Are you interested in helping to push the fields of technology and performance forward, together? Are you a technologist that is looking to employ your skills in a form of performing art, or a performing artist that has always wanted to collaborate with a technologist? We’re here to support you in concocting the next most exciting combination of dance and technology in performance with our upcoming artist in residence program, Combustible.

Combustible is a lab for intersecting art practices from dance and technology. Artists are given real, raw Space and Time, to collaborate on the creation of innovative live performance projects with use state-of-the-art lighting and sound tools. Throughout a residency period artists share their research through designed public experiences and events. Combustible carves a place to be deeply inquisitive and experiment on the edge of what is known.

CounterPulse will work with you to design and plan the time between you and your collaborator to create a performance piece. We’ll host your rehearsals, produce and promote your show, give you and your collaborator an artist fee, and offer you a community of support. Why? Because we believe that the best technology-infused choreography and performance should be coming out of San Francisco – a global leader of innovations in both art and technology. We have a vision for our city and your creative combustion is part of that vision.

Unique to this residency program, you will have six months to develop a 30 minute work in collaboration with a tech creative or a choreographer. Ideas that push the form forward will be prioritized.


Capacitor Performance, a dance, cirque nouveau, aerial company, that collaborates with scientists to create art experiences was one of our prototype residents. Pictured: Elliott Gittelsohn of Capacitor, Toshi Hoo Photography

How to apply

Letter of Inquiry Due: August 15th

Fill out a short form with some basic information on who you are, what you do, and what you would like to create. If accepted, we will request a full proposal from you in September.

Download the LOI form >>

Support we offer

Cash Support

Primary Artist Fee $2,500
Lead Collaborator Fee $1,500
Production Budget $1,450

In-Kind (Non-Cash) Support
Rehearsal Space at CounterPulse (100 hrs @ $18/hr) $1,800
Technical Production Support (WIPs, Tech, Shows, Design) $2,500
Documentation $500
CounterPulse Staff Support $5,000
Publicity Package $2,000

Total Value of Support $17,250

Share info about Combustible with this printable flier >>


Dohee Lee, who combines Korean shamanic practices with multimedia performances, was our other prototype resident. Photo from MAGO, courtesy of Dohee Lee.

Curatorial Philosophy

Combustible is part of CounterPulse’s ongoing Artist Residency program (ARC).  At its core the ARC program yields to the emergent ideas from independent artists in the field. As such the curatorial directions of the program are responsive and ever changing. In tandem with this strategic impressionability, the program seeks work that is saturated with the values of relevance, transformation and innovation. Work that is nuanced and self-aware of the ways in which it is contextualized by and gives context to social, political, economic or environmental issues and phenomena are strong fits for the program.

The work of Combustible surprises audiences with how technically and aesthetically intriguing it is yet how poetically and expressively it transcends the individual mechanisms. How can current technological tools be employed to create live performance experiences that powerfully reflect today’s world? How can you work collaboratively using the full range of technology and performance potential to generate a live experience that has real impact on audiences?

Bear these provocations in mind as you compose your Letter of Intent. Additionally, please highlights ways in which your work:

  • Eliminates boundaries either between disciplines, between artists and audience, between divergent communities.
  • Includes collaboration between a choreographer and a lead tech creative.
  • Inspires new audiences to engage with the live performance.
  • Has a distinct vision for taking advantage of CounterPulse’s physical space and organizational resources at 80 Turk Street.



Here are some examples of performance/technology projects that inspire us
Dance Cirque Visual Interaction:
Circus Triggered Visuals:
Music Made Through Movement:

Artist nominators are Jordan Grey of CODAME, Megan Steinman, IMPRINT PROJECTS, and Patience Elfving of Code and Canvas. You do not need to be nominated to submit an LOI.

Inline image 1




The Combustible Residency is funded in part by The Kenneth Hempel Foundation for the Arts

[Cover photo credits: Toshi Hoo Photography]