Tagny Duff


Tagny Duff is an artist, curator, producer, writer and researcher. She holds a PhD from the Humanities Program at Concordia University. Her background is in media art with a focus on video, performance, biological art, net art, social sculpture and installation. Her 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.

Recent published texts include, FFWD, RWND and Play: Performance art, video, and feminisms in Vancouver, published in Caught in the Act: an anthology of performance art by Canadian Women (co-edited by Tanya Mars and Johanna Householder, YYZ Books); and an essay entitled Codpieces: Phallic Paraphernalia Revisited published in From Ironic to Iconic: The Performance Works of Tanya Mars (2008), a book in FADO Performance Art’s Canadian Performance Art Legends series (edited by Paul Couillard). Duff’s installations, web based and networked projects, offsite performance and video works have been presented in artist-run centres, performance and media art festivals, and universities across Canada, the United States, Cuba, Costa Rica, Germany and Finland.


TIME ZONES residency with Tania Bruguera & Glenda León
Curated by Tagny Duff

VIGILANTES –the dream of reason creates monsters– by Tania Bruguera
October 19–31, 2004

During the TIME ZONES residency, Bruguera commuted weekly between Chicago and Canada (first to Montréal and then to Toronto), using these trips as an opportunity to perform for the unsuspecting audience of her fellow travelers. She also presented unannounced performance actions in Toronto. In conjunction with this work, Bruguera produced a booklet that compiled images and experiences associated with the project, including the texts of four talks that she presented (two in Montréal and two in Toronto). Each talk visited a text by one of the following performance artists: Allan Kaprow, Adrian Piper, Vito Acconci, and Francys Alys.

Bruguera describes the work in this way: “VIGILANTES –the dream of reason creates monsters– will be a series of performances dealing with the relationship between ethics and desire; with the tension that can be found in a state of emotional vigilia, which is the state between being awake and asleep. Each piece will have several layers of appreciation, either from the position of the audience or of their level of boldness. These will be pieces that talk about the false strength and the hidden fragility.”

Every Step is a Shape of Time by Glenda León

For the Toronto portion of her residency, León developed a new audio-based performative installation presented at OCADU entitled, Every Step is a Shape of Time. This work invited the public to create individual and collective aural experiences generated in the lag time between walking and listening.

León writes: “Every step we make is a small yet important instant in our lives. The direction, the speed, the decision to make one step or a sequence of them can take us to certain events or move us away from them. The sound amplification of this daily act is a way to make us reflect upon and notice infinite possibilities sculpted through time. Listening to our own footsteps is metaphorically linked to the act of listening to ourselves. Where are we going? How are we walking on this path we have chosen? In fact, have we chosen this path we are walking? I believe these are questions worth asking, however, they are ones not easily answered.”

Every Step is a Shape of Time by Glenda León
October 29, 2004 @ 7:00pm
OCAD University, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto

Infiltration, a panel discussion | Moderated by Johanna Householder
With Glenda León, Mideo M. Cruz, Esther Ferrer, Cheryl l’Hirondelle
Sponsored by 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art
October 31, 2004 @ 3:00pm
XPACE, 303 Augusta Avenue, Toronto

<< Public Web >> by Tagny Duff

FADO is pleased to present << Public Web >>, a new performance project by Tagny Duff, as part of the Public Spaces / Private Places series.

<< Public Web >> is a performance provocation and interactive audio tour that places the audience in the role of performer and explorer. Wearing portable headphones and guided by the transmitted voice of the artist, participants will tour various destinations in the downtown core. A sculptural apparatus will connect a group of up to ten participants together for an intimate journey exploring various physical and virtual entry points into the space between the public and private.

<< Public Web >> is an interactive tour based on the model of constructive hypertext, offering the possibility for the audience/participant to create, change and recover particular encounters with the developing body of knowledge. Participants are given the opportunity to navigate through the city landscape while co-authoring a performance experience.

Wearing headsets with mics, individuals in the tour group communicate via a single channel radio transmitter. The tour group is held together by an apparatus consisting of nylon straps and plastic snaps allowing for participants to detach from the group at any moment, if they so choose. Performative gestures and conversations are undertaken by the group that in turn prompt the tour to navigate through one site to the next, resulting in a unique narrative/experience for every tour.

The artist’s voice offers the participants a variety of destination points and actions to be selected by the tour group. The artist follows the group unseen, wearing camouflaged radio surveillance gear. Ultimately, the tension between the artist’s ability to remote control the tour and the group’s decision-making ability (or inability) exposes the subtle complexities and agencies of influence inherent in the notions of “navigation,” “consensus” and “interactivity.”


<< Public Web >> is an interactive tour that navigates through downtown Toronto. The performance tour is designed as a constructive hypertext model, offering the possibility for the audience/participant to create, change and recover particular encounters with a developing body of knowledge. In << Public Web >> participants are given the opportunity to navigate through the city landscape while co-authoring a performance experience. This performance questions both the limitations and possibilities of “interactive” navigation in the physical realm. Some other questions raised are: is consensus an effective model of decision making when groups are presented with multiple “options” for action, how is our experience and perception of the city and the body changed by utilizing a constructive model of navigation, and finally, how does the apparatus affect and transform the behaviour of the individual, the group and the incidental audience?

Thanks to Jen Small, Paul Couillard, FADO, Tim and Peter, The Scadding Community Cafe, 7a*11d, Samantha and Elyps, volunteers and participants.

Performance Yellow

This fragrance opens us to the question, has the show started? It's winter, the theatre is colder than the street and the room is filled with people and all their winter smells: wet faux leather, down, too much shampoo, and beer breath. The atmosphere is a trickster. Am I late, am I early?

Top Notes

yellow mandarin, mimosa

Middle Notes

honey, chamomile, salt

Base Notes

narcissus, guaiac wood, piss, beer