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TVLab + U-M Arts Initiative Launches Artist Residency

U-M Visiting Artist Integration Project

With support from the University of Michigan Arts Initiative, Taubman College Visualization Laboratory (TVLab) is seeking artists working with extended reality (XR) technology. This opportunity combines artistic practice, expansive research methods, and an openness to experiment and explore possibilities within the context of an R1 Research University. One selected artist will receive a $30,000 stipend, professional development support, and the opportunity to work closely with Taubman College faculty and students.

In this inaugural year, the program invites proposals exploring game development, virtual event production, mixed reality fabrication, augmented reality interventions, among other zones of inquiry in extended reality. We particularly welcome research agendas that capture the political and cultural complexities of these evolving visualization technologies and are imbued with an interest in software development.

About the U-M Arts Initiative

The University of Michigan Arts Initiative is piloting the visiting artist program to integrate the creative vision and dynamic thinking of artists across the university programs and processes. Through the Visiting Artist Integration Project (VAIP) the Arts Initiative will fund a stipend, travel, and supplies for an artist to visit and work with a U-M school, college, or unit. In VAIP’s inaugural year, the Arts Initiative has identified Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning as a foundational proving ground. A  recognized leader in experimental modes of spatial visualization, Taubman College is an ideal laboratory to explore ways that integrated creative practice can enhance student experience and learning, while also expanding the boundaries of digital arts. This pilot visit is led by Anya Sirota, Associate Dean for Academic Initiatives, Associate Professor of Architecture at Taubman College, and will coincide with the launch of the Taubman Visualization Lab (TVLab).

Research Residency Goals

  • Grow the artist’s interests which may include, but not be limited to: artistic research; skill development, interdisciplinary collaboration, capacity building, institutional critique, activism.
  • Engage the Taubman College community in matters pertaining to the future of visualization in the arts and public discourse.
  • Influence the TVLab’s approach to supporting faculty, students and artists in the future.

In addition to a $30,000 stipend, the artist will receive:

  • $5,000 research budget to support student assistants and incidental expenses.
  • Access to a dedicated studio space in the TVLab, which is equipped with a range of XR technologies including AR & VR (HTC Vive, Magic Leap, Hololens etc. ), 3D Scanning and spatial mapping equipment (Kinect, LiDAR, photogrammetry) and computational devices (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel Galileo). The lab also offers resources for virtual production and capture technology including video cameras, 360 cameras, drones, and projectors. The table-mounted robotic arm combines immersive technology with analog fabrication. A modest project budget is available for technology needs that arise during the fellowship.
  • Artist-related professional development.
  • Opportunities to share work with Taubman College and broader University of Michigan audiences.


Placing focus on research, experimentation, and capacity building, the residency program provides the selected artist opportunities for learning, research, and exchange, by offering access to people, space, and tools at Taubman College and across the UM campus. While the selected artist is not expected to reside in Ann Arbor, a minimum of three in-person visits and three virtual visits to the University of Michigan are required. These contributions will be diffused across the winter semester, and will include the following:

  • Visit #1: Opening Artist Talk & Networking
    • Second Week of February, 2023
  • Visit #2: Workshop with Students & Faculty
    • Second Week of March, 2023
  • Visit #3: Guest Critic for Final Reviews
    • Last week of April 2023
  • Virtual Visits: Lectures, Workshops, Conversations, Other
  • Final Report Reflecting on Residency Program

Taubman College and the U-M Arts Initiative will work with the visiting artist to finalize a schedule that sponsors productive and reciprocal connections with faculty, staff, and students. During their time at Taubman College, the artist will be asked to engage broadly with students across programs, which may include: undergraduates exploring social-impact design in Wallenberg Studio, graduates in thesis year, and students enrolled in electives ranging from immersive representation, to artificial intelligence and space making, to counter-algorithm and the ethics of virtual design.


  • Demonstrated and advanced expertise in at least one of the following areas:
    • Augmented Reality
    • Virtual Reality
    • Mixed Reality
    • Computer Programming
  • Applicants should be interested in infusing their creative practice with research.
  • Applicants should be able to articulate the importance of this opportunity within the scope of their artistic trajectory.
  • Applicants may not be enrolled in a degree-seeking program, either part-time or full-time, at an institution of higher learning at the time of the application deadline or during the year of residency.


A panel consisting of Taubman College Faculty and U-M Arts Initiative Staff will review applications and conduct interviews with a selection of candidates. 


Application Period Opens: Monday, September 12, 2022

Application Deadline: Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Interviews for Finalists: December 2022

Notifications: December 2022

Start Date & Visit #1: February 2023

Workshop & Visit #2: March 2023

End Date & Visit #3: April 30, 2023


  • CV/Resume
  • Proposed residency project description that includes the following:
    • How your work aligns with this residency opportunity;
    • How your work will engage students and the college community;
    • Ideal outcomes;
    • Equipment and material needs.
  • Digital Portfolio, link of brief document
  • 2-3 References

All application materials should be submitted online using SlideRoom.

Submit Your Application

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to move to Michigan?

No, though Michigan is a wonderful place, especially in winter, you will be asked to travel to Michigan on three occasions: at the beginning of the residency, at a convenient midpoint, and towards the end, when Taubman College hosts final studio reviews.  Each visit will range from 3 to 5 days, and your travel expenses and lodging will be covered.

What do you mean by research? Do I have to write papers?

Research can take a breadth of forms, and may not result in resolved or polished outcomes. We envision artists engaging in experimentation that benefits their personal practice; delves deeply into new ideas, and perhaps uncharted concepts. We anticipated that your in progress research can be shared with the public through the Taubman College Visualization Lab, and we hope that your research could be made evident through its impact on your work, the ways you structure ideas, and other approaches we haven’t imagined. And, no, you do not need to write papers.

My work is collaborative. Can two or more people apply, as a group?

If collaboration is central to your creative practice, you can certainly apply as a group. When submitting, please be sure to describe how your collective operates, and what each member contributes to the practice. Include resumes from all members and address how this opportunity would benefit all members of the collective. Please be aware that the stipend will be shared between all participants.

Can academics apply?

This research residency is intended for individuals who consider themselves artists or designers. University of Michigan faculty and staff are not eligible for this opportunity.

Will you give preference to University of Michigan alumni?

No. We consider all applicants equally, regardless of whether they attended the University of Michigan.

Do I need to illustrate a connection to architecture or planning?

Not at all. We are seeking artists who work outside of architecture and its affiliated fields. An interest in spatial visualization, in its myriad of forms, will be helpful, however.

Do I have to spend the money I receive in a specific way?

There are no specific parameters for how you spend the stipend. We are interested in how this funding will support you and your work.

Will I get a studio or an office?

The TVLab will provide you a dedicated workspace during your in person visits.

Are there benefits?

The artist’s stipend is treated as a consultancy and is not accompanied by any additional benefits.

What are examples of University of Michigan resources I would be able to access?

The artist will have access to a range of resources at the University of Michigan including: assistance from the U-M Arts Initiative and Taubman College staff, access to University libraries, media centers, audio and video recording studios, museums,  fabrication facilities, and most importantly, networks of people pursuing scholarship across disciplines. And, of course, space and tools at TVLab, including a range of XR equipment, hardware and software. The TVLab director will be on call as a point person to help navigate the full ecosystem of U-M resources available to the resident artist on campus.

Will I have a solo show? Will I have my work acquired by TVLab or Taubman College?

The parameters of the research residency do not require an exhibition and do not include an acquisition of works. However, exhibition of work may be possible at the conclusion of the residency.

For further questions or inquiries, please contact Jacob Comerci, Academic Initiatives Project Manager, at comerci@umich.edu.

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