The call for our first class of residents ended in April 2014. We are currently fundraising in order to open the residency again in 2015.

REQUIRED: All applicants must email an artist resume, CV or other document that indicates their background and experience to


Unknown Territory Fellowship

Unknown Territory Artist-in-Residency


The Hacktory, Philadelphia’s first hackerspace for hackers and artists, announces its inaugural Unknown Territory Fellowship and Artist-in-Residency. There are two different programs. Both programs offer the opportunity to learn and explore at the edges of technology and art, literally in unchartered territory, to create new experiences and new possibilities with code, hardware and creative expression.

The Unknown Territory Fellowship seeks established artists working with software and electronics worldwide. Selected fellows focus on a specific project or avenue to explore in their work during a period of 2-4 weeks of continuous onsite activity in Philadelphia, and make use of the resources and knowledge base at The Hacktory. In addition to working on a specific project, fellows teach workshops and lead programs about their work.

The Unknown Territory Artist-In-Residency is an extended 6-month residency for Philadelphia-based emerging and established artists with an art, music or performance practice but little or no new media, programming and technology experience that want to transform their current practice by exploring what’s possible with new technologies. This residency consists of training on software, hardware and other materials, mentorship from fellows and others in The Hacktory’s community, and culminates in a group exhibition of all residents’ work.

Full description of Unknown Territory Fellowship

The fellowship is for established artists working with software and electronics looking to focus on a specific project or avenue to explore in their work during a period of 2-4 weeks continuous, on site at The Hacktory. Artists with a history of working with new media, electronics, or software are given complete access to The Hacktory’s space and resources for the fellowship time as well as training for any additional equipment or skills they would like to learn. Artists will give one workshop or presentation to The Hacktory’s community and lead critiques of current artists-in-residence. This fellowship is used to focus on a specific single project though this project does not need to be completed by the end of the residency. This opportunity provides a fellowship award of $1500. Artists are expected to find their own housing though The Hacktory can provide basic assistance connecting artists with potential rental spaces. Artists must commit to working fulltime at The Hacktory for the length of their fellowship.

Goals And Requirements Of The Fellowship

  • Create a new piece of work or focus on a specific project using the resources, community and knowledge base of The Hacktory

  • Participate in critiques of artist-in-residents at The Hacktory

  • Lead a workshop, lecture or other public event about work the artist is engaged in during their fellowship at The Hacktory

  • Participate in group exhibition (currently scheduled for December 2014)

Full description of Unknown Territory Artist-In-Residency

The residency is for greater metropolitan Philadelphia-based artists that want to transform their practice by exploring what’s possible with new technologies. This residency is not meant to teach artists about technology just for the sake of enhancing their production but is instead for artists to play and find new realms to explore in their art and to join in a wider community of new media artists. The residency provides training on the foundation of physical computing so that artists will come out of this residency with a basic knowledge of how to build and modify electronics and use contemporary software and hardware to build artwork. Artists should have an idea of a specific project or outcome they will focus on when applying to this residency though their focus may change during the residency itself. This residency does not come with a financial award. Instead, artists are given access and training to all of The Hacktory’s tools and equipment, extensive mentorship, and custom curriculum based around their interests and areas of exploration. The residency will culminate in a public talk or workshop as well as a public group exhibition to show what artists have learned and created during their residency.

Goals And Requirements Of The Artist-In-Residency

  • Gain foundational knowledge in new media tech skills

  • Create a new piece of work that uses technology and transforms their practice

  • Have a knowledge of vocabulary and the ability to participate in critique of new media art

  • Participate in group exhibition at conclusion of residency period

  • Join a community of fellow artists extending their practice with contemporary technology

  • Create presentable work that can be featured within exhibition, festival, conferences, online and other public venues

  • Gain teaching experience and further extend the community of new media artists by potentially assisting in hands-on learning classes at The Hacktory

Resources For Fellows And Artist-In-Residents

  • Training and access to The Hacktory’s mentors and to equipment and workshop space

  • Documentation via video interview and presentation of the artist’s work

  • Ability to present projects at public events

  • Artist-In-Residents’ and Fellows’ work to be featured in exhibition

  • Sewing equipment (including industrial and regular sewing machines)

  • Software training (includes Arduino, Processing, Raspberry pi, Max, Openframeworks, basic programming of Javascript, Python, CSS/HTML, Github, Ruby, and more)

Additional Resources From Dept. of Making + Doing

  • Electronics (including mulitimeters, power supplies, soldering stations)

  • Digital fabrication tools (including laser cutter and access to 3d printer)

  • Full woodshop (including table saw, bandsaw, drill press, planer, jointer)

  • Power hand tools (including drills, sanders, dremel, cutters, heat gun)

  • Large format printing (including large printers, vinyl cutters)



Who will own the rights to artwork created during the fellowship or artist-in-residency?

Artists will retain ownership of artworks created during their fellowship or residency but should give credit to The Hacktory when presenting artwork created at The Hacktory in other venues (exhibitions, screenings, etc). The Hacktory encourages but does not require fellows and residents to release their work under a creative commons license. Please note The Hacktory will have the right to use images for promotional purposes including fund-raising, promotion for workshops and events, or any other use.

How many fellowships and artist-in-residency applicants will be accepted?

We expect to accept 6 artist-in-residents for a 6-month residency June through November 2014. We expect to accept 4 visiting fellowship artists for 2-4 week periods of activity any time between June 1 and November 30, 2014.

Can I apply to both the fellowship and artist-in-residency?

No, the programs have different goals. The Fellowships is intended for new media artists with an established new media art practice that would like access to The Hacktory’s resources to work on a specific project and the ability to engage the public and to teach our residents. The Artist-In-Residency is intended for artists that have limited knowledge of new media skills including using hardware, software and integrating technology with their art.

Is the Unknown Territory Fellowship and Artist-In-Residency only open to people that create visual art?

No, applicants can come from many different backgrounds including performance artists, musical performers interested in repurposed technology to enhance their instruments and add additional sense stimulation, artists that create immersive experiences and would like to learn to use a variety of technology pieces, and artists that want to incorporate traditional craft materials with contemporary technologies such as sewable circuits, paper crafts with electronics, and wearable e-textiles.

What kinds of people should apply to this new Unknown Territory Fellowship and Artist-In-Residency?

If you’re interested in creatively tinkering, making new meaning by repurposing or decoupling, and maybe even physically breaking things apart from their intended use – you should consider applying!

Can students apply?

No, current students should wait until they have graduated before applying, but we encourage you to attend future programs and workshops at The Hacktory.

Can duos or collaboratives apply together?

In rare instances, this is okay. Please email in advance with background information. All members of the team must be listed in the application with their info, and will be evaluated in context of all other applicants.


Lee Tusman


Applications for Unknown Territory Fellowship and Artist-In-Residency due May 1, 2014 midnight EST

Notifications by May 10, 2014

Residency orientation dates expected week of June 1

Fellowship dates to be determined with accepted fellows

Residency ends November

Unknown Territory exhibition expected December 2014