Elia Vargas in The Ramp Gallery, January 20–February 14, 2015


Video Walks is an ongoing series of recorded walks exploring place and terrain. It is a dérive, an aimless walk influenced by the surrounding environment. “What we mean by place is an intersection of narratives and infrastructure, constantly in flux. Place is fluid, emerging from the phenomenology of our daily lives interwoven with the fabric of social and geographical forces.,” said the artist, Elia Vargas, “We are shaped by the situations that arise before us, and every place is informed by our perceptions created in an ongoing feedback loop.”

An audio clip of the artist describing this work:

Video Walk #5; A Hidden Place is the 5th installation in a process-oriented series that explores the artist’s relationship to place, how his presence changes a place, and the stories we create passing through different spaces. Video Walk #5 is the composite of 23 video walks conducted throughout the world. Each new place the artist visits, he takes a video walk under the same parameters: a five minute timed walk, followed by a ten minute unguided recorded walk.

About Elia Vargas
Elia Vargas is an Oakland based artist and curator.

His work investigates new ecologies of human identity, and is interested in culture, code, cities, and cells as new landscapes and new organisms – or the narrative byproducts.  Signal flow describes the pathway to new geographies and projection hurls information into space.  These mechanisms challenge us to reimagine ourselves.

Vargas has shown internationally and received numerous awards, including the SF Foundation Murphy Cadogan MFA Fellowship and has collaborated with artists such as Bjork and Vincent Moon, among others. He gives frequent talks on the subject of signal flow, objects, and landscapes, most recently at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, Gray Area foundation Bjork Creators Panel, and the 2014 College Art Association Annual Conference.  His current work explores interactive projections on canvases of mist and water.  This work was recently performed at Santa Cruz MAH and for Mediate’s SoundWave Biennial 2014.  In 2014, Vargas co-founded a monthly salon focusing on new media, the Living Room Light Exchange, and his work displayed at the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design, and other exhibitions.  Additionally, his work can be viewed in the myriad music videos and live visuals he directs and designs.

His work in sound, building modular synthesizers and playing under the moniker systemritual, is informed by a process of drift – an improvisational exercise relying on the embedded scaffolding of situational signal flow, moving outwards to form new spaces.  Vargas’ relationship with sound has led him to host programs at many community and pirate radio stations as well as co-found the music arts collective, One Night Music.

About The Ramp Gallery
The Ramp Gallery accepts exhibition proposals on a continual basis. Submission Guidelines can be found here. To purchase work on display or for more information email gallery@somarts.org. You can visit The Ramp gallery any time SOMArts Cultural Center is open.

Pictured Above, a still from ““Video Walk #5, 06:34:11″” by Elia Vargas 2015