Technology’s effect on our future is always changing and difficult to understand. Through exploratory process and emotionally compelling output, Eyebeam believes that artists can help us visualize and realize a more just future. Through its annual residency program, highly engaged community of alumni, advanced tools and resources, and shows and events, Eyebeam helps artists bring their work to life and out into the world. Eyebeam enables people to think creatively and critically about technology’s effect on society, with the mission of centering artists in the invention and design of our shared future.
A public storefront, idea space, and experimental platform that is “constantly becoming,” Eyebeam is distinguished for providing space and support for diverse, justice-driven artists. Over 20 years, the organization has helped launch the work of hundreds of artists that have shifted ways of making and seeing.
Eyebeam was established in 1998 by John S. Johnson as a resource for artists to engage creatively with technology in an experimental setting. Originally located in a warehouse in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, Eyebeam supported makers and thinkers who spearheaded game-changing projects like reBlog, the first ever online “sharing” protocol, and Fundrace, the first geocoding of public campaign finance data. Many more “firsts” were had at our studios over the years, including the C-based creative coding platform, OpenFrameworks, and the first comprehensive rap lyrics database, the Rap Research Lab by Tahir Hemphill.
Eyebeam has committed to amplifying the voices of artists, inventors, designers and engineers who show us the horizon of what is possible, creating space for them to imagine the future. Society’s ever-shifting relationship to technology can be charted through the work of those that have come through our doors over the past two decades.
Now in our permanent home in the thriving creative district of Bushwick, Brooklyn, Eyebeam continues to be a power station for invention, providing a space for experimentation that propels and uplifts the cultural conversation. Eyebeam has opened its breadth of support to equitably compensate over 125 artists each year through its diverse programming. Now more than ever, Eyebeam radically centers artists in the cultural conversation, giving them the support to both interrogate and re-imagine what technology can be and who it is for.
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