Yael Kanarek

b.1967, New York
Lives and works in New York

Yael Kanarek’s practice centers on the fundamental hypothesis that language and numerals render reality, and that this reality is an entirely subjective, unified field. Through the shuffling of physical properties that construct our use of language, such as matter, shape, and sound, Kanarek’s work examines how verbal signifiers operate emotionally.

Employing modes of authorship such as storytelling and multilingualism, Kanarek manipulates the biographical predisposition of cultural associations. As an Israeli-American, her perception is tempered by an awareness of post-national borderlines. Her work enters spaces of meaning determined by a global network and the negotiation of identity that occurs when confronted with multiple systems. Crossing these sensibilities with her observation of the internet as a network made of language—human and computer—her most recent projects document the consciousness shift from a Modernist self to that which is networked.

Selected for the 2002 Whitney Biennial, exhibitions of Kanarek’s work also include Beral Madra Contemporary Art, Istanbul; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens; CU Art Museum, Boulder, CO; Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, CA; LIMN Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Holster Projects, London; Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh, PA; Nelly Aman, Tel Aviv; Boston CyberArts Festival; HVCCA, Peekskill, NY; Arena 1, Santa Monica, CA; California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA; Orsini Palace, Bomarzo, Italy; and Sala Uno Gallery, Rome. Kanarek’s work has also been shown in New York at the Drawing Center, Jewish Museum, Exit Art, The Kitchen, the Museum of the Moving Image, bitforms gallery, Kenny Schachter Contemporary, Silverstein Gallery, Ronald Feldman Gallery, Derek Eller Gallery, A.I.R Gallery, 303 Gallery, and Schroeder Romero Gallery.

In addition to a Rockefeller New Media Fellowship and an Eyebeam Honorary Fellowship, Kanarek is the recipient of grants from the Jerome Foundation Media Arts and New York Foundation for the Arts, and commissions from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Turbulence.org, and The Alternative Museum. Kanarek’s distinctions also include residencies at Civitella Ranieri, Harvestworks, and the Mamuta Art and Media Center. In 1999, she founded Upgrade! International, a network of artists and curators concerned with technology and art.

Kanarek holds an MFA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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