Elia Vargas is an Oakland based artist and curator. He works in video, sound, projection, and situational experiences that explore information embodiment. He has collaborated with a wide range of artists and musicians including Bjork and Vincent Moon. He performs and exhibits work locally and internationally. Vargas is co-founder and co-curator of the Living Room Light Exchange, a monthly salon on new media art and digital culture; half of improvisational modular synthesis duo systemritual; board member of Mediate Art Group, organizer of the Soundwave Biennial; and a PhD student in Film and Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz. Vargas has a long history of community radio broadcasting and is interested in the relationship of transmission and cultural material flows. He is currently investigating the materiality of crude oil, frozen carbon dioxide, and obsolete projection technology in relationship to human time scales, temporalities, and flows.
In 2016, Vargas has presented work in Hong Kong as part of ISEA, in Los Angeles, in New York, and in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has given numerous talks on elemental media, projection, and the production of meaning. His recent writing on crude oil and network infrastructure is currently under peer review with Art and Society. In June, he moderated a panel on Sound and Architecture as part of the opening program for Soundwave Biennial 2016. His video work and projection installations have been featured throughout the country, and widely on the Internet, including Vice, NPR, and the Zero1 Biennial. He has exhibited work with the Manchester International Festival, de Young Museum, Gray Area for the Arts, Artist Television Access, Experience Music Project Seattle, Creators Project, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the San Francisco Museum of Art and Design, and others. He holds an MFA from San Francisco State University.