Black Box Residency Projects

  • Paul Vanouse working in a laboratory
    Paul Vanouse working in a laboratory
  • "Evidence" by Paul Vanouse
    "Evidence" by Paul Vanouse
  • Artist Anna Dumitrieu in the Center for Complex Biological Engineering
    Artist Anna Dumitrieu in the Center for Complex Biological Engineering
  • Detail View of Anna Dumitrieu's Lab Work
    Detail View of Anna Dumitrieu's Lab Work
  • Artist Anna Dumitrieu's "Necklace" made from Amino Acids
    Artist Anna Dumitrieu's "Necklace" made from Amino Acids
  • Artists Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand in their mobile lab
    Artists Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand in their mobile lab
  • Artists Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand in their mobile lab
    Artists Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand in their mobile lab
  • "Luminiferous Drift" by Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand
    "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, interdisciplinary work and to function 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 their projects. 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 addresses these issues through a collaborative approach between artists and researchers in fields such as the hard sciences, technology, humanities, and engineering.

Each accepted artist 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).

Please do not send unsolicated proposals.


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

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

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

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


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)




Artist: Katherine Behar

Collaborators: Kelli Sharp, Associate Professor of Dance Science and Co-Director of iMove Lab, UCI’s Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center (SCRC)

Charlotte Griffin, Assistant Professor of Modern Dance, Claire Trevor School of the Arts

Project: We Grasp at Straws, a single-channel video with sound that captures an absurd attempt at remote group puppetry.


Artist: Cesar & Lois Collective (Cesar Baio and Lucy HG Solomon)

Collaborators: Kathleen K. Treseder, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences

Project: Hyphenated, an apparatus mechanism of “Mycelial A.I.” 


Artist: Chico MacMurtrie

Collaborators: Michael T. Tolley, Associate Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Director of the Bioinspired Robotics and Design Lab at UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering.

Project: Dual Pnemua, an interactive inflatable sculpture.


Artist: Josephine Sales

Collaborators: Kaaryn Gustafson, Professor of Law, School for Social Ecology; Keramet Reiter, Professor of Criminology, Law & Society, School for Social Ecology, and Simon Leung, Professor of Art, Claire Trevor School of the Arts.  

Project: KIT (Keep in Touch), a wearable haptic audio sculpture worn around the neck, resonating sound through the participant’s body. This component accompanies Total Running Time, a video work about life in prison and prison technology. 


Artist: Laura Splan with Adam Lamson and Danielle McPhatter

Collaborators: Hannah Lui Park, Assistant Professor in Residence, Department of Epidemiology, School of Medicine and Program Director of the UCI Athena Breast Health Network. 

Project: Baroque Bodies: Sway, a series of artworks based on epigenetic research on environmental influences on gene expression. 


Artist: Hege Tapio

Collaborators: Allon Hochbaum, Associate Professor of Chemistry, School of Physical Sciences

Project: EPHEMERAL, a semi-dermal implant designed to release synthetic emotions.


Artist: Gail Wight

Collaborators: TBD

Project: Ostracod Rising, a proposition that suggests that the ostracod–a ubiquitous crustacean in astounding numbers in both water and on land–is on the ascension. 




Artist: Ian Ingram

Collaborator: Steve Mahler, Assistant Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior, 

UC Irvine School of Biological Sciences’s Department of Neurobiology and Behavior


Artists: lauren woods and Kimberli Meyer

Collaborators: Kaaryn Gustafson, Professor and Associate Dean, School of Law and Director of Center on Law, Equality, and Race. 

Jared Sexton, Professor of African American Studies, School of Humanities

Project: American Monument, a research process, an exhibition and a series of think tanks and other public programs that prompted consideration of and response to the cultural circumstances under which African-Americans have lost their lives to police brutality.


Artists: Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand

Collaborators: Dr. Elliot Hui, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, The Henry Samueli School of Engineering

UCI Center for Complex Biological Systems 

UCI Newkirk Center for Science & Society

Project: Luminiferous Drift, an installation of glowing light that used proto-cells to recreate bioluminescence from phytoplankton. Viewers experienced the work in a self-contained, darkened space in the gallery that created a seemingly otherworldly environment.


Artist: Anna Dumitriu 

Collaborator: Dr. Chang Liu, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, The Henry Samueli School of Engineering

Project: Engineered Antibody, a necklace made up of 452 hand-made “beads,” that both represented and physically contained the 21 amino acids of the antibody from the AIDS/HIV virus. 


Artist: Paul Vanouse

Collaborator: Thomas J. Fielder, Specialist at Transgenic Mouse Facility at UCI Chao Family Comprehensice Cancer Center 

Project: Suspect Inversion Center applies Southern blot imaging to the ways in which DNA can be extracted, amplified, fragmented and imaged photographically. 


Artist: Gail Wight

Project: Shell Game brings the unique, long extinct plants and animals of the Burgess Shale to life.