Beall Center for Art + Technology

Beall Center for Art + Technology

In 1997 when the art world began witnessing emerging innovations that combined art and technology, a group headed by the former dean of UC Irvine’s School of the Arts approached the Rockwell Foundation with the proposal to establish a center on campus dedicated to interdisciplinary research and exhibitions in contemporary media arts.

A year later, to honor retiring Chairman Donald R. Beall and his wife, Joan, Rockwell International Corporation approved that proposal and awarded the School a major gift to support the founding and infrastructure of the Donald R. and Joan F. Beall Center for Art + Technology.

The Center was physically located within the School of the Arts campus and its intent was to promote interdisciplinary collaborations between the University’s arts, engineering, sciences and business programs – all of which contribute to the development and applications of multimedia.

When completed, the Beall Center became the only exhibition center within the UC system to solely focus on contemporary new media arts and the only space of its kind in Southern California.

Contemporary media art is a genre that encompasses artworks created with emerging media technologies, including, but not limited to, digital art, computer graphics, computer animation, virtual art, Internet art, interactive art technologies, computer robotics, science, and art as biotechnology.

While media art may appear to be a new art form rising from the burgeoning computer age of the 1980s and 1990s, its roots can be traced as far back as 180 AD with the creation of an elementary zoetrope thought to have originated in China or the more often referenced 1800’s zoetrope that used moving photographic images both as a study in physics and as a visual art form.

Leaping forward, the 1960s saw the beginnings of experimental video art  developments by Nam June Paik and multimedia and experimental performances by Fluxus. The 1980s experienced real-time computer graphics and the emergence of the video game, followed by the computer and Internet explosion of the 1990s.

The Beall Center’s inaugural exhibition opened in the fall of 2000 with SHIFT_CTRL: Computers, Games and Art, a groundbreaking exhibit that examined games, gaming, and related new technologies.

Since its opening, the Beall Center has showcased professional exhibits, undergraduate and graduate exhibits, youth and outreach events, and has represented artists, researchers and students of higher education practicing in various genres of contemporary media arts.

In the fall of 2009 the Beall Center received important works by world renowned and pioneering video artist Nam June Paik (1932-2006) on loan from a private collector and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Media Alchemy showcased Nam June Paik’s later works in an inviting intimate setting.
When stripped down, the Beall Center is a big black box of approximately 2500 sq. ft. and consists of grids for lights, electricity, and provides online connectivity – the tools and materials necessary for media art exhibits.

Art at the Beall Center is experimental in nature. Most galleries and museums do not have the infrastructure, technological know-how and/or the time to trouble shoot technological problems that sometimes occur in exhibiting these types of media art. Luckily the Beall Center was built as a technology-based art center and the infrastructure is in place to allow for trouble-shooting and immediate repairs.

Thanks to its continued uniqueness, the Beall is as important today as it was when it opened years ago.

While the Beall Center received its initial support from the Rockwell Corporation in honor of retired chairman Don Beall and his wife, Joan, it is with much gratitude that major support today is generously provided by the Beall Family Foundation.

For more information about the Beall Center for Art + Technology, visit the website: click here

Directions to the Beall Center

"Music into Data::Data into Music"

Curated by by David Familian


September 29 – February 2, 2019
See below for holiday closures

Beall Center for Art + Technology

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 29, 2– 5 p.m.

R. Luke DuBois is a composer, artist, and performer who explores the temporal, verbal, and visual structures of cultural and personal ephemera. DuBois’ method of composing is based on a fluid interaction between data, sound, and images. Conceptually, he sees musical scores as sets of data that are transformed into works of art by musical instruments. Since the artist considers the digital programs he creates to be instruments, "Music into Data::Data into Music" will explore the various ways that DuBois uses video, computational processed sound, and images as compositional elements.

The roots of DuBois’ overall practice stem from 1950s concept of “generative art.” Founded in the early days of computational art, generative art was created using various methods of aleatory change to create unique variations of an image, sound, or composition. DuBois’ approach to sound is influenced by conceptual artist John Cage’s theory that any sound can be music – a radical notion during this period of art history – and like Cage, uses chance operations to yield music. DuBois’ work can range from the temporal manipulation of musical performances, to data visualizations transformed into music, to the permutation of language – all of which exemplify the mercuriality of song.

This exhibition will trace his practice from earlier image and music-driven works to current politically inspired works; a timeline that reveals a consistent interest in the mirrored relationship between image and sound as well as the cultural artifact of data. Throughout all of the works in this exhibition, there is an active interplay between the viewers’ experience of sound and images – a sensory and compelling event driven by the artist’s generative algorithms.

DuBois teaches at New York University, where he co-directs the Integrated Digital Media program at the Tandon School of Engineering. Previously, he was the director of the Princeton Laptop Orchestra for its 2007 season. DuBois is also the co-author of Jitter, a software suite for the real-time manipulation of matrix data developed by San Francisco-based software company Cycling'74. His primary tool for composing his works is Jitter and Max/MSP. He received his Ph.D. in Music Composition from Columbia University. He has collaborated on interactive performance, installation, and music production work with many artists and organizations including Toni Dove, Todd Reynolds, Jamie Jewett, Bora Yoon, Michael Joaquin Grey, Matthew Ritchie, Elliott Sharp, Michael Gordon, Maya Lin, Bang on a Can, Engine 27, Harvestworks, and LEMUR. He is represented by bitforms gallery (NY), and lives and works in New York City, NY.

This exhibition is possible due to the generosity of the Beall Family Foundation. For more information about public events related to this exhibition, please visit the "Events" page of our website.




712 Arts Plaza | Irvine, CA 92697 |
Gallery Hours | Monday - Saturday | 12–6 p.m.

Free admission and docent-led tours, open to the public.

Holiday Closures:

  • November 12, 2018
  • November 22-24, 2018
  • The Beall Center for Art + Technology will be closed for the campus holiday recess starting on Monday, December 17th, 2018, and will resume normal business hours on Monday, January 7th, 2019. The administrative office will be open during this time, with the exception of its own holiday closure (December 24, 2018-January 2,2019). We look forward to seeing you in 2019!
  • January 15, 2019

The Beall Center received its initial support from the Rockwell Corporation in honor of retired chairman Don Beall and his wife, Joan, the core idea being to merge their lifelong passions – technology, business and the arts – in one place. Today major support is generously provided by the Beall Family Foundation.

September 29 (All day) to February 2 (All day), September 29 - 2:00 pm
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