Nathan Villicaña-Shaw is a mechatronic sound sculptor, experience designer, composer, and new media installation artist whose work complicates, simplifies, and examines our interactions with electronic technology. Interested in defining new boundaries for human-circuit interaction, his installations and hardware interfaces blend hardware hacking, electrical engineering, computer science, and mechanical engineering to create unique interactions which invite us to question our relationships with electronic devices. By designing and programming his own hardware, Nathan is able to create unconventional interactions between humans and circuitry by removing unnecessary abstractions which separate our bodies from the electrical systems we are affecting.
In addition to creating novel hardware interfaces and interactive installations, Nathan is a composer of experimental music for human-mechatronic ensembles. Interested with the interactions between robots and humans onstage, as much as the sounds they produce, Nathan’s compositions strive to tell stories while sonically maximizing the potential of both its human and robotic performers.
Nathan has been a performing musician for over a decade playing for a wide array of bands and ensembles including: the AV Ensemble (code, electronics), the CalArts Javanese Gamelan (Saron and Gender families), Three’s Company (custom hardware, code), The CalArts Kecack Balinese Monkey Chant Ensemble (voice), The Laney College Jazz Band (electric bass), The Machetes (electric bass), and The Molestations (electric bass).
A 2017 MFA alum from the California Institute of the Arts music technology department, Nathan studied under the mentorship of the digital luther Dr. Ajay Kapur: creator of the Machine Orchestra, Digital Sitar, and a plethora of mechatronic instruments. Nathan’s installations, interfaces, and performances have provoked conversation in galleries, festivals and faires throughout the western United States.
I am currently looking for work in the San Francisco Bay Area.