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Dr. Tagny Duff, PhD

Associate Professor, Communication Studies

Dr. Tagny Duff, PhD

My background is in media art with a focus on video, performance, biological art, net art, social sculpture and installation. My research/creation interests focus on visual culture, viral media, interdisciplinarity, art/sci production and collaboration, post-studio art practice, and the relation between art, science and technology. Topics of interest include surveillance and biopolitics; queer(ing) culture and temporality; posthumanisms and changing perceptions of bodies; waste creation and ecology; scale, duration and spacetime; performance, liveness and documentation.


PhD, Humanities Doctoral Program, Concordia University

MFA, Open Media (With Distinction), Studio Arts, Concordia University

BFA, Intermedia, Studio Arts, Emily Carr University of Art and Design


Fall 2018: Coms 680/893 Aesthetics and Media (Thursdays 1:15-4pm) 
Fall 2018/Winter 2019: Coms 374 Intermedia Production 2 (Tuesdays 8:34-11:30) 
Winter 2019: Coms 423/523 Media Arts and Aesthetics ( Wed. 1:15-4pm)  

Current research projects

research-creation, media art, technoscience, biological arts, performance, art-sci

Principal Investigator
Shit! Speculations on the future of excrement and microbes as artistic and scientific media (2016-2017)
This research-creation project explores the clash of cultural and scientific perspectives and practices around cleanliness from "clean" energy to cultural hygiene practices. It asks: how might we imagine mutually beneficial human-microbial relations from different points of view in a world literally made from "shit"?
What might a world of microbial-human waste exchange in a post-fossil fuel era look like?
Principal Investigator
Viral BioreMEDIAtion (2011-2015)

This research-creation project explores and develops the concept of “bio-remediation” as the necessary interrelation between biological and digital media. Funded by Le Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC) (2011-2015)

Principal Investigator
Cryobook Archives ( 2009-ongoing)
This research-creation project features a series of handmade books made of human and pig ex-plant tissue, HaCat cells and a synthetic biological virus (Lentivirus). Tissue culture engineering techniques such as transfection and immunohistochemical staining procedures along with traditional book binding techniques are used to manifest these fleshy books.

- Fluxmedia is a research-creation network exploring the intersections of art, science and technology. The conceptual focus of Fluxmedia considers how the production and manipulation of wet-ware, life-forms and electronic media instigate cultural, philosophical, aesthetic and ethical concerns in art and culture.  Fluxmedia currently supports the development and creation of wet lab work with tissue culture and digital imaging with an inverted phase microscope and HD video in its new home at the Speculative Life Laboratory at the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology at Concordia University. Fluxmedia is a member of Milieux Institute and Hexagram. Graduate students interested in becoming involved with Fluxmedia are welcome to contact me.

Viral BioreMEDIAtion
Photo credit: Tagny Duff
Fluxmedia and the Speculative Life Lab at Milieux Institute
Photo credit: Photo: Marta de Menezes

Photo credit: Photo: Marta de Menezes

Selected publications

2015. Mangling Methodologies Across Performance Research, Biological Arts and The Life Sciences. Media-N.Edited by Owen Chapman and Kim Sawchuk. 

2014. “Bioremediality: Biomedia, imaging and shifting notions of liveliness across art and science”. PhD thesis. Concordia University.

2014. “How to Make Living Viral Tattoos”. Eds. Annick Buraud, Roger Malina and Louise Whitelegy. Meta-Life.Biotechnologies, synthetic Biology, ALife and the Arts. Ebook published by Leonardo.

2013. Semi-Permeable Exhibition Catalog.Curated by Oron Catt. A co-presentation by SymbioticA and Powerhouse Gallery Australia. 
Video with Catts speaking about the exhibition.

2012,”Untitled”. Vibrancy Effect. Eds. Harry Smoak, Chris Salter and Michel van Dartel. V2 Institute for Unstable Media. (Animated ePub, Illustrated with video fragments).

2012, “Cryobook Archives”. Media Arts Revisited. Eds.Kim Sawchuk, Andrea Zeffiro. Canadian Journal of Communication,. Spring 2012. Vol 37, No 1.

2011, Living Viral Tattoos. Crisis Alert!Total Art. Volume 1. No. 1.

2011, Duff, Tagny; Muhling, Jill; Godinho, Maria Grade; Hodgetts, Stuart. “How To Make Living Viral Tattoos”. Leonardo Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (ISAST). Spring. Vol. 44, No. 2, Pages 164-165.

2009, “Going Viral: Live Performance and Documentation in the Science Laboratory”. Performance Research Vol. 14, No.4 ‘Transplantations’. (eds Ric Allsopp and Phillip Warnell). Routledge.

2009, “Living Viral Tattoos”. EVOLUTION HAUTE COUTURE: Art and Science in the Post-Biological Age. Edited by Dmitry Bulatov. Published by the Kaliningrad Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Art. pp 122-123 (Includes text and DVD component).

2008, Revisiting Codpieces: Phallic Paraphernalia: Time, documentation and migration. Ed. Paul Couillard. Ironic to Iconic: The Performance Works of Tanya Mars. Toronto: FADO Performance Art Inc..Pp 138-147.

2004, FFWD, RWND and Play: Performance art, video and reflections on feminism in Vancouver
1973-1983. Caught in the Act: Performance Art By Canadian Women. Eds. Tanya Mars and Johanna Householder. Toronto: YYZ Books. Pp 41-53.

2004, Telepresence. Sound in Contemporary Canadian Art. Ed. Nicole Gingras. Montreal: Artexte. Pg 166-169.

Recent activities

2017 Fall 2017. Selected recipient for Bridge artist residency at Michigan State University.

2016, June 14-17. Paper presentation: "Microbes and the Brave New World". Control. Society of Literature, Science and Arts (SLSA). Stockholm.

2016, March 31. Official launch of Speculative Life Laboratories at Milieux Institute of Arts, Culture and Technology at Concordia.

2016, March 3-29. Researcher-in-residence. The Eliava Institute of Bacteriophages, Microbiology and Virology. Tbilisi, Georgia.

2016, March 16. Panel: Canadian DIY Biology Summit. Ottawa. Canada.

2016, February. Researcher-in-residence. Sylvain Moineau Laboratories. University of Laval.

2015, November. Panel: Mangling Methodologies in Biological Arts and Display Practices. Chair and organizer. FoFa Gallery at Concordia University.

2015, October. Panel:  Art and Science in the Age of Biopolitics. Mutek_IMG.

Teaching activities



2012-2015. WhiteFeather Hunter. “CraftingBiotextiles”. MFA. Major supervisor. MFA. Successfully defended. (SSHRC, FRQSCand CIAM scholarship holder. Recipient of the Étudiants-chercheursétoiles Award2016).

Tristan Matheson. "ContagiousMatters". MA.Communication Studies. Major supervisor. Successfully defended Spring 2016. (SSHRC and CIAM_Hexagramscholarship holder).

Lowell Gasoi. "Thank you forcoming here: hypermediacy as rhetorical device in the metatheatre of DanielMacIvor". MA (project) Communication Studies. Major supervisor. Graduated.(SSHRC, FRQSC, Entrance scholarship holder).

Antonia Hernandez. "Sexual relations through digital screens: from (cyber) space to (domestic)place". MA (project) Communication Studies Department. Concordia. MajorSupervisor.

Vanessa Rigaux. "PerformanceInterface: Autobiography and the Online Artist". MA (project)Communication Studies Department. Concordia. Major Supervisor.

Public art exhibitions

2015.  "Living Life Living Room". So3. Art, Biologie et (Al) Chimie. Curated by Jens Hauser. Espace Multimedia Gantner. Mulhouse, France.

2014 “Living Viral Tattoos”. Toxicity. Curated by Jennifer Willet and Melentie Pandilovski. Plug In Gallery. Winnipeg, Canada.

2013 “Living Viral Tattoos”. Curated by Oron Catts and SymbioticA. Semi-Permeable. Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Australia.

2012. “Tissue Culture Point of View”. Solo exhibition at the I.P.Pavlov Memorial Apartment Museum of I.P.Pavlov Physiology Institute of Russian Academy of Science as part of the Pro Arte Festival. St. Petersburg, Russia. September 22 – October 14.

2012. “WetNet”. Group exhibition Emergencias 2012, curated by Marta de Menezes as part of the Art & Arquitecture Programme of Guimarães 2012 European Capital of Culture.Guimaraes, Portugal. June 16-September 2.

2011. “Cellular Memorabilia”. Solo installation exhibition featuring Living Viral Tattoos, Cryobook Archives and Tissue Culture Point of View. FoFA Gallery. Montreal, Canada. October.

2011. “Mobile human incubator for feeding microbes”, part of BioARTCAMP, Banff National Park, Curated by Jennifer Willet, Incubator Labs in cooperation with The Banff Centre for the Arts, Alberta, Canada. July.

2011. “Cryobook Archives”, part of Visceral, Science Gallery, Dublin, Ireland. January-February.

2009. “Living Viral Tattoos” exhibited and screened at the Moscow Biennale as part of “Evolution Haute Couture”, curated by Dmitry Bulatov. Sept-November.

2009. “Living Viral Tattoos”, (Installation) selected for the International Symposia of Electronic Art official exhibition program. Belfast Ireland. August.

2008. “Living Viral Tattoos”. Screened at the IX MediaForum as part of the Moscow International Film Festival as part of Evolution Haute Couture: Art and Science in the post-biological era. Curated by Dmitry Bulatov and Olga Shishko (Moscow MediaARTLab).

2008. “Living Viral Tattoos”. Kaliningrad Art Gallery. Russia. Exhibited and screened as part of Evolution Haute Couture: Art and science in the post-biological era. Organised by the Kaliningrad Branch of the National Centre of Contemporary Arts. Curated by Dmitry Bulatov.

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