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. 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 awarded numerous art prizes and grants, among which the prestigious Italian Council award (2019); Premio Fattori Contemporaneo (2019); SIAE – Nuove Opere (2019); the NYSCA Electronic Media and Film Finishing Funds grant (2016); the Francesco Fabbri Prize for Contemporary Art (2015) and the Movin’Up Grant (2015). 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 Loveproduced 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 appeared in Artforum, Frieze, Mousse, Flash Art, 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 is regularly 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.