Meet The Democracy Machine Fellows Week
View the livestreams at Open Eyebeam
“In 2021, we handed the keys of our flagship fellowship over to artists. More than a year later, this multi-year radical experiment continues to yield a remixing, a reframing, of how technology must be made with new social values.”
∙Roderick Schrock, Eyebeam
Taking place over a single week, this free, online four-part series of one-hour live streams will be broadcast on open.eyebeam, our digital studio. Each stream will feature several artists discussing their socially engaged art practices within the context of the fellowship, and how they set the terms for a fellowship built on trust and support.
A dozen artists, writers, and activists–pathbreakers from nearly every continent in the world–have cracked open new art and ideas around issues such as self-governance, technology, and democracy. The presentations will explore how they confront a variety of issues from the movement to decolonize technology, to privacy and surveillance, to the challenging of dominant narratives.
The series is free and open to the public. Each conversation will have ASL and live captioning and Spanish to English translators.
Monday, March 27: 10:00 – 11:00 am EDT
Themes: Storytelling, Language, Decolonization, Rethinking History, Care
Moderator: Adela Licona
Artists: Shawn Reilly, Yogesh Maitreya, Astrid González
Join the free online conversation with educator, designer, and cultural organizer Shawn Reilly; poet, translator, essayist, and publisher Yogesh Maitreya; and multidisciplinary artist Astrid González; moderated by Dr. Adela C. Licona on the new Open Eyebeam platform. The artists and moderator will discuss storytelling activism, language as an identity tool, the impact of colonial systems, care as decolonial practice, and examining history as a tool of domination.
Tuesday, March 28: 4:00 – 5:00 pm EDT
Themes: Future Tech, Solidarity, Decolonization, Rethinking History, Care
Moderator: Sruti Suryanarayanan
Artists: Cy x, Nushin Yazdani, Peter Wu+
How does the future of technology, solidarity action, decolonial practices, care, and history-making intersect? Join the free online conversation with queer agender love influencer, earth tender, and cyber witch cy x; transformation designer, artist, and AI design researcher Nushin Yazdani; LA-based technology artist Peter Wu+; moderated by Tamizh American craftsperson and writer Sruti Suryanarayanan.
Wednesday, March 29: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm EDT
Themes: Storytelling, Language, Decolonization, Rethinking History
Moderator: Xin Xin
Artists: Paula Baeza Pailamilla, Subash Thebe Limbu, Ryan Christopher Clarke
Tune into the free online conversation with Mapuche artist and a member of the Mapuche collective Rangiñtulewfü and Yene Revista, Paula Baeza Pailamilla; Yakthung (Limbu) artist from eastern Nepal “quantumly” based in Newa Nation (Kathmandu) and London, Subash Thebe Limbu; tonal geologist from the Northern Gulf Coast who “notices the passage of time” as both a trained sedimentologist and artist-researcher Ryan Christopher Clarke as they discuss storytelling, language, decolonization, rethinking History with moderator and interdisciplinary artist Xin Xin.
Thursday, March 30: 4:00 – 5:00 pm EDT
Themes: Storytelling, Language, Decolonization, Rethinking History, Care, Motherhood
Moderator: Kemi Ukadike
Artists: Zeina Baltagi, Elizabeth Pérez, Daniela Ortiz
Dive into the worlds of educator and organizer Zeina Baltagi; mother, multidisciplinary designer, and educator, Elizabeth Pérez; artist and mother, working in ceramics, collage, and children’s books, Daniela Ortiz, as they speak with Eyebeam’s Head of Artist Initiatives and Inclusion, Kemi Ukadike around storytelling, language, decolonization, rethinking history, modes of care, and motherhood.
The cycle takes place against an ongoing transformation at Eyebeam and builds on Rapid Response for a Better Digital Future, a fast moving initiative created early in the pandemic so that artists could come together and explore the dark frontier of power that commodifies personal information at the expense of democracy and freedom. Artists were invited to consider the call, “How do we begin to exit surveillance capitalism as the dominating form of digital life and what can replace it?”A subsequent festival of ideas and actions delved into pressing topics that affect everyone, from consensual coding to the gentrification of the internet, and launched artist made responses created during the pandemic on Open.Eyebeam that put power into the hands of people, from Rashaad Newsome’s Being 1.5, an app that delivers online mental health therapy to the Black community, to Dillon Sung’s landmark public archive of thousands of PRA (Public Records Act) documents received from the Los Angeles Police Department and the city of Los Angeles. The convening featured pioneers such as computer programmer Joan Greenbaum; curator, writer, and artist Legacy Russell; and new media artist and poet Shawné Michaelain Holloway.
Eyebeam is an incubator and catalyst. Known for providing time, tools, and space at its flagship residency, a new chapter has begun. Eyebeam has shed its physical space and transformed into a world builder focused on how humanity should live in the future and the relationship between humans, technology, and ethics. A totally new Eyebeam now invests deeply in socially concerned artists—anywhere. The organization is active worldwide and with a special focus via its global journalism and art activities in the United States, United Kingdom, India, and Brazil. Eyebeam is always on and online/offline: platforming the proposals and work of artists who work with technology on eyebeam.org and gathering together digitally and in person. Building on a young, adventurous legacy, Eyebeam creates space for imagination for understanding the enormous complexities confronting all of us.
Through advocacy, membership, and donations, Eyebeam maintains programming and brings ideas into actionable projects. We gratefully acknowledge the leadership and support of The Andrew Mellon Foundation, Ford Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, Atlantic Foundation, and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.