BFA, MFA (Concordia); Art Ed. Dipl. (McGill)
Professor, Department of Visual Art & Art History, Full Time
Director, Graduate Programs in Visual Arts (MFA,PhD)
Associate Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts
Nell Tenhaaf is an electronic media artist and theoretician with extensive publication, lecture and exhibition credits across Canada, in the US and in Europe. Her practice focuses on the intersection of art, science and technology, using digital media to integrate elements from these different fields. She is represented in Toronto by Paul Petro Contemporary Art.
In 2005 Professor Tenhaaf was awarded a major grant through the New Media Initiative, jointly funded by the Canada Council and the National Science and Engineering Research Council, for a collaborative project with Professor Melanie Baljko in York’s Department of Computer Science. The project uses art and science to create interactive installations in which humans interact with artificial agents. The interactive sculpture Push/Pull (2009) is the first of these installations.
Professor Tenhaaf has published numerous reviews and articles that address the cultural implications of biotechnologies and of Artificial Life (an area of research that studies dynamics in nature through computational models as well as software or robotic agents with lifelike behaviours). She has been a jury member for the Madrid-based Vida art and artificial life competition since its inception in 1997.
Prior to her appointment at York University in 1997, Professor Tenhaaf taught at Concordia University, the University of Ottawa, and Carnegie Mellon University. She has served as associate dean and as coordinator of the Digital Media Program in the Faculty of Fine Arts, and currently directs the MFA and PhD Programs in Visual Arts.