Eyebeam awards over $110,000 to five artists redefining storytelling

NEW YORK (October 24, 2019) — Eyebeam announces the recipients of their 2020 Residency, alongside the inaugural Storyteller-in-Residence Award, a new multi-year initiative launched in partnership with RLab to celebrate masters of visual storytelling and examine the role of emerging technologies through the lens of equity and access. 


Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Bradford Young is the first recipient of the $25,000 Eyebeam and RLab Storyteller-in-Residence Award. Young is widely respected for his signature filming style, working with single sources of available light with masterful artistry and keen sensitivity to his subjects. He has served as Director of Photography on celebrated films that include Arrival, Selma, A Most Violent Year, and Solo, among others. With Eyebeam and RLab he will lead critical thinking, education, and the production of new work exploring the role of emerging technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality in storytelling. As the nation’s first city-funded hub for VR, AR and related technologies, RLab seeks to advance a deeper understanding of the ethical and social implications of these technologies and their potential for widespread adoption.


We are also pleased to announce this year’s Eyebeam 2020 residents: Pelenakeke Brown, Sofía Córdova, Elissa Blount Moorhead, and Bassem Saad. The four artists were selected from a pool of over 500 applicants by an external jury that includes writer Rahel Aima, artist Ezra Benus, Glitch COO Jordan Harris, artist and writer Gelare Khoshgozaran, artist Mimi Onuoha, and Crux co-founder, Lauren Ruffin. The 2020 Eyebeam Residency comes with an unrestricted cash award of $22,000 USD, as well as around-the-clock access to a shared work space, robust engagement with a network of international and local visiting professionals, and the broader Eyebeam community of alumni.


Eyebeam’s Executive Director Roderick Schrock states, “It is incredibly rewarding to support artists at the frontlines, particularly as the distinction between computation and lived experience continues to blur. With this visionary group of residents, Eyebeam further solidifies its commitment to timely, socially engaged work.”


The Eyebeam Residency is the leading program of its kind supporting artists who are engaging critically with technology and its impact on society. Through this prestigious award, Eyebeam invests in invention and radical ideas by providing the space and resources needed for deep research, risk taking, and production. In the past 20 years, Eyebeam has catalyzed the work of over 500 artists through the support of the residency and connected programs. 


The 2020 Residents responded to an international open call around the prompt Terms of Refusal and will engage in deep research and production around notions of refusal as a political act. Beginning in January, the cohort will tackle this central question through a range of critical, experimental approaches:


Pelenakeke Brown is a NYC-based afakasi Samoan, disabled artist, whose practice spans drawing, writing, and movement. While at Eyebeam she will be investigating multiple sites of knowledge, specifically focusing on disability concepts overlapping with Samoan tatau by creating works which explore the keyboard as a site for crip time and connecting ancestral knowledge.


Sofía Córdova is a Puerto Rican born, Oakland-based conceptual interdisciplinary artist whose work considers sci-fi and futurity, dance and music culture(s), the internet, mystical objects, extinction and mutation, migration, marginality, and climate change under the conditions of late capitalism and its technologies. At Eyebeam, she will develop a new act in her upcoming experimental new multimedia speculative future work set in the Americas on the eve of revolution. 


Elissa Blount Moorhead is a Baltimore-based artist exploring the poetics of quotidian Black life. During her residency, she will explore the ways in which images can challenge and subvert systems that attempt to malign and misrepresent Black narratives.


Bassem Saad is a Beirut-based artist and writer trained in architecture. His practice deals with future visualization, and systems that distribute pleasure, violence, care, and waste. At Eyebeam, he will research the politics of resilience: through the movement of toxicity across geography, race, and class lines, and in collective intelligence in times of crisis.


For complete information on Eyebeam’s programs and 2020 Residency please visit: eyebeam.org


About Eyebeam


Eyebeam reveals new paths toward a more just future for all. 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. Eyebeam provides both space and support for a community of diverse, justice-driven artists. Our annual residency program, highly engaged community of alumni, advanced tools and resources, and shows and events help our 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 revealing new paths toward a more just future for all.


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