Established in 1998, Digital Day Camp (DDC) is Eyebeam’s longest running program. DDC is an intensive, multi-week, youth arts and technology program for NYC high school students. Through local partnerships, we recruit applicants from youth in schools underrepresented in STEAM programs to ensure a diverse range of ideas and backgrounds in each cohort.
During DDC, students work alongside artist-educators and staff, engaging in lectures and hands-on workshops focusing on art and technology tools, careers in the field, and relevant social and artistic topics. We challenge youth and teachers to apply creative thinking strategies to help them develop critical, empowering and long-lasting relationships with technology.
Build your World: Tech Tools for Community Action was guided by:
• The role of technology in social movements throughout history, including the impact of earlier examples such as the printing press and radio.
• Technology’s role in activist practices today, both advantages and perils.
• Current issues in technology and influence on social movements: Surveillance and privacy, facial recognition, environmental impact, land rights and housing justice, and more.
During the summer of 2020, Eyebeam hosted its first ever fully (Digital) Day Camp for 30 high school students across the country. Taking into account the moment of multi-crises, this fully digital, arts and technology summer camp was guided by these areas of focus under our theme Rituals of Care:
• Caring for the digital self: privacy, data use, and surveillance
• Caring for the physical self: digital wellness, practices of self & community care
• Reimagining technological and non-technological forms of togetherness
Students considered how art and technology can challenge dominant notions of access and how together we can shape a more equitable future. Workshops included lessons on alt-text, memes, creating digital instruments using Max, and extended reality. View the descriptive schedule here.
With a focus on the ways in which we trust have been transformed, students looked at critical ways to design methods for critique, communication, and coordination towards a more just world. Workshops ranged from creating zines, to programming activist twitter bots, to live coding their own music. View the full syllabus here.
Workshops responded to Eyebeam’s 2017 residency cohort’s focus on examining relationships between power and technology, and taught students how they can use technology to shift the structure of power through artificial intelligence, virtual realities, internet communication, and more. View the full syllabus here.
This program offered two areas of focus in which students could choose to participate in one or both tracks. The first, Game Craft, taught students how to develop their own digital game and create a wearable controller. The second, Beats, Rhymes & Hacking, taught students how to create their own electronic musical instruments and create their own music.
Students interacted with the community, to engage with neighbors, and to interpret spaces. Workshops included model building, performance art activities, Photoshop/Illustrator basics, creating digital personas and more. Remapping culinated in final projects inside a unique 10’x10’ intervention/art/performance space nearby camp headquarters in Chelsea.
Students researched cell phones as tools for creative interaction, learned how to create graphics for mobile devices, and organized all their great ideas into one collaborative mobile app proposal that they pitched to an audience of application developers.
Students worked with urban planners, software designers, activists, video artists, and even a couple of activist gardeners to dig a little deeper into the fabric of our city to learn more about how we can use art and technology to change it for the better.
This year’s program echoed that of Interactivos?: Interactive art and technology, and the tension between “real” and “fake.”
Students engaged in urban research and learned about the practice and theory behind participatory actions, art, and activism. DDC students developed individual and team projects derived from their communities and lives.
Students studied the fundamentals and ethics behind biological research (i.e., animal testing, germ warfare, bacteria and vaccines, DNA, food growth and nano-technology) and green design, including the politics and groups involved in executing such projects.
Students were taught fundamentals of fashion and design, including the politics surrounding uniforms. Students learned basic circuitry and physical computing, incorporating light and sound sensors, LED tags and switches into the uniforms that they prototyped in teams.
Students studied the fundamentals of urban planning and design, including the politics and groups involved in executing such projects. DDC participants learned about game design and theory in order to develop interactive projects related to the High Line project.
Students used a variety of software and hardware applications in order to heighten public awareness about specific issues relevant to their lives. They learned to develop innovative forms of expression such as blogging, contagious media, and guerilla broadcasting to get their message out there.
Teaching artists led workshops that investigated architecture, public art, and memorials in contemporary society with a particular focus on the area destroyed by the September 11th attacks and its impact on the city’s collective consciousness.
Students created interactive interfaces for sound files of mixed interviews and music generated onsite. Sound artists and DJs from New York City as well as technicians from sound organizations provided lectures and professional critiques.
This all-girl program was designed to encourage media literacy to help provide access to art and technology tools to a statistically underserved group. Teams created an original, digital public service announcement about a relevant social topic using digital video cameras and desktop digital editing equipment.
Students worked on a robotics program using interactive programmable LEGOs, which were invented at MIT Media Lab. The programmable LEGOs can interface with a computer and be programmed to do an amazing number of actions, including create a moveable robot.
Teaching artists worked with students on creating web spaces based on building students’ identities. Each student was given training in coding and web development and given the freedom to create a unique online space.