Tristan Espinoza is a Filipino-American digital artist and educator who was introduced to programming not through engineers, but via artists. He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), obtaining a BFA while focusing in the school’s Art and Technology Studies Department. Espinoza uses programming and 3D modeling + animation to make work that ranges from interactive design to video games, multimedia installations to machine learning projects. As a 1.5 generation immigrant, he situates his tools within the complex sociopolitical landscape of being in diaspora, negotiating the joys and struggles of a shifting home while establishing platforms for unique, but connected, narratives. Espinoza’s practice also values cooperation; he wants his work to highlight underrepresented perspectives and facilitate community, so he is always open to working with others in collaborative contexts.
As a member of the Filipinx art and design collective Export Quality, Espinoza’s work was shown in a pop-up exhibit in Toronto, Ontario titled “File, Save Export”, as part of the Kultura Filipino Arts Festival. Additionally, he was included in the traveling exhibition, “Nandito Na Ako: I’m Here, Now”, which showed in Chicago, IL and Johnson City, TN. Espinoza has continued to be shown throughout Chicago and is currently based in Los Angeles.