Pro Arts’ partnership with the Great Wall of Oakland continues with the presentation of Signal Works, a video by Elia Vargas.

Signal Works explores repetition in analog and digital bodies. Working through habitual gestures and flows, Signal Works concerns itself with the production of meaning that emerges from the representation of repeated movement and embodiment. How do pixels and particles flow through different spaces? What happens when common movement breaks down and common meaning disappears? How do these processes relate through digital and analog space? How can water be used as a tool to think through material information flows?

Signal Works features the following artists: transmedia composer and artist, Andrew Blanton, sourceless video artist, Andy Puls, composer and net artist, Gavin Gamboa, and cellular biologist, Breanne Sparta. Music composition is by systemritual (Elia Vargas and Nathan Blaz). It features dancers: Sophia Wang, Justin Hoover, Micah Morris, Shimeko, and Joshua Batson.

Full Credits:

Signal Works by Elia Vargas

Composition by systemritual (Elia Vargas and Nathan Blaz)

Cinematography by Dean Snoodgrass

Featuring Dancers: Sophia Wang, Justin Hoover, Micah Morris, Shimeko, Joshua Batson, 1st AD: Hilton Day

Production Manager: Kaitlyn Pierce

Choreography by Anna Greenberg

Edited by Ouree Lee and Elia Vargas

Gaffer: Tej Verdi

Color Grading by Ayumi Ashley at MFD Studios

Hair and Make Up: Annika Peabody

PA: Jeremy Wong

PA: Ouree Lee

PA: Rick Howard

PA: Nathan Blaz

Special thanks to: UCSC Film and Digital Media Department, David Vargas and Patrice Sovyak

The evening will also include screenings of the Signal Work video responses by:

Andrew Blanton is a percussionist, media artist, and educator. His work is fundamentally transdisciplinary combining classical percussion, new media art, and creative coding to create realtime sonic and visual instruments. Andrew received a bachelors in percussion performance from the University of Denver (2008) where he attended on a partial scholarship studying with John Kenzie and a Master of Fine Art in New Media Art from the University of North Texas(2013) where he attended on a full scholarship studying principally with David Stout and Jenny Vogel. Andrew was the first research fellow in Roger Malina’s ArtSciLab at the University of Texas at Dallas and is currently Assistant Professor of Digital Media Art at San José State University in the CADRE media lab.

Andy Puls is a live-video artist, analog electronics designer, and composer/musician. He runs the experimental media production studio, “Whistlehut” in Richmond, CA, where he produces his own and others’ audio and visual recordings, and designs and builds audio and video devices. Andy also lives/works part-time at his property in the Siskiyou County wilderness, north of Mount Shasta. There, he is experimenting in the design of passive natural energy devices and domestic systems in sympathy with nature. He is guided by an elusive vision of the unification of his areas of interest into one Master art form.

Gavin Gamboa: Gavin Gamboa is a Los Angeles-based composer, piano soloist and video-artist interested in the intersections of improvised and premeditated composition, with new technologies forming the basis of an multifaceted stylistic praxis. Born in Mérida, Yucatán, he currently composes for a variety of concert ensembles, creates film music, and performs classical/new works internationally. He is one of the Creative Directors of The Teaching Machine, a media arts collective with a focus on installations, music, and innovative live-video performance. He has designed video content for Erykah Badu, Nick Murphy, José James, Ryat, Strangeloop, and Genus Inkasso, often executing their shows live/performatively. His work has been exhibited at The Downtown Independent in Los Angeles, Prima Vera Festival in Vienna, SOMArts in San Francisco, Syndicate in Brooklyn, and The Glue Factory in Glasgow, Scotland.

Breanna Sparta: In response to the shared signal, I’ve curated a series of video clips taken from my research in cell biology and signal transduction. In the lab we grow cells in plastic containers, outfit them with fluorescent biosensors, and use time-lapse microscopy to study how cells sense, integrate, and respond to environmental cues. Here, we observe the rhythms and movements of mouse embryonic fibroblasts, human foreskin fibroblasts, and human mammary epithelial cells in response to various perturbations.

Elia Vargas is an Oakland based artist and curator. He works across multiple mediums, including video, sound, and projection. He 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; and a PhD student in Film and Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz. He is currently investigating the materiality of crude oil and light transmission in relationship to time, temporalities, and flows.

In 2017, Vargas is co-organizing a panel on Third Spaces for the upcoming Common Fields Convergence in Los Angeles, CA; he is a current Social Science Research Center fellow; and completed a solo exhibition of oil and light work at B4BE L4B Gallery, in Oakland, CA, including the publication of a speculative catalogue Lubricated Substrates: Earth Infrastructure, Light and the Oil Ontology. His recent international work includes ISEA 2016 in Hong Kong, and Video Vortex 2017, Kochi, India. His most recent writing has appeared in Vice Motherboard, and he has given numerous talks on elemental media, projection, and the production of meaning. 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 Artist Television Access, Creators Project, de Young Museum, Experience Music Project Seattle, Gray Area for the Arts, the Manchester International Festival, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the San Francisco Museum of Art and Design, Southern Exposure, Wave Farm, and others. Vargas collaborates widely and often, past collaborators include Bjork, Vincent Moon, and many others. He holds an MFA from San Francisco State University. More at

*Great Wall of Oakland program at Pro Arts is supported by a generous donation by our community partners, Elmwood Cafe, Oakland.

Click HERE to find out more details about the GWO at Pro Arts program.