What Is the TMT Institute
The TMT Institute is a gathering of a small cohort of artists who seek to radically disrupt and re-examine their practice. It is a place where artists can challenge and question themselves, try new directions in any way at all, without any expectation of result or success.
Each Fellow brings their own questions and ideas, which TMT supports with space, material resources and a $2,000 stipend.
Institute Fellows gather for three short intensive sessions to help each Fellow advance this process. The group shares this conversation, but each Fellow has their own individual practice and each Fellow seeks their own course as they reinvent it. In between intensive meetings, you will have a monthly breakfast and go on occasional excursions to keep the conversation growing. After the second intensive, each Fellow is encouraged to define and commit to an exploration that they can pursue outside of the group gatherings. Target Margin supports these experiments with space and people and other resources. Fellows share their progress and evolution as they continue to gather. At the end of the season TMT hosts an “open studio” to invite their community of artists and neighbors to share in what they have been exploring. This is not a performance; it can be a conversation, notes, a demonstration, or simply the Fellow’s presence to discuss their work with anyone interested.
The Institute intentionally rejects product-oriented work; Fellows pursue no project, no developmental stage, no result of any kind. Their goal is to create a place where artists set aside their assumptions and disrupt their established practice. Artists try new ways of working, new disciplines to explore, and new aesthetic goals and principles. They value directionless exploration; they consider misfires, dead ends, and bad ideas to be a fruitful and joyous part of our work.
Who Can Do It
The Institute is open to artists from any discipline within or outside of theater, and is also open to production, technical, and administrative workers in the arts. Fellows must have a mature practice in the arts which they are committed to changing.
Interested candidates should send a completed application (see Practice Steps for Applicantsbelow) to Target Margin by August 18th. Members of TMT’s staff and artistic community will review applications and will invite a handful of folks for an interview to talk more about their artistic practice and interest in the Institute. They will announce new Fellows by October 1st.
Fellows must be available in person for the following dates in Brooklyn, NY:
- Intensive Sessions at Target Margin Theater
- October 27, 28, 29: all day with some evening hours
- January 4, 5, 6: all day with some evening hours
- March 22, 23, 24: all day with some evening hours
- On the first Monday of the month, Fellows meet for breakfast at Junior’s in Brooklyn to share thoughts, questions, and experience. Our first breakfast will be Monday, November 6th.
- From time to time, we organize excursions to performance, artistic, or other cultural events, to feed our thinking.
As the year proceeds, Fellows schedule their own explorations or experiments which Target Margin will support.
In June 2024, an open studio weekend will share Fellows’ explorations with their artistic community, their Sunset Park neighbors, and the general public. Fellows may describe discuss or demonstrate their explorations in whatever way suits their work. But this should not be in the form of an audience-attended, time-bounded show.
Some Helpful Suggestions for Applicants
Please do not apply to the Institute with a project. They cannot stress this enough: in every cycle they have received numerous applications from worthy artists with exciting projects in development; they reject them all. This is not a project development workshop. There is no public deliverable or timeline to meet.
Usually Institute Fellows have already created a body of work in the field. The Institute is for artists with an established practice to set that aside and launch in new directions: directors may become installation artists; performers might work with design; producers can pursue ceramics. They aspire to abandon received assumptions about theater, so individuals can create new ways of working from the ground up.
There is no formal education level or degree required for this program. In fact, if you are just emerging from a training program it is unlikely that you will be an appropriate candidate for this fellowship. In their experience, if you are just finishing a phase of training, your own practice is probably less developed, and the next step would be to make work and develop that practice. So it is likely not meaningful to enter another institutional program right away.
Practical Steps for Applicants
Please submit the application by August 18th with the following information:
- Your CV or Bio or both or neither; use whatever tells them your background, education and experience. There is no educational requirement or professional qualification required.
- Something about your work. This can be a link to pictures or videos or recordings, or verbal descriptions or actual objects (which you would have to send to their address). Please do not include reviews or features in the press. Let us know if you have live work to be viewed currently; they want to be there if they can.
- Brief (one paragraph) Responses to the following questions:
- What has your artistic practice become at this point?
- Why do you want to join this Program? What has made this moment the right one for you to change your practice? They seek Fellows who are at a moment in their trajectory that is unique and demands change. How are you at such a moment?
- The Institute is about new thinking. What are some questions you would bring in to ask on the first day of the Institute? Or new directions you could go in. These could be about your own work, about making work generally, about other work, or anything in the universe that might shape your work in new ways. Note: these are not ideas you have to commit to for the coming Fellowship year; they just want your thinking and possibilities at this moment.
- Tell them about an artistic experience that has been important to you that is completely unrelated to your own practice or creative products.
- Tell them a surprising thing you have noticed in the last week.
- Anything else you want them to know, other information, thoughts, or questions.