Black Box Residency Projects

  • Paul Vanouse working in a laboratory
  • "Evidence" by Paul Vanouse
  • Artist Anna Dumitrieu in the Center for Complex Biological Engineering
  • Detail View of Anna Dumitrieu's Lab Work
  • Artist Anna Dumitrieu's "Necklace" made from Amino Acids
  • "Luminiferous Drift" by Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand

Black Box Projects is an artist residency initiative focusing on the research and development of responsive environments, installations and sculptures by artists who will work collaboratively with various UC Irvine research departments. This initiative provides selected artists with an opportunity to have access to the latest knowledge and resources to further their own practice, while simultaneously allowing the Beall Center to exhibit innovative, interdiscplinary work and to function more as a research center for experimental media arts.

Black Box Projects has been in operation since 2011.  Black Box Projects residents are generally awarded a 2-year program and  focusing on the collaborative research and development of responsive artworks. While many artists are producing responsive works, they often lack the access and means to utilize the most current technological developments. But more importantly, there is a deeper issue about the reception to responsive art: How do artists progress from producing works that are purely about play to those with deeper cognitive engagement and embodied experiences?  Black Box Projects addreses these issues through a collaborative approach between artist and researchers in fields such as the hard sciences, technology, humanities, and engineering.

Each accepted aritst project will have different research parameters. Ideally, artists will expand their practice into new territories by taking advantage of UC Irvine’s vast scholarly resources. Their potential collaborators may include art or media historians, computer scientists, robotics experts, cognitive psychologists, DNA researchers, physiologists and studio artists. To date, residency artists have already collaborated with resources such as the Center for Complex Biological Systems (led by artist Anna Dumitrieu in 2016), the Hui Lab for microtechnology (led by artists Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand in 2015), and the Specialist Transgenic Mouse Facility (led by artist Paul Vanouse in 2013).


The goals of the Black Box Projects residency are as follows:

1) The artist will produce a compelling new work of media art for an exhibition and push the boundaries of their practice.. 

2) The artist will participate in a public program with collaborators to share the results of the research.    

3) The artist and the Beall will thoroughly evaluate the methodology, timeline and working process for future projects. 


Residency proposals are reviewed on an annual basis in December. Proposals must be received via email ( by December 1 of each year, and must include the following:

- A written proposal describing the body of work you wish to further develop

- A list of UCI departments, centers, resources, and/or faculty members that you would ideally like to work with

- An estimated budget for research and development, as well as final artwork materials

- A current artist biography/professional C.V.


An email confirmation message will be sent to you to confirm your proposal's receipt. Please do not call or email inquiring about the status of your proposal. Residency award notifications will be sent via email within two months of the proposal deadline.


Residency awards include:

- Substantial funding of research and development, and final artwork materials

- Provision and orchestration of collaboration opportunities

- Roundtrip airfare as necessary

- Lodging during campus visits

- Inclusion of works in a Beall Center for Art + Technology exhibition (upon approval of completed work)


For additional information or detailed questions, please contact Artistic Director, David Familian: / 949-824-4543