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Meet Diana Rojas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Diana Rojas.

Diana, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve always been interested in creative work. My childhood was spent watching hours of cartoons and movies, where I intently watched and was attracted to contrasting colors and cinematography. Drawing and painting were my primary creative outlets until college and I thought I would never do anything else. The doors to other creative outlets opened for me at my church, when I was given the opportunity to serve in the worship ministry, playing drums, and the media ministry, doing live audio mixing, photography and video editing. Before this, I had never worked in music or in anything related to technology-both terrified me. As my mentors helped me grow in my skills and confidence, the deadline to declare a major in college approached. The broadness of “new media” seemed to fit my needs, thinking I would continue to make photo and film work, but I was introduced to whole new world of art-making. Since then, I’ve found a passion for making interactive and reactive multi-sensory installations.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My struggles have been both internal and external. There’s inherently going to be a struggle in any tech-based field because of the ever-changing quality of the field and the amount of adapting that the people in it have to concern themselves with. Learning new software and pieces of technology can feel overwhelming and it’s always easy to feel intimidated by computer scientists or programmers who may use things with more ease than you. This is where the internal and external overlap. I often have a hard time being patient with myself during the learning process and reminding myself that I can and will learn the things I need to.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I primarily focus on interactive installations and reactive set media pieces. I always think of the viewer and how the community will interact with my work, as well as how viewers from all social classes and backgrounds may perceive my work. This influences my decision-making process. I also am inspired by and focus on biblical narratives and icons that I then filter through my own life experiences to create immersive products. The amount of research that I put into the writings and discoveries of different physicists is something that I also utilized to create ethereal, divine imagery. Although my work lives in both the past of the biblical stories it’s inspired by and the forward thinking of the discoveries and technology I utilize as tools, I am always conscious and focused on the present day viewer and their struggles.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am looking forward to working on my MFA at the University of North Texas. I hope to learn and experience so much more in this new chapter of my life. If COVID-19 permits, I also look forward to applying to different residencies around the country. In the future, I hope to become a new media lecturer and continue to grow my personal practice. I dream of collaborating on massive, immersive installations with computer scientists, musical performers, fashion designers and physicists that are accessible to entire communities.

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