Past Exhibition

The Allure of Unfathomable Industry: Rafael Vargas Bernard

November 9, 2019 - January 5, 2020
Artist Talk with Rafael Vargas Bernard
Sunday, January 5 | 2 pm

Join us for a walkthrough with artist Rafael Vargas Bernard and his interactive exhibition “The Allure of Unfathomable Industry.” Here, Vargas Bernard’s vibrant colored data sculptures sense your movements with motion detectors to incite immediate participatory responses.

Rafael Vargas Bernard utilizes digital art and new media, such as sound, video and programming, to explore functional and non-functional systems – including power structures, economic systems and generative systems – and society’s relationship with these entities. In his latest body of work, Vargas Bernard focuses on data currencies as markets of chaos and confusion that often takes advantage of unaware participants. Specifically, several pieces in this exhibition remark on the manipulation of the vulnerable marketplace in Vargas Bernard’s home country, Puerto Rico. Here, his work uses sensors to invite participants to hear their own breath and heartbeat, alter light and tone, and set off whirling systems with noise and action.

Rafael Vargas Bernard is the Community Coordinator at Mana Contemporary Miami, where he maintains his own studio. A native of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, he was selected to exhibit as part of Solo Focus – Global Vision at Volta New York 2019, a contemporary art fair comprised of solo projects by leading and emerging international artists. Vargas Bernard studied computer engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and sculpture at the Escuela de Artes Plasticas de Puerto Rico, and La Práctica at Beta Local (Puerto Rico). He participated in 2017 in Focus on Puerto Rico as part of a three-month residency for emerging and mid-career Puerto Rican artists. His project, titled “Trío Little San Juan,” explored Puerto Rican culture in the Wynwood area of Miami in collaboration with three members of the local Puerto Rican community, each from a different generation.

The Allure of Unfathomable Industry is supported by a grant from the Maurer Family Foundation.