Originally from Brazil, Vagner Mendonça Whitehead has lived in metro Detroit since 2005. Vagner works with time-based and traditional media. He employs original, appropriated and researched multilingual texts, found and created imagery, their translations and his interpretations as allegorical devices that reframe trans-cultural experiences, vis-à-vis mass media and communication technologies.
Vagner has exhibited his work throughout the United States (AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MA, ME, MI, MN, NJ, NM, NY, OR, TX, VA, VT, WI), abroad (Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Cyprus, Germany, India, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates), in solo and group exhibitions and video and film festivals. He was an artist in residency at the Ragdale Foundation in 2002, a fellow at the Center for Photography at Woodstock in 2006, an artist in residency at Corazon, Argentina, in 2010, and at the Santa Fe Art Institute in 2012. Other activities include curating thematic exhibitions, writing for varied publications, and blogging. His engagement with the New Media Caucus began in 2007; he is their current president.
Vagner earned a B.F.A. (photography) from The Savannah College of Art and Design in 1995 and an M.F.A. (creative photography and electronic inter-media) from the University of Florida - Gainesville in 2000. He is an Associate Professor of Art at Oakland University, where he heads its New Media Art specialization and chairs the Department of Art and Art History. He previously held an Assistant Professor of Photography position at Southern Illinois University - Carbondale.