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ArtistMiamiUnited States

Cuban-born, Zaldívar lives and works in the United States with video artworks screened at many festivals worldwide. Zaldivar has received numerous grants and awards.

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Current works on tour are: - Virtual Reality (VR; 360*) experience

Next stop HotDocs, Toronto, CA, April 2019


"The Ghost, The Sphinx, and The Thief"

an interactive dance/video installation


My film and visual art projects explore the transformation of physical form --and our perceptions of it.

My work is often interactive.

I am interested in the relationship between nature and artificiality because it often triggers larger questions about our humanity.

I do experiments with light, sound, and kinetics, which are what films and videos are made of. I do this because film and video are optical illusions, yet they are widely accepted as veridic or “truthful” in our culture and have become integral to how we understand and create our reality. My work explores the tension between reality (which may be subjective and often relates to perception) and actuality (which often relates to the effect of actions of a body in existence). I find that a dialogue between these two elements often spins other dialogues regarding identity, history, transculturalism and acceptance at large. I apply these notions to places and bodies as well.

I believe that humor is often the best tool to communicate complex ideas and concepts. I like loose narratives. I love Butoh dance and time-lapse animation (both of which deconstruct movement and time, respectively). I respect the defining properties of negative space and the invisible. This includes sound and magnetism, which often create fantastic and bewildering effects.

I worked as a sound editor and designer for many years. I often do not use sound in my video installations, but when I do, it is an essential part of the work.

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Cuban-born, Zaldívar lives and works in the United States. Zaldivar completed both his BFA and a Masters of Fine Arts at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he has also taught as an adjunct faculty and tenured as full-time faculty at Miami International University's Institute of Art and Design.


Zaldívar started a film career as a sound editor and designer with work in Academy Nominated films such as Ang Lee's "Sense and Sensibility;" "On the ropes" and on HBO’s America Undercover, for which he garnered an Emmy nomination.


Zaldivar was represented by Bernice Steinbaum Gallery until the original gallery closed its doors in 2013. Film and video artworks have screened at many festivals worldwide and broadcast on PBS, ABC, IFC, Showtime and WE with artwork exhibited at museums and numerous art fairs. Zaldivar is the recipient of numerous grants and awards and directing credits include "90 Miles" (PBS), "The Story of the Red Rose" (Showtime), "Palingenesis" and "Soldiers Pay" (IFC), co-directed with David O. Russell and Tricia Regan.


Zaldivar has served as a Juror for several major film festivals including the Sundance International Film Festival. Zaldivar is a Sundance Film Institute alumnus, has recently co-founded the Miami Filmmakers Collective with a generous grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Art Challenge grant and a matching grant from the Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs.


Zaldivar recently served as co-producer/cinematographer of the Virtual Reality short film “A History of Cuban Dance” (Sundance 2016; VRSE app) and associate producer of the feature documentary "Buena Vista Social Club: Adiós” as well as Director of Outreach for Good Pitch Miami, produced by Doc Society (previously known as Britdoc Foundation).


In 2017 Zaldivar started a new project called “The Sex Life of Vampires,” which included a live cabaret entitled “The Cabaret of Violenta Flores,” which was developed at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles through a peer review workshop by Rhyzomatic Arts and premiered at the Miami Light Project’s Here and Now Festival in May 2017.

  • MFA (and BFA) from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
  • Adjunct Faculty at NYU's Institute of Film, UG Studies from 2000- 2001
  • Faculty at Miami International University’s Institute of Art and Design 2009-2015


  • Emmy™ nomination for sound for HBO’s America Undercover: Prisoners of the war on drugs
  • Golden Reel nomination for dialogue editing in Academy Awards™ winner “Sense and Sensibility”
  • Sundance Institute Fellow



  • Rhyzomatic Arts Fellow @ The Hammer Museum peer review lab, 2017
  • Commissioned artist Miami Light Project for Here and Now Festival 2017, 2014
  • Robert Giard Film Fellowship through CLAGS, 2015
  • Mastermind Honorable Mention, Miami New Times 2015
  • Video Artist residence and exhibition at Bas Fisher Invitational 2014
  • Knight Foundation Arts Challenge Winner for Miami Filmmakers Collective 2013
  • Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) North Miami Exhibition Pivot Points – MOCA’s 15th-anniversary collection, curated by Bonnie Clearwater 2013
  • Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) permanent collection, acquisition, North Miami, September 2012
  • Jury Prize and Audience Award at MOCA Optic Nerve Video Art Competition 2012


United States
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