221A works with artists and designers as Research Fellows to conduct research over a period of 3 to 24 months. Each Research Fellow is supported by a stipend and organizational framework to lead new research on potential social, cultural or ecological infrastructure. Staff work alongside Fellows to resource and translate research into programs and operational plans towards infrastructure.
Under the Fellow’s direction, the resources and instruments wielded by the arts institution—human capacities, financial assets, communications platforms, and (relative) autonomy over space—will be mobilized to realize flexible and permanent projects that 221A refers to Infrastructures. The Fellow will be challenged to use the institution itself as a medium. What distinguishes the fellowship program is its dedication to supporting artists with generous subsistence funding so that their work can be realized with that most scarce of resources: time.
The Fellow’s extended tenure will allow them to build relationships with collaborators and audiences concurrently through public programming and through informal hours spent learning from the diverse communities the organization lives and works with. 221A sees this as an ‘institution of a new type’ as both an experiment in advancing artists’ self-determination, as well a vehicle best suited for producing more thoroughly-developed, engaging and sustainable artworks, for expanded publics and audiences. The Fellows’ Infrastructures open spaces for experimental modes of art production and reception.