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Debra Rivera

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Los Angeles

Birth year

Lives in

Works in
Leipzig and Berlin

New York University, 2001, BA
UCLA (University of California Los Angeles), 2009, PhD
UCLA (University of California Los Angeles), 2009, PhD

digital, photography, traditional, abstract, non-representational photography

Bio: Debra Rivera

Magnetic resonance imaging coil built by the artist using a technique she pioneered through abstract visual thinking. The coil comprises of 4 separate loops built from 10 pieces of interlocking circuit board material. Built at the Max Planck Institute Department for Neurophysics in Leipzig.


An internationally-funded doctoral scholar, Debra Rivera fuses photography, physics, and neuroscience. The inset shows a radio frequency coil designed by the artist for magnetic resonance imaging of the brain at ultra-high magnetic field. Passion of art and science developed side-by-side over two decades, evolving into a spiritual photographic practice. A means of connection with pervasive yet elusive abstractions of time, space, and human perception, photographing becomes a meditation. 

The selected works, ranging from analog artist c-prints to unmanipulated digital images, are imbued with periodicity and explorations of scale and dimension. Time as rhythm; space as light, matter, and void; boundaries collected and acknowledged as deceptions of scale. Tinted by compounding variables, the subjectiveness of  color  experience is not so different from the random process of ultraviolet waves erroding a c-print. Cyan is the outlier in both systems. 

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