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Qualcomm Institute Invites Proposals for Tech-Infused Performing Arts Series

May 15 deadline for proposals from faculty, students Visual Arts, Music, Theatre & Dance, Engineering

Rosenberger piece

QI’s virtual-reality facilities have also been used for performances requiring 3D immersion, like this piece from 2016 by Music professor and QI composer in residence, Katharina Rosenberger.

The Qualcomm Institute (QI) at the University of California, San Diego has launched its fifth annual invitation to faculty and students to propose residencies culminating in performances or presentations of works and research in visual arts, music, theatre and dance, as well as technology disciplines. The Call for Proposal was published online April 10 on the website of QI’s Initiative for Digital Exploration of Arts and Sciences (IDEAS).

The Call for Proposals for the 2017-2018 IDEAS season is now available online. All proposals must be submitted no later than 11:59PM Pacific time on Monday, May 15, 2017, and all proposals must be submitted through the Online Submissions Form.

The competition will result in the selection of works for residencies and performances during the upcoming 2017-2018 IDEAS season. QI is the UC San Diego Division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). The winning events will be staged and/or presented in the institute’s high-tech venues in Atkinson Hall on the UC San Diego campus.

Proposals will be judged on the quality of each submission; the proposed impact of the critical engagement; the extent to which the artist proposes to use QI’s unique audio, video and performance space; the multidisciplinary nature of the work; and the general relevance of the work to the IDEAS mission for digital exploration of arts and sciences.

Still image

Image from “Still”, one of the final performances in the current 2016-17 season of IDEAS. The work by Kyle Johsnon is set for April 20 at 5-7pm in the Calit2 Auditorium, Atkinson Hall. Open to the public, free of charge.

The IDEAS program was launched in 2013 to encourage UC San Diego artists, technologists, and scientists to take advantage of the Qualcomm Institute’s advanced audio-visual facilities, services and personnel in developing and staging new or existing works.

“The IDEAS program has provided support for the staging of 34 performances in the institute through its first four seasons, many of them original works integrating advanced audio and visual technologies into the artist’s vision,” said Music professor and composer Shahrokh Yadegari, who directs the IDEAS program. ““We anticipate many works to be proposed by faculty and grad students in the performing arts departments, but we specially encourage proposals from interdisciplinary groups engaging with multiple disciplines such as the arts, humanities, sciences, and engineering to push the envelope of experimental, critical, and technological approaches.”

The latest Call for Proposals seeks submissions for in-kind support from the Qualcomm Institute’s IDEAS program for the development and staging of performances involving new or existing works between September 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. All performances and presentations will be open to the public and free of charge.

Submissions go through a rigorous peer review by faculty on the IDEAS Program Committee. “We want the works to be experimental, interdisciplinary, exploratory, and technological with strong academic merit,” said Yadegari, “so peer review is critical.” Preference will be given to multidisciplinary submissions that take maximum advantage of the Qualcomm Institute’s unique combination of visual and audio technologies, as well as its internal and external spaces for performances. Final decisions on the in-kind rewards will be conveyed to proposers in June 2017.

The in-kind awards will support facility and equipment usage, including lighting, visualization and sound systems, as well as audiovisual technicians and other personnel for event, promotion and communications. Onsite residencies may be awarded from a single day to a full week, depending on project scope.

“The institute offers spaces and tools such as large-scale video walls, spatialized audio systems and technologies, and immersive 3D virtual-reality environments,” said Qualcomm Institute director Ramesh Rao. “In some cases these facilities do not exist anywhere else on campus or anywhere in San Diego, so we hope to encourage collaborations among artists, designers, engineers, and scientists to take advantage of these unique facilities to push the boundaries of the performing arts and design.”

The 2017-2018 Call for Proposals and additional information are available on the IDEAS website at All proposals must be submitted through the Online Submissions Form at no later than 1259PM on Monday, May 15, 2017. For questions about the program, contact program manager Trish Stone at

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