How this CNM Instructor Mashed Coding and Art to Create an Immersive and Interactive Visual Experience

Lea Anderson collaborated with several coders at the Electric Playhouse to create a new show that uses technology to bring her art alive
July 07, 2022

Lea Anderson, a full-time Art Studio faculty member at CNM, says her personal art has always been inspired by nature and science. 

“I love that nature is able to create endless variety with unending textures and colors even though every single thing in nature, and the entire universe, is made up from the same basic ingredients,” she says. “That’s a really fascinating paradox.”

For years, she’s explored natural and scientific forms via more traditional mediums including painting and drawing. But for her new show called “Microdose,” which opens this Friday at the Electric Playhouse, she ventured into the world of immersive, time-based art. 

Collaborating with coders from that venue, she’s spent the last 15 months creating and then animating her work in a way that makes it come alive on the walls. In rooms throughout Electric Playhouse her drawings, paintings, and multimedia work move, grow, shrink, and disappear.

This will be the first Albuquerque immersive art experience featuring a local artist. 


“It’s been amazing for me because a lot of my works look like living organisms, and now instead of being stagnant, they’re able to spring off the wall and create their own environment,” she says.

Thanks to motion sensors built in, several of her installations are also interactive. Viewers are able to touch the wall and the art reacts to the touch. In other spots viewers can move their bodies and the art responds in kind. 

“It’s still a traditional gallery or museum show, but it’s also very different because everything is alive,” Lea says. 

Lea chose Microdose as the show name for several reasons. First, there’s a clear connection between her pieces and psychedelic artwork. But more importantly, she says the root words of Microdose are “small gifts” and she hopes viewers can take the small gifts they receive from viewing the work and use those gifts to feed their own creativity. 

“I hope many different people are inspired in a variety of different ways,” she says. 

The show opens this Friday 6-8 p.m. and will run weekly on Tuesdays 7-9pm (through Aug. 30). Prices are $18 for adults and just $15 for students with an ID. You can purchase tickets here.