Sight/Geist: Film and Performance Open Call for Emerging NYC-Based Artists

Visual Arts



Submissions Accepted 
Here from May 28 to July 2, 2024

Zain Alam, I am sounding a sacred space, November 30, 2023,
at The 8th Floor, New York. Photo by Gabrielle Beaumont.

New York, NY – May 21, 2024 – The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation is excited to announce an open call for its fourth season of Sight/Geist, a series that supports emerging NYC-based film and performance artists. Submissions will be accepted here from May 28 through July 2 for fall-winter 2024-25 programming at The 8th Floor, the Foundation’s gallery near Union Square.

General eligibility and guidelines:
– One submission per artist, duo, or collective is welcome.
– The primary applicant must be at least 18 years old, maintain their primary residence in New York City, and self-identify as an “emerging” artist (this can mean any age over 18, including early-career, self-trained, newly graduated, and those currently enrolled in undergraduate/graduate programs).
– Sight/Geist supports artists working primarily in the realm of interdisciplinary studio and moving-image practices as opposed to dance, music, or theater. Applicants can review recent film and performance programming at The 8th Floor here and here.
– Proposals should have experimental and/or pedagogical approach to the Foundation’s mission of art and social justice.
– The Foundation provides curatorial, administrative, and promotional support to Sight/Geist artists, as well as professional documentation.
– New and existing pieces can be considered; however, priority will be given to works without NYC presentations in the last three years.
– The artist fee for participation in a one-night group screening is $300, and the stipend for a one-night solo performance is $1,000. These fees are fixed and would need to be shared among duos/collectives.
– All selected artists will be invited to engage in a discussion and Q&A on their broader practices as part of their respective programs.

Further guidelines on film submissions:
– Film submissions can be in the realm of cinema, video art, or verge on performance documentation, though will all be presented as a single-channel, non-looped large projection with a 2.1 PA speaker system. Screening files must be ProRes or H.264.
– All works under 80 minutes will be reviewed, with priority given to those under 20 minutes.
– Films that involve performative or “expanded” elements beyond the screen will also be given priority but should be submitted as performances.

Further guidelines on performance submissions:
– Proposed performances should be 20-40 minutes long, and might foreground duration, movement, audiovisual media, voice, site specificity, or audience participation. While conceptual and political proposals are encouraged, this initiative is not designed to support community-based social practice collaborations.
– Any minor expenses for collaborators, materials, fabrication, transportation, studio space, and specific AV/lighting equipment beyond the gallery’s regular inventory will be facilitated by the artist and should be considered as coming out of the $1,000 stipend. Ideal proposals will allow for at least 70% of this stipend to be dedicated to an artist fee in the budget breakdown.
– Pieces with minor installation elements will be considered; however, it is essential that performance proposals are in accordance with the scale of The 8th Floor space, with high sensitivity to the artworks in the exhibition on view at the same time. Using wall space, hanging objects, liquids, flames, and exaggerated movements that may endanger the installed works are prohibited. A floorplan can be found here and a virtual gallery here – events usually take place in the gallery’s south end.
– Selected performance artists will be able to schedule a time to spec out the space and, if needed, a light rehearsal before the performance date. All setup/breakdown must take place on the day of the performance.

Submissions will be accepted at this link starting May 28, 2024 and are due by 10am ET on July 2, 2024. The Foundation will begin conversations about potential fall-winter 2024-25 Sight/Geist programming as early as mid-July and all applicants will be notified of their status by early September. All questions should be directed to

About the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation
The Foundation believes in art as a cornerstone of cohesive, sustainable communities and greater participation in civic life. In its mission to make art available to the broader public, in particular to underserved communities, the Foundation provides direct support to, and facilitates partnerships between, cultural organizations and advocates of social justice across the public and private sectors. Through grantmaking, the Foundation supported cross-disciplinary work connecting art with social justice via experimental collaborations, as well as extending cultural resources to organizations and areas of New York City in need.

About The 8th Floor
The 8th Floor is an independent exhibition and event space established in 2010 by Shelley and Donald Rubin to promote artistic and cultural initiatives. Inspired by The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, the gallery is committed to broadening the access and availability of art to New York audiences. Seeking further cultural exchange, The 8th Floor explores the potential of art as an instrument for social change in the 21st century, through an annual program of innovative contemporary art exhibitions and an events program comprised of performances, salon-style discussions, and those organized by external partners.

Follow: Facebook @SDRubinFoundation, X @rubinfoundation, Instagram @rubinfoundation #SightGeist #RubinFoundation #The8thFloor #ArtandSocialJustice

Image description: Image description: In an art gallery, two people are in conversation in front of a sizable crowd. A large projection screen is behind them with an image of small waves on a beach.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Max Kruger-Dull
Blue Medium, Inc.
Tel: +1-212-675-1800