I’m interested in the layered, fragmented, and textured artifact of the moment that fits in your hand while time brushes against the lens… touches, scratches, collides, & is almost eaten by the sea.

My work uses the surfaces of digital video projections and iridescent materials to explore the body’s ontological relationship to real and virtual spaces. The time-based installations juxtapose the real and the virtual by extending screen space into actual space. The installations project videos onto various objects, surfaces, and walls. Many of the works incorporate sculptural elements, thus melding the phenomena of the real with the digital.

Iridescence is an optical phenomenon caused by the interaction of light waves on a surface. It’s structural nature is different from pigmentation and creates the effect of multiple colors occurring simultaneously. Iridescence in the video projections presents an artifice of the real. It exists only as an image; the viewer’s eye angle cannot change the color experience. In Iridescence, Intimacies, visual artist Tavi Meraud describes iridescence as a “site of dazzling encounter” in which “a surface begins to emerge” and “a surface surfaces.”

More recently, I began documenting the dynamic qualities of iridescence in the natural world.  My films explore the surface relationships of color and light in seashells found walking, or swimming, along California’s coastline. They prioritize an experiential, participatory approach to the film-making process often resulting in blurred, abstracted imagery.  The formal explorations of color, light, and screen ontologies are underpinned by a deep concern for the environment and climate change.

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Maya VanderSchuit is an artist living and working in La Jolla, California. She received her MFA from University of California, San Diego and her BA from University of San Diego with a double major in Visual Arts and Art History. VanderSchuit is currently a lecturer for University of San Diego and California State University, San Marcos. VanderSchuit has exhibited at Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, Bread & Salt, Birch Aquarium, San Diego Art Institute, La Jolla Playhouse, Aratoi Gallery in New Zealand, Heritage Space in Vietnam, Calit2 Theatre, UCSD’S Visual Arts Gallery, IKO Studios in Los Angeles, and USD’s Visual Arts Gallery. Her work Low Tide Blur was recently purchased by the City of San Diego for its public art collection. She has been awarded the Russell Grant, SURE Grant, AS Grant, and Arts and Humanities Dean’s Travel Grant. 


Maya VanderSchuit, pictured in her installation Soft Wave, Electric Soul, 2019.