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Michael Trigiliotrigilio_562x641.jpg

Teaching Professor (SLSOE)

(858) 822-3881

VAF 511A

Michael Trigilio is a multimedia artist living in San Diego. Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, he received his B.A. in Humanities from the University of Texas at San Antonio. His fear of religion notwithstanding, he was ordained as a lay Buddhist priest in 1997, a role from which he resigned five years later. He received his M.F.A. from Mills College in 2003. His work migrates among many media, exploring themes of narcissism, humor, science-fiction, and memory. Trigilio’s works in film, sound, performance, and tactical-media have been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the LA County Museum of Art, and the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore among many others. Trigilio’s collaborative public-media project Neighborhood Public Radio was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial and in residencies at Headlands Center for the Arts in 2007 and MOCA LA in 2011. He collaborated with San Francisco's Little Seismic Dance Company on several dance/film projects, including co-directing the large scale We Don’t Belong Here (2011) with choreographer Katie Faulkner. In 2013 he developed Project Planetaria with astrophysicist Adam Burgasser and artist Tara Knight focusing on interpreting astronomical-data through performance, sound, and media-work. Trigilio’s musical project, Starvelab, released a tape of modular synthesizer music, SUGAR (2014), on Rita Records. Working with virtual-reality, LIDAR, 4K cinema, and stereoscopic imagery, Trigilio produced Tell Them Everything / Remember Us (T2ERU) (2014) at the Qualcomm Institute, a suite of sci-fi experiments which play with the wisdom, folly, and neurotic obsession found in the discourse of interstellar memory. His short film, Growing Up Death Star (2015), screened at programs in New York, San Francisco, and was included in screenings in San Francisco and New York City.

In recent years, his work has explored the intersection of science-fiction, rage, and empathy, especially with regards to state-violence and revolutionary world-building. An Italian-American, Trigilio has looked to the construction of “whiteness” as a site to critique the political, social, and interpersonal costs of power found under the cloak of whiteness. His short experimental animation, Twelve Transmissions from the Occupied States Orbiting the Sun (2017), has been included in exhibitions and screenings in New York City, San Francisco, London, San Diego, and Portland. In 2019 Trigilio completed a large body of multimedia work, A Glimmer Exodus Sketchbook (2019), made up of digital video works, prints, and 3D-printed objects for exhibition at the gallery@calit2 at UC San Diego's Qualcomm Institute. In February 2020 he performed Every Pulse a Riot, a music & video performance of a score derived from data of police violence for the Cultured Data Symposium at UC San Diego.

In 2013 Michael received the UCSD Distinguished Teaching Award for his work in the Department of Visual Arts where he teaches students in contemporary media art.

Portfolio and more information about works can be found at