Zuyva Sevilla, an artist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, makes new-media works that contemplate the cosmic and ineffable, such as heat signatures and dust patterns.
Albuquerque | zuyvasevilla.com
Zuyva Sevilla’s artwork straddles two seemingly antagonistic worlds—the natural and the digital. But far from highlighting or re-affirming staid, binary relationships, the Albuquerque-based artist highlights the interconnectedness and thought-provoking confluences of these two realms.
In his recent installation Sinks (2023), for instance, Sevilla captures heat signatures produced by hot air blown onto steel sheets with a thermal camera, then projects that data—translated as vibrant swaths of color—back onto them. This process, as the artist notes, allows us to “visualize an otherwise ethereal event” that occurs naturally in the world.
Likewise, his sculptural installations Xeros (2022) and Synistanai (2020) contain digital videos of “cyclonic particle simulation inspired by dust storms” and “varying particle simulations invoking the creation of the universe,” respectively. While the content of these videos is rooted in natural phenomena, their visualizations are predicated upon digital technology. Concomitantly, the apparatuses used to display these images (i.e. digital monitors) are products of contemporary technology, but they are positioned in sculptural, aesthetic arrangements and can be read as building blocks for a physical work of art.
According to Sevilla, his work focuses on the “fundamental infrastructure of existence and the intricate ways we perceive our surroundings” in order to generate “new interpretations of the chaos of the universe, while also engaging with concerns around consumption.” By attending to microscopic, ambient, or ephemeral aspects of the natural world, then visually representing them through a series of technological transformations, the artist provides viewers with creative encounters indebted to the invisible, ineffable, or forgotten elements of the world in which we exist.
Sevilla studied new media art at the University of North Texas, researching projects in intermedia performance, projection mapping, and virtual reality. He has worked for the CVAD Digital Fabrication Lab, Currents New Media, and, most recently, at Ideum, crafting interactive museum experiences using novel technologies.