About

Imagine a dynamic fellowship of international collaborators, creating works using art & technology, learning from each other & telling compelling stories about the global climate emergency and amplifying new collective voices.
Oh! The things we can do together!

BeFantastic announces its 2021 online fellowship program “TOGETHER”. From the geographies of Singapore, Switzerland, South Asia, U.S.A and Germany, we call for collaborative practitioners in art, design and technology to explore Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML), data & networks.  Let’s connect and converse with a diverse cohort of global practitioners and exchange ideas around the theme of the climate crisis. Seize the opportunity to learn & collaborate on new prototypes & exhibitable artworks using technology and art (techart). 

BeFantastic, with the support of the U.S. Embassy in Singapore, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia (New Delhi) and Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan (Bangalore), in partnership with ThoughtWorks Arts, (USA), Supernormal (Singapore), In The Wild (Singapore) and Dara.network (USA) invites participation in this ‘online makers festival’. 

All you need for an application is a sincere statement of purpose as to why you would like to experiment with tech or art, and your enthusiasm for climate action. Apply now or watch the info session to learn more.

Together we’ll get across the borders of geography and creative expertise to ACTIVATE THE EDGE EFFECT

FAQs

Who Can Apply?

  • Preferably based in Singapore, Switzerland, Germany or South Asia (Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, The Maldives. Other locations could be considered based on the strength of the statement of purpose. )
  • Creatives- artists or designers sincerely interested in exploring technology, but were hesitant to take the next step. 
  • Technologists & creative technologists, with some experience of, or have a curiosity about Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning technologies 
  • Climate action enthusiasts who are confident with their understanding of both the systemic and on-ground reality of the urgency of the issue, and looking to help shape such TechArt  works
  • With at least three to five years of experience in your specific field
  • Can commit to the dates and timelines as mentioned above
  • Good working knowledge of at least one audio/ video/ graphic editing/ production software (eg. Adobe Suite, Ableton Live, Final Cut Pro, SketchUP, Rhino etc.) preferred

Applicants will be required to have the following technical support:

  • A computer (desktop or laptop) manufactured on or after 2015
  • Computers must have minimum 8GB RAM
  • Webcam & mic (internal or external) + headphones
  • Broadband internet connection (minimum 8 MBS)
  • Smartphone – Android (Model 7 or above) / iOS (Model 6 or above)

How will my application be evaluated?

Only eligible applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Strength of your professional career as an artist, technologist or climate change champion as evidenced in your sample of works and resume/CV
  • Strength of statement of purpose for applying to this fellowship as it influences your trajectory as a practitioner
  • Strength of your capacity and commitment to your field, and indicate of serious intent to contribute to furthering the field of Tech-Art.
  • The value you place on collaboration as a mode of art making

What makes my application ineligible?

• Incomplete applications will not be considered

• Applications received after the deadline will not be considered 

• Applications received in languages other than English will not be considered.

Note: Please allow an appropriate amount of time based on your Internet’s speed to upload all your documents before the deadline.

Upon successful selection into the program:
What are the important dates of the program (2021)?

What are the time commitments of the program like?

*Primer series (Aug 2nd to 20th 2021)

Live sessions with mentors: 9 modules, 2 hours each. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays:

Individual & Group work:  

  • Each of the modules will expect approximately 2 hours of individual work.
  • Group work to evolve project proposals for the Masters session.
Masters Series: (Sep 7th to 28th 2021)

Live sessions with Mentors:

  • Upto 10 hours with the Mentors will be scheduled as per the Mentor’s pace and convenience over the 3 weeks
  • Clinics with tech experts will also be made available and optional for any additional support
  • Peer engagement (Launch & Finale session) and a mid review upto 6 hours over the 3 week period with the larger Masters session cohort

Group work: Depending on the project proposal, please be prepared to put in time to develop the artworks.

Dialog Series: (refer to table on important dates) 

2 hrs per Dialog, and 6 Dialogs spread across the Primer and Masters sessions.

Showcase (18th Nov 2021)

2 hrs to showcase the collaborative techart pieces.

Which program components will I be part of?

  • Successful applicants of open call will be invited to join the Primer Session. 
  • All selected Primer session participants irrespective of background and expertise are required to commit to the online synchronous session and to doing the required independent work. 
  • Primer participants will apply for the Masters Program through collaborative group project proposals. Only groups representing successful proposals will be invited to be BeFantastic Fellows, who attend the Masters sessions. 
  • All Masters Session Fellows must attend the Master mentor sessions and do the required group work to develop the artworks.
  • All Masters Session Fellows must be present to explain their work in the final online Showcase
  • All participants from the Primer and the Fellows from the Masters sessions will be required to attend the series of six Dialog sessions and the Final showcase.
  • All applicants to the open call can attend the Dialog sessions and the Final Showcase open all to and announced via an email and publicised through BeFantastic’s social media channels.

What are the fees involved for this Fellowship?

Once selected to the program, you will have free access to the network of participants, events, meetups, workshops being organised within the program. There is no participation fee for the sessions with the mentors nor a stipend provided to the Fellow. However, this fellowship program aspires to give Fellows access to residencies, knowledge platforms and tools which are otherwise behind paywalls. The online model of the Showcase at the end of the program, enables your artwork to reach a global audience, endorsed by stellar mentors. Any potential opportunity to seek further funding to showcase the Techart works in physical locations will be made known to the Fellows in due course. BeFantastic supports it’s Fellows of the program through the BeFantastic CoLab, Dialog, and Showcase

Who is BeFantastic (BF)? 

BeFantastic is an organization invested in furthering the field of techart toward an open and optimistic future. We seek to bring a global community of Tech & Art enthusiasts together through creative and critical engagement. BeFantastic was incubated in the decade-old Jaaga, an organization and a coworking community space, that runs programs to explore and push the envelope on tech, art, design and community engagement. BeFantastic is invested in showcasing tech-art, through its award winning Bengaluru Fantastic Techart festival in public space, as well as making techart through a series of collaborative workshops. 

If you have specific requirements and need to submit your application in a different format, please reach out to us at coordinator@jaaga.in


Annexure

How are the groups formed?

Who are the Mentors?

NameCountryBio
Ong Kian PengSingaporeOng Kian Peng is a media artist based in Singapore. His practice investigates the effects of climate change and our relationship with nature. Working at the intersection of art, technology and the PENG environment, Ong creates immersive and reflective environments that offer alternate visions and imaginations of our relationship with nature.
Ellen PearlmanUSAEllen Pearlman is a New York based media artist, curator, writer and critic. She is a Research Fellow at MIT, Senior Research Assistant Professor at RISEBA University in Riga, Latvia and on faculty at Parsons/New School University, and a Contributing Editor to Performance Arts Journal (PAJ) MIT Press. Ellen is the Director of ThoughtWorks Arts, a global research and innovation lab that includes the well regarded ThoughtWorks ArtsResidency.
Andrew McWilliamsUSAAndrew McWilliams is a New York-based artist and technologist, founder and director of ThoughtWorks Arts and a founding member of ClimateAction.tech. His art projects explore links between climate change, perception and society, while his advocacy is centered on support and incubation for climate action in the tech industry.
Gene KoganUSAGene is an artist and programmer currently advising at Runway ML and teaching at NYU. He is leading an open project to create an autonomous artificial artist, and engaged in compiling a free educational toolkit on machine learning for art. Interested in autonomous systems, collective intelligence, generative art and computer science, he codes, gives talks, teaches workshops, writes essays, and occasionally curates. Gene’s work is free & open-source, as he is interested in advancing scientific literacy through creativity and play, and building educational spaces which are as open and accessible as possible. 
Marc LeeSwitzerlandMarc Lee is a Swiss artist. He uses contemporary art as a vehicle to continuously redefine how we see ourselves and the world around us. He is experimenting with information and communication technologies and within his contemporary art practice, he reflects critically creative, cultural, social, ecological and political aspects.
Harshit AgrawalIndiaHarshit is an artist working with artificial intelligence and emerging technologies. He uses machines and algorithms and often creates them as an essential part of his art process, embracing becoming the cyborg artist. He often juxtaposes traditional art media, aesthetics and tools along with machines and computation, creating a space to both direct, and be guided by the machine, and through his works, invite the audience to reflect on the emerging techno-cultural context within which all our lives are now immersed. Harshit is a graduate of the MIT media lab. 
Hasan SIndiaHasan is a new media artist, creative technologist and educator based in Bangalore working with critical concerns around technology, AI and tangible interfaces. His works blur the boundaries between Art, Science & Technology to collectively imagine a future in which symbiotic relationships are formed between humans and machines.
Meredith ThomasGermanyMeredith is an artist and creative technologist based in Berlin. He studied biomedical engineering and science communication at Imperial College London. After moving to Berlin he became interested in creative uses of technology. His work now focuses on intersections between artistic tradition and practice and new technology.