Diana Rojas and Zuyva Sevilla are intermedia artists who exemplify the collaborative and interdisciplinary spirit of iARTA. Both Diana, a current MFA student in New Media Art and Zuyva, an alumnus, have pulled from many different disciplines to creative innovative and sophisticated approaches to their praxis as artists.
Pictured above; Zuyva's Superlux 17 and Diana's Material Transformative
Diana’s art, which has been exhibited nationally and internationally, exists at a veritable crossroads of visual art, material science, philosophy, history, and music. This leads her to create deep and introspective pieces focused on perceptions of the liminal spaces between the sublime and the physical. The spiritual core of her work is informed by light, sound, and material science and how the interactions of these physical elements can create dramatic, sophisticated, and complex results. Some of her recent pieces explore the use of silica aerogel, an ethereal synthetic material made almost entirely of air, highlighting her keen interest in the boundaries between the physical and the otherworldly.
Pictured above; Diana Rojas
Working with material sciences has also informed Diana’s approach to her artistic praxis as a whole; beyond the obvious terminological differences between the disciplines, Diana has found inspiration in the material scientists’ approach to process and failure. Since materials often fail due to some error in the fabrication process, failure is a routine and necessary part of their working process. This often means that starting over is a natural a part of the material scientists’ workflow, making it a natural and necessary aspect of the journey to the end goal of producing a new object or material. This has inspired Diana, who now sees challenges or failures in her own work to be natural parts of her artistic praxis as she explores these dynamic new directions for her art. This exploration of silica as a material has also led to a deep and ongoing study of materials such as glass and sand, whose latent qualities make them ideal for explorations in light and sound.
Pictured above; Diana's Quanta
In addition to her work with material sciences, Diana has a profound interest in the use of sound and music in her art, and she has often worked directly with musicians and composers to create musical performances and installations. This use of sound comes from her burgeoning interest in psychoacoustics and the ways that music can evoke a feeling of the ethereal and metaphysical. In an artistic context, this often means evoking a specific atmosphere that is dramatic and evocative of the existential enormity of the divine. Diana, a musician herself, has created pieces ranging from interactive visual pieces with live performers to five-screen ambisonic fixed media video works to intimate and introspective installations with ambient sounds.
Pictured above; Diana's Harbinger
More than anything, the most exciting thing about collaborative and interdisciplinary work for Diana is the community she’s built. As she said in our recent interview,
"One thing that I really love about the interdisciplinary process is that it's not just about how different forms can be produced, but for me it's also connecting with people and building my own personal community. This, in turn, helps with building my communication skills, because there's a different way that I have to communicate with each department in each group of people. I don’t want to just commission the work, I really like to be able to go into unfamiliar spaces and learn about somebody else's field, life and process. Learning from and being inspired by their passions influence my work in a way that is very rewarding and gratifying.”
Like Diana, Zuyva finds fulfillment in building bridges between creative people in multiple disciplines “It’s been wonderful to work with people who dedicate their lives to skills that I don’t have so that we can work symbiotically toward a common project; some of the people I work with can do things beyond my comprehension, and I hope that I’m also bringing something meaningful to the table.”
Pictured above; Zuyva Sevilla
Zuyva’s interests have taken him deep into collaboration with scientists, and his passion for science has led him to work with Ideum, an innovative company that uses cutting edge technology to design public installations and educational displays to create compelling and informative interactive experiences. As an A/V Design technician, Zuyva’s creative skills as an artist are called upon alongside his broad technical expertise to create aesthetic realizations of practical concepts in public museums and galleries across New Mexico.
By creating compelling artistic realizations of scientific concepts, Zuyva hopes to capture the attention of people in his community and help them to understand ideas that might otherwise fail to compel or inspire them. His work with Ideum has allowed him to merge his passion for science and his experience as an artist creating visually compelling works.
Zuyva’s own art reflects his interests in physics and material sciences with his series of studies on the physical properties of light through custom designed and realized resin lenses. These lenses illustrate characteristics and patterns within light waves to create deeply compelling explorations of the aesthetic implications of the natural properties of the fundamental building blocks of our universe.
Pictured above; Zuyva's Superlux 11
This scientifically minded approach has led Zuyva to be extremely versatile, able to work well within the constraints that specific installations often demand when working with scientific principles.
“With all of these scientific installations that I’m doing, it’s great to be able to work with all of these different people of different backgrounds and take all of their perspectives into account; taking a set idea and figuring out how to turn it into something tangible has been extremely rewarding.”
This versatility doesn’t just stop at interactions with science, however. Zuyva’s collaborators have included other visual artists, composers and musicians, filmmakers, and creative coders as a part of multiple iterations of iARTA’s Intermedia Performance Art Class, where he helped to create virtual exhibitions and augmented reality experiences as a part of the total immersive experience. In 2020, he was one of the lead designers and the video streaming systems technician for Press <G> to Fly, a virtual exhibition and performance site created in Mozilla Hubs.
Pictured above; Zuyva's Synistani