.

Eyebeam aims to help artists who will create new ways of interacting through the internet, new ways of engaging with each other, and more equitable relationships for sustainable arts practices and creative economies. It is based on the fundamental notion that radical imagination, led by artists, is a key step in building for the long term.

Eyebeam is 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. For the first time in Eyebeam’s 20 year history, they are pausing their flagship Residency program. Instead they are launching a new program, Rapid Response for A Better Digital Future.

Grounded in the belief that artists have the most impactful and culture-shaping ideas, this fund is intended to support projects that are most responsive and potentially groundbreaking in building a better digital world. They 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.

  • Phase 1, the planning/idea stage, twelve $5,000 grants will be made available for top applications, gathered through a free open call.
  • Phase 2, the project/development phase, three of those recipients will be awarded an additional $20,000 to build their ideas into actionable projects, based on their potential for real-world impact.

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

Eyebeam 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:

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

Eligibility Criteria

  • 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. Collaborator’s project samples should reflect a history of successfully working together.
  • 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.
  • In an effort to invite new engagement, this opportunity is not open to current residents or alumni of residency program.


  • Alignment with Eyebeam’s values:
    • Openness: All the work here is driven by an open-source ethos.
    • Invention: 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.

For more information, visit Eyebeam.

Name of the Organisation
Grant Amount
USD 5000
Closing date of Proposal
Saturday, 30 May, 2020
RFP Email
Organisation Logo