Seeing Like a Fund

In collaboration with Kunstinstituut Melly, we're excited to host Seeing Like a Fund: an interactive event with artists, researchers, members of the Prince Claus Fund team, and other funding organisations. 

PCF PROMO IMG original

© 2022 Seed Awardee Red

The funding application process is a two-way street: funders put forward distinct criteria, expectations, and desirable outcomes for applications, and artists and cultural practitioners present work that aims to match those.

Are these dynamics as linear and clear-cut as we might assume them to be? Information exchange between artists and funders travels in context-specific ways, which in turn prompts the question: within a funding application process, which kinds of knowledge are being amplified, and which kinds of knowledge are perhaps being left out?

The event Seeing Like a Fund takes place at Kunstinstituut Melly between 14:00-17:00 on 6 June, 2023, and is based on a simulation of a “typical” grant cycle—from the publication of an opportunity to the final evaluation of a project. Participants engage in a role-play to model the incentive structures behind key moments of information exchange in the grantmaking cycle, from application forms to informal conversations, and how these influence the way both funders and funded perceive the cultural development field.

During the simulation, characters—artist-applicants and various roles within a funding organization—are represented by small teams of participants. Participants are encouraged to play as characters that do not represent their real-life experiences. The object of the simulation is not to “win” by receiving funding or allocating it, but to pay careful attention to the way that the systems of funding structure determines what can and cannot be communicated, and what kinds of knowledge are amplified, repressed, or distorted.

An invited group of artists, funders, and researchers will participate in Seeing Like a Fund. We have a limited number of slots available for this event on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please email [email protected] if you are an artist, funder, or researcher, and you are interested in joining us for this event!

About Kunstinstituut Melly

Kunstinstituut Melly was originally conceived as an art-house with a mission to present and discuss the ideas and work created today by visual artists and cultural makers. To fulfill the core mission of presenting contemporary art and theory, they organize exhibitions, commission art, publish and develop educational and collaborative initiatives. In doing so, Kunstinstituut Melly applies a practice of collective learning. This means they spatialize and socialize different forms of knowledge. Public engagement is intrinsic to Kunstinstituut Melly's creative processes and artistic outcomes.