Qualcomm Institute Initiative for Digital Exploration of Arts and Sciences (IDEAS) Performance Series

The Qualcomm Institute, the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), invites proposals from all UC San Diego faculty, graduate students and other affiliates to stage technology-enhanced or enabled performances in the institute’s high-tech facilities. The current Call for Events is for performances to be staged during the 2016-2017 season, with in-kind support provided by Calit2 to awardees following a peer-review selection process. The deadline for submitting a proposal is noon on Monday, February 15, 2016. All performances will be open to the public and free of charge.


The initiative aims to encourage interdisciplinary artists and musicians, as well as engineers and scientists to take advantage of the Qualcomm Institute’s advanced audio-visual facilities, services and personnel in staging performances and presentations of new or existing works and research. The institute will provide access to its venue and performance spaces, as well as access to a/v, event and communications personnel on an in-kind basis. IDEAS submissions go through a rigorous peer review by the IDEAS Program Committee, chaired by IDEAS Director Shahrokh Yadegari, with members appointed from among Qualcomm Institute-affiliated faculty from the UC San Diego departments of Music, Visual Arts, Theatre & Dance, or from schools and divisions in the sciences and engineering. Each winning proposal is also awarded an onsite residency lasting from a single day to a full week, depending on project scope (see “Proposals” section below for details). It is anticipated that the longer residencies will feature important new works. “The Qualcomm Institute has become a world-renowned venue for faculty and students to stage performances that could not be staged anywhere else,” says Yadegari, a professor of theatre and dance at UC San Diego. “The institute offers spaces and tools – from advanced, spatialized audio to large-scale video walls and immersive, 3D virtual-reality environments – that can provide arts faculty with a new canvas for their technology-based performances.”


The possible venues are located in Atkinson Hall on the UC San Diego campus in La Jolla, Calif. The primary performance spaces are the 200-seat Calit2 Auditorium (which permits 4K projection at four times the resolution of HD-TV, and has a 12.1 Mayer surround audio system), and the 100-seat Calit2 Theater (a reconfigurable black-box space with large-scale video wall). Artists may also propose to use external and/or internal open spaces, including the Engineering Courtyard, or more intimate indoor spaces such as the Audio Spatialization Laboratory, the Performative Computing Laboratory, or the Immersive Visualization Laboratory, including the StarCAVE virtual-reality environment. For details of spaces available for use by IDEAS Performances, as well as their major equipment and capabilities, click here.


IDEAS awards involve in-kind support for the rehearsal and staging of performances at one of the Qualcomm Institute’s several venues. Such support may be requested in the form of:

  • Facilities usage:
    • Use of performance space/s for rehearsal time and performances;
    • Use of equipment and special facilities (e.g., video walls of varying sizes);
    • Use of lighting and sound systems with approved technician;
    • Allocated time periods include load-in and load-out time during the institute’s regular business hours, in addition to rehearsal and performance times.
  • Personnel for event support and a/v technical support for performances (and rehearsals as required and agreed beforehand).
  • Personnel for promotion and marketing from Calit2’s Communications group (including creation of news release, promotional flyer, event notices to appropriate websites, calendars and social media, and publicity via news media coverage.


We are actively soliciting proposals for residencies and performances to take place between September 2016 and June 2017. Proposals must be submitted online no later than noon Pacific time on February 15, 2016, and in only one of three categories:

  • 1-day performances: Performances that can be staged easily within one 8-hour day, including rehearsal time and a live performance. These may be works previously staged elsewhere.
  • 3-day residencies: New or previously staged works that require at least two days of set-up and rehearsals, in addition to a final third day, including a public performance.
  • 5-day residencies: New works that require extended rehearsal, preparation and setup or tear-down, particularly those involving highly technical elements which require use of facilities for up to an entire week, with one or multiple performances to be completed during the allocated time period.

To submit your proposal, please fill out the online application form and, where designated, upload a PDF of the proposal, It must be no more than three pages in length, including visuals; text must be single-spaced or higher, at a font size of 11pts or higher (Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri are preferred). In your proposal, be sure to include:

  • Statement of purpose;
  • Explain your prior performance- or technology-related work that may be relevant to this proposal;
  • Specify which Qualcomm Institute technical equipment, facilities, capabilities or personnel will be needed to mount the work in or around Atkinson Hall; and the
  • Artist’s resume or bio.

Note: Examples of prior performances must be indicated in uploaded proposals, with hypertext links to audio or video files online (e.g., URLs of videos on YouTube, or streaming audio clips). All multimedia assets must be accessible via the Internet: (no CDs, DVDs, thumb drives or other physical assets will be taken into consideration by the Program Committee during the peer-review process).

Judging Criteria

The Program Committee will review all proposals. Submissions will be judged on the:

  • Quality of the submission;
  • Proposed impact of the critical engagement;
  • Extent to which the work best uses the Qualcomm Institute’s unique combination of visual and audio technologies and spaces;
  • Multidisciplinary nature of the work; and
  • Relevance of the proposed work in advancing IDEAS’ central mission of digital exploration at the intersection of arts and sciences.


The peer review will take place shortly after the February 15, 2016 deadline for submissions, and final decisions on the in-kind awards will be conveyed to proposers in April 2016. Detailed discussions with the artists, engineers and scientists, will take place promptly, with an eye to scheduling one IDEAS performance per month between September 2016 and June 2017.