From Net Art to Contemporary Fine Jewelry

"Our relationship with language begins when we learn how to make sounds with our bodies. Mimicking our elders, we use our mouth and throat muscles to constrict air at certain intervals to create sound. Every sound composition—each word—travels through air. This process of making language, is so physical. We notate these sounds in symbols and write them all over our planet and on ourselves. We note where we came from, what we imagine, and how to go places. And so language to us, is a navigation system. Bringing words to the body introduces language in the most personal of spaces. "  —Yael Kanarek, 2013

Yael Kanarek is known in the New York art scene as a pioneer of net art.  Her work has been shown everywhere from the Whitney Biennial to SFMOMA to the Jewish Museum in New York.

Yael’s ongoing interest in languages (spoken, written, and computer code), which she has explored in her artwork, led her to consider the body as a site for expressing her ideas. This resulted in her first piece of jewelry, a pendant that reads “I found the key to extreme beauty.” The line was the first sentence from a love letter she wrote for her ongoing narrative World of Awe. It marked the birth of new jewelery.

Eight years later, that single pendant has been transformed via emerging technologies and perfected typefaces into a collection of solid, modern, and elegant text jewelry; jewelry inspired by early modernism, Hilma Af Klint, El Lissitzky, and works of Concrete Poetry;  jewelry that seeks a bond between profound works of poetry and prose and the body; jewelry that through simplicity of form serves the inspiring words of writers such as Walt Whitman, Voltaire and James Joyce; jewelry that is part of an artistic, poetic, and global dialogue.

Yael’s early training in painting focused on portraiture. She obtained her Master’s degree in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Yael is the recipient of many grants and commissions among them The Rockefeller New Media Fellowship.  She is a participant in the “Art in Embassies” program of the US State Department and represented by bitforms gallery in New York. Her work can be seen at

This is KANAREK. Because Words Matter.