About Pablo: The founder of one of the leading e-payment platforms in Latin America, Sr. Pago, Vargas was also a founder of EXA Radio & TV, among the most important media outlets for the Latin American youth market. It was during this time that he provided the vision which led to multiple concerts, performances, and music festivals. Working as a production director for the Dish/MVS TV network, Vargas remains a passionate supporter of the Visual and Performing Arts. Among his artistic pursuits, Vargas was the creator of the Mayan Warrior, a multi-media arts vehicle which first visited Burning Man in 2012, and which has returned each of the six years since then. Currently immersed in the Fintech industry, Ilumina is his first work of public sculpture.
Proyectos Actuales/Current Projects
ILUMINA interactive sculpture. Image: Galen Oakes
At Burning Man this year, an interactive art installation by the name of Ilumina took on the playa for the first time and provided an unforgettable experience to anyone who participated. Conceived by Mayan Warrior and Sr. Pago founder Pablo Gonzalez Vargas, the 37-foot tall creation illuminated the Nevada desert and attracted visitors who were drawn to its majestic glow.
The true experience of Ilumina though extended well beyond just a visual experience to gaze upon. With Ilumina, guests are invited to take part in an immersive three-minute long meditation and flow exercise that ushers them into a state of coherence and deep harmony with themselves, fellow participants, and the universe through a proprietary merger of modern technology and ancient design wisdom.
To start, biometric sensors are connected to the earlobes of each participant, which measures their unique state of coherence and averages them together. Ilumina’s dazzling lighting design and moving soundscapes respond to this unique algorithm. As the group becomes more coherent, the sculpture glows brighter and the music swells, creating a shared experience for participants.
The design for Ilumina was inspired by an amalgamation of four key concepts. The first is Torus, which can be seen in the flow of electrons within an atom as well as the shape and flow of the greater universe itself. Next is the fibonacci sequence, which is a simple and elegant ratio that binds nearly all design in the living world, from the human body to leaves on a tree.
The third source of inspiration is a cutting-edge tool provided by the HeartMath Institute, which uses biometrics sensors to train oneself on the self regulation of emotional states to achieve coherence. Lastly, there is Metatron’s Cube, which contains all of the geometric shapes in existence and thus embodies the divinity of all potentials. These four concepts come together to create Ilumina.
“Ilumina was inspired by an experience I had using HeartMath Institute’s feedback software where I found myself in a state of flow,” says Ilumina founder Pablo Gonzalez Vargas. “I was inspired to create a piece for Burning Man that took this concept to a larger scale designed around collective coherence while bringing together the elements of flow, mathematics, and the fundamentals of sacred design.”
Artists that worked alongside Pablo to complete Ilumina included HeartMath Expert & Executive Producer Gaby Vargas, lighting design expert Paolo Montiel, who has worked closely on all of James Turrell’s projects in Mexico, highly experienced musician and performer Mendrix, Mexico-City based art studio Cocolab, renowned painter and sculptor Marco Kalach and many more.
This is the second piece the Pablo has brought to Burning Man, with the first being the multi-media arts vehicle Mayan Warrior. Since its debut in 2012, Mayan Warrior has brought musical performances, elaborate lighting designs, and painting by visionary artist Alex Grey. Mayan Warrior continues to be one of the most popular and dazzling experiences on the playa.
Since Burning Man, Ilumina has experienced a spread well beyond those who experienced its inaugural journey with over 500,000 views and counting on videos uploaded to social media. More news to be announced in the near future regarding next steps for Ilumina.