Catherine RICHARDS


Catherine RICHARDS
Professor of Media Arts and Full Professor, Department of Visual Arts

1980: BA Honours in Visual Arts, University of Ottawa
1971: BA Honours English, York University

100 Laurier Ave. E., Room 216

Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 3737

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Catherine Richards


Professor Profile

Catherine Richards’ installations promote an experiential awareness of the thrills and potential dangers of being plugged everywhere, at all times, into invisible circuits of electricity and systems of information. As such, they reveal both instrumental and poetic characteristics coexisting simultaneously.

Richards’ experimental methods, her choice of materials, her design decisions in shaping her art objects, and her assemblage of those objects, all resurrect the connection of science and technology with poesies, with art, and with craft or techno. As such, spectators are not only shown how they are being reshaped: Richards’ installations also demonstrate these transformations, both visibly and haptically. Such endeavours may cause us to experience “wonder” in both senses of the word, and initiate a questioning - a questioning embodied in installations that do not lead to a final conclusive endpoint, but rather open up a way of thinking through the paradoxes of our engagements with scientific inquiry and technological artefacts and systems.’

Richard participated in numerous international solo exhibitions, represented Canada at the Sydney Biennale in 2004 and is a frequently requested conference lecturer. She is the first artist in Canada, and amongst the first artists in the world, to work with virtual reality technology. This has earned her the highest award in Canada for new media artists and she has been awarded several National Gallery of Canada Fellowships. She is one of the first two recipients of a two-year Artist-in-Residence for Research (AIRes) fellowship, jointly established by the National Research Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Her works have been supported by: the Canada Council for the Arts; AT&T Canada; The Claudia De Hueck Fellowship in Art and Science at the National Gallery of Canada; the Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science and Technology; the University of Ottawa; the National Research Council of Canada; the National Gallery of Canada; Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Ottawa The Ottawa Art Gallery, Gemeentemusem in Arhem Holland, Eldorado Museum in Belgium, Ontario Arts Council, Banff Centre, Saidye Bronfman Centre as well as the valued contributions of individual scientists.


2003-15: University of Ottawa Research Chair

2002: Academician Royal Canadian Academy of Arts

1994: Prix ARS Electronica, Interactive Art, Honourable Mention, Linz Austria, for piece The Virtual Body.

1993: Canada Council for the Arts' Petro-Canada Media Arts award for outstanding and innovative use of new technologies in media arts, for piece Spectral Bodies.

1992: Canadian Conference of the Arts Corel Prize for innovative projects in arts and new technologies, for the interdisciplinary residency, symposium and publication BIOAPPARATUS.

1987: High End Computer Graphics and Grand Prize Computer Graphics prizes, Video Culture International Festival, Toronto, ON, for piece Le Game.

Current research

A pioneer visual artist at the crossroads of art and science, Catherine Richards is a recipient of a University Research Chair. Her innovative work has been internationally recognized. Richards expects that her current research will play a significant role in expanding the issues of art, emotions, and new technologies.

C Richards Shroud Chrysalis II
Shroud Chrysalis II
C Richards I was scared to death / I could have died of joy
I was scared to death / I could have died of joy
Detail view of glass brain and spinal cord in tube (pulsating)
C Richards Charged Hearts - View of excited heart
Charged Hearts - View of excited heart
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