Yael Kanarek

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Yael Kanarek
Born July 7, 1967
New York City, United States
Nationality Israeli American

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, MFA

Empire State College, BFA
Known for painting, sculpture, internet art, photography, digital art, electronic literature, performance art, multilingualism
Notable work

World of Awe, 1995-ongoing

Textworks, 2007-ongoing
Movement Internet art, conceptual art

Yael Kanarek (born New York City, United States) is an Israeli American artist based in New York City that is known for pioneering use of the Internet and of multilingualism in works of art.[1]


Born in New York and raised in Israel, Kanarek returned to New York in 1991 for art school and began exhibiting in galleries. Yael Kanarek was a leading figure in the early days of the internet art scene in New York and collaborated for over ten years with Eyebeam, where she founded and led the Upgrade!, an international network of artists and curators concerned with art, technology and activism.

Kanarek has been developing an integrated media project called World of Awe since 1995. At the core of World of Awe is “The Traveler's Journal”—an original narrative that uses the ancient genre of the traveler's tale to explore connections between storytelling, travel, memory and technology.[2] Her pioneering online art practice was featured in 2002 Whitney Biennial, which included a World of Awe portal and a series of related drawings.[3] In that same year, she was also commissioned by the SF MoMA and Turbulence.org to continue its development online.


Since 2003 her practice has been focused on multilingualism, and her observation of how language online acts as a border and a space.[4] The Textwork series started in 2007 with Hebrew, Arabic and English. It has since grown more complex and has incorporated additional languages. In 2010 she began a series of screen-based computational video clocks. These works are audiovisual collages that runs on custom software designed by her and Shawn Lawson.

Kanarek's art has been primarily exhibited in the US and Europe. Solo exhibitions of her work have been presented at Jewish Museum (Manhattan), Nelly Aman Gallery in Tel Aviv, bitforms gallery in New York, Sala Uno Gallery in Rome, the Moving Image Gallery in New York, and Space Time Light Gallery in New York. Kanarek's work has also been featured by The Drawing Center, The Kitchen, American Museum of the Moving Image, Whitney Museum of American Art; Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts, National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens, Beral Madra Contemporary Art in Istanbul, Rhizome (organization), Exit Art, A.I.R. Gallery, Holster Projects in London, LIMN Gallery in San Francisco, Wood Street Galleries in Pittsburgh, CU Museum in Boulder, Arena 1 in Santa Monica, SIGGRAPH; California College of the Arts, Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York, Derek Eller Gallery in New York, 303 Gallery in New York, Schroeder Romero Gallery in New York, among many others. [1]

In 2017 Kanarek was awarded a commission by the US State Department's Art in Embassies program to created a large-scale sculpture for the new consulate in Harare, Zimbabwe.


Kanarek has been recognized in the United States and abroad with awards including the Rockefeller 2005 New Media Fellowship, 2003 Netizens Webprize, and CNRS/UNESCO Lewis Carroll Argos prize in France, and World Technology Network (WTN) 2014. She has received grants from the Jerome Foundation Media Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and commissions from San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Turbulence.org, and the Alternative Museum. Kanarek has also completed artist residencies at Eyebeam,[5] Harvestworks, Civitella Ranieri, and the Mamuta Art and Media Center.


She earned a Master of Fine Arts in 2007 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Empire State College in 1993. Kanarek teaches new media art at Pratt Institute.


[6] [7]

  1. ^ Bard, Elizabeth. "A Video Game With Awe as Its Quest" The New York Times. March 21, 2004.
  2. ^ Kerr, Dylan. "The Early Disruptors: 7 Masterpieces of '90s Net Art Everyone Should Know About" Artspace. March 27, 2015.
  3. ^ List of Artists "Whitney Museum of American Art". 2002 Biennial.
  4. ^ Moran, Jarret. "Yael Kanarek: Notyetness" Artlog. September 20, 2010.
  5. ^ "Yael Kanarek | eyebeam.org". eyebeam.org. Retrieved 2016-01-28. 
  6. ^ Rachel Greene, Internet Art, Thames & Hudson, Ltd., 2004. ISBN 0-500-20376-8
  7. ^ Holland Cotter, Review: The Joys of Childhood Re-examined, The New York Times, Mar 25, 1994.

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