Nell Tenhaaf


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Most Recent Affiliation / Department / Job Title:


  • York University, Department of Visual Art, Associate Professor

ISEA Bio(s) Available:


  • ISEA2011

    Nell Ten­haaf is an elec­tronic media artist and writer. She has ex­hib­ited across Canada, the US and in Eu­rope. A sur­vey ex­hi­bi­tion of fif­teen years of her work en­ti­tled Fit/Unfit opened in April 2003 at the Robert McLaugh­lin Gallery in Os­hawa and then trav­eled to four other venues. Ten­haaf’s works cre­ated be­tween 1989 and the mid-1990s were aimed at de­con­struct­ing the dom­i­nance in main­stream bi­o­log­i­cal and biotech­nol­ogy dis­course of DNA as the mas­ter mol­e­cule. The dis­courses them­selves have evolved since then. Later works at­tempt to rep­re­sent some of the com­plex dy­nam­ics of life and in­volve the viewer as one el­e­ment in a con­tin­u­ous flux, for ex­am­ple in Push/Pull (2009), Flo’nGlo (2005), Swell (2003) and the touch-ac­ti­vated video in­stal­la­tion UCBM (You Could Be Me, 1999).

    Ten­haaf has re­cently been col­lab­o­rat­ing with sound artist John Kamevaar and com­puter sci­ence re­searcher Melanie Baljko. Ten­haaf has pub­lished nu­mer­ous re­views and ar­ti­cles that ad­dress the cul­tural im­pli­ca­tions of biotech­nolo­gies and ar­ti­fi­cial life. She has been a jury mem­ber for the Vida/Life art and ar­ti­fi­cial life com­pe­ti­tion based in Madrid since its in­cep­tion. Ten­haaf is an As­so­ci­ate Pro­fes­sor in the Vi­sual Arts de­part­ment of York Uni­ver­sity in Toronto, Canada and is rep­re­sented by Paul Petro Con­tem­po­rary Art.

    ISEA2002

    Nell Tenhaaf (Canada) is an electronic media artist and writer living in Toronto, Canada. Her interactive installation work combines algorithms from Artificial Life with familiar methods of display such as rows of coloured LEDs. These are used to position viewers as “evolving populations” caught in the act of adapting to artificiality in their environment. Tenhaaf is an Associate Professor of Visual Arts at York University in Toronto.

    ISEA1998

    Nell Tenhaaf, Toronto, Canada.

    ISEA1996

    Toronto-based photographer, teacher, writer and feminist.

    ISEA1995

    Nell Tenhaaf (Canada).


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Last Known Location:


  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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