Creative Team

Agnes Chavez

Agnes Chavez is the Creative Director and designer of the traveling multi-artist Space Messengers installation and its correlating international youth exchange program.  As an artist and educator her work integrates art, science and technology as tools for social and environmental change. Her work integrates data visualization, light, sound and space to create sensorial experiences that seek balance between nature, technology and society. She is the founder of STEMarts Lab, which delivers sci-art installations and STEAM programming for schools, art/science labs and festivals.

Markus Dorninger/OMAI

Markus Dorninger and the OMAi team are the projection artists that create the visuals for Space Messengers, integrating all the components.  Markus is co-founder of OMAI a digital art collective and creative software company based in Vienna, Austria. Along with Matthias Fritz and Josef Dorninger, they are the creators of the live animation app called Tagtool app. They stand for a new, spontaneous and collaborative approach to digital creation. By combining artistic sensibilities with cutting edge technology, they bring a fresh wave of visual communication to streets, stages and homes.

Roy Macdonald

Roy Macdonald designs the Space Board, the data sharing platform that generates the student and live audience messages. He is a Chilean artist and creative coder who works with technology in the Arts field, striving to make an intelligent and engaging use of it. Code and computers are his primary tools. His artistic and creative curiosity alongside with his inborn aptitudes for math and sciences, allows him to act as leader and/or bridge in multidisciplinary teams and endeavors.

Mathieu Castel

Mathieu Castel is the lead VR Designer of the project, creating the 3D model of the building sites and building the VR world that becomes part of the VR platform. He is a DJ and visual artist. Always on the lookout for new ways to generate engagement and interactivity with the crowd on the dancefloor, Mat has been able to push the boundaries of nightclubbing by using technology like visual intensive on-demand song requests, interactivity with the projected visuals by the mean of connected props and music interaction for collaborative and spontaneous sets. After the Covid outbreak, Mat started producing a unique online show placing artists in virtual reality or realistic mixed reality environments.

David Novack

David Novack worked with students from Lusofona University to create the soundscape for Space Messengers. After undergraduate degrees in both engineering (Univ. of Pennsylvania) and music (Berklee College of Music), David Novack has enjoyed a successful award-winning career as a sound designer/mixing engineer for dozens of feature films. In live theater, he has designed sound for an internationally-toured opera by Roger Waters (Ça Ira), and sound/projections for Toronto’s Meridian Arts Centre’s (Death of a Salesman in Yiddish). Mr. Novack is now a professor of sound and cinema at Lusófona University for Humanities and Technology in Lisbon, Portugal, where he is also a researcher in sound studies. In addition, Mr. Novack is a filmmaker himself, with award-winning documentary films including Finding Babel (Special Jury Prize, Moscow Jewish Film Festival), and Burning The Future: Coal in America, (IDA Pare Lorentz Award).

Dania Loya

STEMARTS ALUMNI/TECH CREW. Dania Loya is part of the tech crew, working with OMAi, the projection artists on the Space Messengers installation. She attended UNM and received her BS in Instructional Technology and Training. She is a multi-media artist primarily focusing on projection mapping installations displaying natural technology and Sacred Geometry. She is a STEMarts Alumni and currently joined the tech crew of the Projecting Particles Collective. She is also a STEMarts Ambassador for the International Space Messengers project. In her current job in Cleveland, she is working on curating a project for a permanent projection mapping installation. As a STEMarts alumni, she has worked on STEMarts projects since high school at Taos Academy in 2012 where she participated in the Corpus Electric presentation for the ISEA2012 festival in Albuquerque and co-created the jellyfish dress in collaboration with her team and Patricia Michaels as mentor.  Since 2014, she has served as a PASEO Festival volunteer working with cutting edge new media artists. She also participated and showcased her collaborated work with BARTKRESA Studios in Denver, CO and Las Vegas, NV.

Alison Johnson

Alison Johnson leads the VR training workshops for STEMarts Lab. She is an award-winning experimental filmmaker and media artist, with an M.A. in Digital Media. She teaches film and media arts courses at Santa Fe Community College.

Thomas Vause

Thomas Vause is the VR consultant and trainer for STEMarts Lab and oversees the STEMarts VR Stations. He is a media artist, designer, and mobile app developer; who produces content for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality platforms. His art has been featured in Currents New Media and the Paseo Project.

Interdisciplinary speakers

Dr. Nicole Lloyd-Ronning

Nicole is an astrophysicist at Los Alamos National Lab, where she studies the black holes created in the deaths of massive stars, and leads the outreach efforts on behalf of the Center for Theoretical Astrophysics. She is also on the faculty of the University of New Mexico, Los Alamos where she teaches physics.She is a guest speaker in the Space Messengers workshop.

Elizabeth Kistin Keller, PhD

Elizabeth Kistin Keller leads the Strategic Futures Program at Sandia National Laboratories. In this role, she enables Sandia to anticipate and adapt to changing global security and organizational dynamics through strategic foresight, systems analysis, and decision support. Born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Elizabeth received her bachelor’s degree in political science and Latin American Studies as a Morehead-Cain Scholar at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and her master’s and PhD in International Development Studies (a combination of anthropology, economics, and political science) as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. Before joining Sandia National Laboratories, Elizabeth spent several years working on water conflict and cooperation in North America, Southern Africa and South and South East Asia. She is a member of the N Square Innovation Network and the Association of Professional Futurists and serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of New Mexico.

Dr. Steven Goldfarb

Steven is an experimental particle physicist working for the University of Melbourne on the ATLAS Experiment at CERN. He chairs the International Particle Physics Outreach Group, coordinates University of Michigan research programs at CERN, and is a fellow of the American Physical Society, serving on the Committee for Informing the Public. Steve serves as science advisor and instructor.

Michelle Lea Desyin Hanlon

Michelle is Co-Director of the Air & Space Law Program at the University of Mississippi School of Law, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Space Law and Faculty Advisor for the Journal of Drone Law and Policy. Michelle co-founded For All Moonkind a nonprofit that is the only organization in the world focused on protecting human cultural heritage in outer space. She was instrumental in the development of the One Small Step Act. For All Moonkind is a Permanent Observer to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Michelle is also President of the National Space Society. Michelle serves as guest speaker in the Space Messengers workshops.

Shane Wood

Shane Wood is a member of the QuarkNet National staff, and is a science/STEAM coach in the Mounds View Public Schools near Minneapolis, MN. With QuarkNet, he works with teachers and scientists around the country and around the world to provide opportunities for students to learn about science and the world around them through the analysis of real data, including particle physics data. In his role at Mounds View, Shane works with teachers and administrators to align science and STEAM curricula district-wide. Shane also has over 15 years of classroom experience as a teacher of physics and physical sciences at the high school level and leads the STEMarts physics activities.

Steve Tamayo

Steve Tamayo draws upon his family history as a member of the Sicangu Lakota tribe. His fine arts education (BFA from Singe Gleska University), along with his cultural upbringing, have shaped him as an artist, historian, storyteller and dancer. Steve provides activities during his residencies that include art and regalia making, drumming, powwow dance demonstrations and lectures on the history, symbolism, and meaning behind the Native customs and traditions. Steve serves as guest speaker and instructor in the Space Messengers workshop.

Dr. Catarina Pombo Nabais

Dr. Catarina Pombo Nabais is a Scientific Researcher at the Dept. of History and Philosophy of Science, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Science and the founder of the SAP(Science- Art-Philosophy) Lab at the CFCUL. She was the Art&Science Curator for the International Science Festival in Oeiras, Portugal that hosted Space Messengers in 2021 and 2022. Catarina is part of the creative team as curriculum advisor, Portugal liaison and guest instructor for the student workshops.

Dr. Johan Sebastian Bonilla

Johan is a first-generation college graduate raised by an immigrant Costa Rican family in their hometown of Hialeah, Florida. Johan started pursuing particle physics research during their undergraduate years at Stanford. They then earned their PhD at the University of Oregon for research with the ATLAS experiment, and they are now a postdoctoral scholar for University of California, Davis working with the CMS experiment at CERN. Johan is a guest speaker in the Space Messengers workshop.

Frank Tavares

Frank Tavares is a science communicator at NASA's Ames Research Center, where he writes on topics ranging from astrobiology to quantum computing. He's interested in how we can build an anti-colonial framework for space exploration, and the role of planetary protection in that effort. He writes fiction, often in interactive and digital forms. He was born in San Diego and has a B. A. in English and Astronomy from Amherst College. Frank is a guest speaker in the Space Messengers workshop.

Space Messengers is made possible in part by the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund for U.S. Alumni; an opportunity sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by Partners of the Americas. This project is supported in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts

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