Emilio Vavarella

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ISEA Bio(s) Available:

  • ISEA2017

    Emilio Vavarella, Italy


    Emilio Vavarella is an artist whose work blends interdisciplinary art practice and theoretical research and is centered around the study of the relationship between humans and technological power. His works present a combination of using new technologies with alternative (non-productive, poetic, dysfunctional) goals in mind, imagining technology’s future effects through the use of speculative fiction, and decontextualizing and misusing technology to reveal its hidden mechanisms.

    Emilio is currently working toward a PhD in Film and Visual Studies and Critical Media Practice at Harvard University. He holds an M.A. cum laude in Visual Arts from Iuav University of Venice, with study abroad fellowships at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Tel Aviv and Bilgi University of Istanbul and received a B.A. cum laude in Visual, Cultural, and Media Studies from the University of Bologna.

    Esteemed venues that have exhibited Emilio’s work include: MAXXI – Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo; KANAL – Centre Pompidou; MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna; The Photographer’s Gallery, Museo de Arte de Caldas; Villa Manin; Museo Nacional Bellas Artes in Santiago; National Art Center of Tokyo; Eyebeam Art and Technology Center; Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina, Fondazione Studio Marangoni and Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa. His artworks have been exhibited at many of the most prestigious festivals of media arts, among which: EMAF – European Media Art Festival; JMAF – Japan Media Arts Festival; Stuttgarter Filmwinter – Festival for Expanded Media; BVAM – Media Art Biennale; and NYEAF New York Electronic Arts Festival. In 2015 his installation MEMORYSCAPES was awarded the prestigious First Prize for Emerging Art of the Francesco Fabbri Prize for Contemporary Art. More recently, his first art film, Animal Cinema, was screened at several film festivals, among which the Torino Film Festival, Toronto’s Images Festival and the St. Louis International Film Festival.

    Emilio has been invited to present his work at: ISEA – International Symposium on Electronic Arts; Goldsmiths University of London; the University of East London; the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and SIGGRAPH. His academic writings have been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Leonardo – The Journal of the International Society of the Arts, Sciences and Technology (MIT Press), Digital Creativity (Routledge), and CITAR Journal – Journal of Science and Technology of the Arts. His writings have also appeared in Behind the Smart World: Saving, Deleting and Resurfacing Data produced by the AMRO Research and in exhibition catalogues like Low Form: Imaginaries and Visions in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, published by CURA Books and Fondazione MAXXI and in Robot Love produced by the Niet Normaal Foundation. Additionally, he has produced artists books in limited editions, most notably RE: Animation (2017), fragments (2015), and the MNEMODRONE Series (2014-ongoing).

    His work has been discussed in Artforum, Frieze, Mousse, Neural, in books such as The New Aesthetic and Art: Constellations of the Postdigital (Institute of Network Culture), and in peer-reviewed journals such as Leonardo, Digital Creativity, Visual Culture, Studi Culturali and Visual Communication Quarterly. Additionally, Vavarella’s work has been frequently covered by global media outlets such as Wired (American, Italian, and Japanese editions), Le Monde, The Huffington Post, LaRepubblica, El País, BuzzFeed, New York Daily News, Mashable, Yahoo Tech, and Folha De S.Paulo, among others.


    Emilio Vavarella’s practice focuses on issues of political philosophy and contemporary technological power. He received his B.A. in Visual, Cultural, and Media Studies from the University of Bologna, Italy, and an M.A. from Iuav University of Venice with fellowships at Bezalel Academy of Tel Aviv and Bilgi University of Istanbul.


Role(s) at the symposia over the years: