Eyebeam and Momus are thrilled to announce a paid Critical Writing Fellowship, 2021-22, to provide sustained mentorship, editing, and network-building to an early-career art writer or critic.
The inaugural Critical Writing Fellow participated in this summer’s Momus Emerging Critics Residency, and has now entered into an 8-month writing incubation period, from October 2021 – May 2022, with writer and critic Nora N. Khan.
The 2021-22 Critical Writing Fellow has been awarded to Arushi Vats, a New Delhi-based arts, literary, and culture writer. From a highly competitive applicant pool, Vats astounded us with the clarity of her vision, the strength of her early publishing experience (including platforms such as MARCH: a journal of art & strategy, Alternative South Asia Photography, The Karachi Collective, and Critical Collective), and the depth of her resonance with Nora N. Khan’s practice. Further, Vats’s ambition to write on art “as a site for both lyrical affinities and radical challenges” aligned meaningfully with the goals of the Fractal Fellowship at Eyebeam.
In addition to publishing in cultural venues including LSE International History and Write | Art | Connect, Vats has published short stories and poetry in The Gulmohar Quarterly, Hakara Journal, and PIX Quarterly. She has also authored several curatorial essays, including for a volume titled The Constitution of India at 70: Celebrate, Illuminate, Rejuvenate, Defend, published by Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust in 2021.
Attended by Khan’s close and sustained mentorship and overseen by the Momus editorial team, this period of research, dialogue, and drafting will result in Vats producing a feature-length text. In using Eyebeam’s Fractal Fellowship – a de-centered structural approach to artist resource-sharing and coalition-building – as a site of research and engagement, the Critical Writing Fellow will encounter myriad subjects to research and respond to while developing an important artist and curator network.
Through this bridge-building collaboration, Eyebeam and Momus will be pursuing their shared objectives of extending artistic knowledge, increasing access to art publishing, enabling sustained mentorship, and reading our cultural text more deeply.
Eyebeam and Momus aim to create a hub for conversation and practice-sharing that is aware and responsive to systemic inequities and invests in the meaningful inclusion of historically-marginalized groups and voices. Both organizations are committed to and value diversity in its programming, as defined by gender, race, ethnicity, disability-status, age, sexual orientation, immigrant status, and socioeconomic status. With a history rooted in innovation and collaboration Eyebeam and Momus’s programs and publishing are grounded in artist-community dialogue and support meaningful access to technology for everyone.
Eyebeam’s Fractal Fellowship program aims to prioritize support for the following communities of artists and inventors by prioritizing their involvement within the first cohort: Black artists, Disabled artists, People of Color, and Indigenous artists. The Critical Writing Fellowship will also prioritize these communities. Please share how your work experience and goals engage one or more of these communities when you apply.
Momus is an international online art publication and podcast committed to reading our cultural text more deeply, and dedicated to the vital, uphill work of art criticism in a critical time. Momus’s writers respond to a discordant, sped-up moment with slow looking and brave positioning. Momus published a print compendium in 2017, and established Momus: The Podcast, which is co-hosted by Lauren Wetmore and Sky Goodden. Currently in its fourth season, it was named one of the top-ten art podcasts by The New York Times. Starting in 2019, Momus began hosting twice-annual Momus Emerging Critics Residencies in its effort to attend to both the heightened stakes, increasing potential, and renewed challenges for art criticism – and to do so outside of a traditional MFA program. Momus is currently working to establish the Momus Institute, in association with Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts. The Momus Institute will provide year-round mentorship, professional apprenticeship, and fieldwork opportunities to emerging art writers, editors, audio producers, and publishers. In working to help diversify and amplify the next generation of contributors to our field, Momus is committed to both creating and strengthening the future criterion of art criticism and art writing.
Nora N. Khan is a critic. Her research focuses on experimental art and music practices that make arguments through software, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Her two short books are Seeing, Naming, Knowing (The Brooklyn Rail, 2019) and with Steven Warwick, Fear Indexing the X-Files (Primary Information, 2017). Forthcoming this year are The Artificial and the Real (Art Metropole) and AI Art and the Stakes for Art Criticism (Lund Humphries). This year, she is Editor-in-Residence of Topical Cream, focused on mentoring women and gender non-conforming art and technology critics, and Editorial Lead of the HOLO Annual. She edited Forces of Art: Perspectives from a Changing World (Valiz), Casey Reas’ Making Pictures with Generative Adversarial Networks (Anteism Press), and was a long-time editor at Rhizome (2014-2020). From 2018-2021, she was a professor at Rhode Island School of Design in Digital +Media, teaching criticism, writing, critical theory, and artistic research.
Khan’s research, writing, and curatorial practice extends to a large range of artistic collaborations, which include librettos, performances, and exhibition essays, scripts, and a tiny house. In 2020, as The Shed’s first guest curator, she organized the exhibition Manual Override, which saw 30,000 visitors in two months, and was covered in Vogue, 4Columns and the New York Times. Khan publishes in places like Art in America, Artforum, Flash Art, and California Sunday, and has written numerous commissioned essays for exhibitions at Serpentine Galleries, Chisenhale, the Venice Biennale, Centre Pompidou, Swiss Institute, and Kunstverein in Hamburg. Her writing has been supported by a La Becque Residency (2021), the Fogo Island Arts Writers Residency, a Critical Writing Grant from the Visual Arts Foundation/Crossed Purposes Foundations (2018), an Eyebeam Research Residency (2017), and a Thoma Foundation 2016 Arts Writing Award in Digital Art. You can read more about her work here.