2023 Knight Arts + Tech Fellowship – Knight Foundation

2023 Knight Arts + Tech Fellowship

The Knight Arts + Tech Fellowship, managed by United States Artists, aims to provide artists with unrestricted funding to support their work, as well as fostering a network of practitioners and professionals in the field. This initiative facilitates new opportunities for collaboration both within Knight cities and beyond.

We’re proud to present the 2023 Knight Arts + Tech Fellows — five artists using new and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, immersive installations, and virtual and immersive reality in creative and poetic ways to expand the field. This year’s fellows utilize digital tools as means of storytelling and knowledge production, mediating upon lesser-told histories and speculative futures. Their practices foreground interdisciplinary collaboration, working across mediums, and fostering platforms for education and community-building. Each one receives an unrestricted grant of $50,000 each.

As part of the Fellowship, Knight and United States Artists has created the third edition of Shift Space, a web-based publication exploring new media landscapes and spotlighting the inaugural Knight Arts + Tech Fellows. 

Shift Space 3.0 features stories about the 2023 Fellows as well as writings on the emerging and constantly-evolving field at large. Guest edited by writer Claudia La Rocco, and produced by United States Artists, Shift Space is available at shiftspace.pub.

Meet the 2023 fellows

American Artist makes thought experiments that mine the history of technology, race, and knowledge production, beginning with their legal name change in 2013. Artist’s artwork primarily takes the form of sculpture, software, and video. They are a 2022 Creative Capital and United States Artists Fellow, and a 2021 LACMA Art & Tech Lab Grantee. They are a former resident of Smack Mellon, Red Bull Arts Detroit, Abrons Art Center, Recess, Eyebeam, Pioneer Works, and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. They have exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art; MoMA PS1; Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; and Nam June Paik Center, Seoul. Their work has been featured in New York Times, Cultured, Artforum, and Art in America. Artist is a co-director of the School for Poetic Computation and a full-time faculty at Yale. Learn more HERE.

Kara Güt is a multidisciplinary artist whose primary focus is image-based, digital media. Güt’s work investigates the shape of human intimacy formed by internet lifestyle, constructed detachment from reality, and the power dynamics of the virtual. Her work has been shown at Hybrid Box, Hellerau European Centre for the Arts, Dresden; Hesse Flatow, New York; Las Cigarreras Cultural Centre, Alicante; Azkuna Zentroa, Alhóndiga Bilbao; Pioneer Works, Brooklyn; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit among others. She received an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and is an alumni of Pioneer Works Tech Residency, the SPACES artist residency, and the Banff Visual + Digital Art residency. Güt lives and works in Ohio. More HERE.

Leo Castañeda is a multimedia artist and video game designer living in Miami. Melding gaming, painting, virtual reality, drawing, sculptural furniture, and wearables, Castañeda’s work renders surreal posthuman social structures and anatomies. For over ten years he has been developing the Levels and Bosses series using Unreal Engine to create interconnected transmedia worlds that dissolve the boundary between analog and digital. Castañeda received his BFA from Cooper Union in 2010 and MFA from Hunter College in 2014. Residencies include SOMA, Khoj International Artists’ Association, Bronx Museum AIM Fellowship, and Oolite Arts Studio Residency, and exhibitions and screenings include Hek Basel, Museo la Tertulia, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bass Museum, Espacio Art Nexus, Frost Art Museum, and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. His work has been featured across Rhizome, Killscreen, ArtNexus, El Pais, El Nuevo Herald, and Vice. He is a recipient of the South Florida Cultural Consortium Visual/Media Artists Fellowship, Locust Projects Wavemaker Grant, Harpo Foundation Grants for Visual Artists, and Oolite Arts Ellies Creator Award. Teaching in South Florida, Castañeda is a professor of 3-D animation at Florida International University and New World School of the Arts in Miami. See more of his work HERE.

Marlena Myles is a self-taught Native American artist and enrolled member of the Spirit Lake Dakota tribe living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Myles’s art brings modernity to Indigenous history, languages, and oral traditions while using the land as a teacher, helping the public to understand the significance of Native land, oral traditions, and history. Her professional work includes children’s books, augmented reality, murals, fabrics, and animations, and she has exhibited her work at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Museum of Russian Art, Red Cloud Heritage Center, and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. Her first permanent site-specific augmented reality public art installation, the Dakota Spirit Walk, is available on the Revelo AR app. Her second augmented reality installation, the Dakota Sacred Hoop Walk, is opening in spring 2023 at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Myles operates her own Dakota publishing company called Wíyouŋkihipi (We Are Capable) Productions to create a platform that educates and honors the culture, language, and history of Dakota people. See more HERE.

The Institute of Queer Ecology (IQECO) is an ever-evolving collaborative organism that seeks to bring peripheral solutions to environmental degradation to the forefront of public consciousness. IQECO projects are interdisciplinary but unified and grounded in the theoretical framework of queer ecology, an adaptive practice concerned with interconnectivity, intimacy, and multispecies relationality. The collective works to overturn the destructive human-centric hierarchies by imagining an equitable, multispecies future. IQECO was founded in 2017 by Lee Pivnik while he was studying at the Rhode Island School of Design and is co-directed by artist and evolutionary biologist Nicolas Baird, who joined the project shortly after its inception and has continued to steer its growth and focus. The idea of mimicry lies at the heart of IQECO’s vibrant identity — mimicry as an act of survival, manifested in the behavior of many species and distinctly connected to the history of queer communities. IQECO presents as an institute in an act of mimicry and infiltration, reintegrating queerness into scientific discourse and bringing artists to the table of environmental decision making. To date, IQECO has worked with over 125 different artists to present interdisciplinary programming that oscillates between curating programs and directly producing artworks, presenting projects with the Guggenheim Museum, ICA Miami, Julia Stoschek Collection, Medellín Museum of Modern Art, Prairie, Bas Fisher Invitational, and Gas Gallery. Find out more HERE.

More about the Knight Arts + Tech Fellowship