• Art + Design

Adriana Knouf

Assistant Professor

Adriana Knouf (she/her/hers, sie/hir/hirs) is a scholar and artist researching noise, interferences, boundaries, and limits in media technologies. She is currently developing the theory and practice of xenology, or the study, analysis, and development of the xeno (strange, alien, other). As the founding facilitator of the tranxxeno lab, her writings, projects, presentations, and interventions suggest expansive modes of being in the cosmos while simultaneously imagining new queer futurities. Knouf extensively draws upon her transdisciplinary background as an artist, scholar, designer, scientist, and engineer in her work.

Knouf’s artworks have been exhibited and presented in national and international venues, such as in Havana (CU), Glasgow (UK), Dundalk (IE), transmediale (DE), Piksel (NO), FILE (BR), National Museum for Contemporary Art (GR), the Clayton Staples Gallery at Wichita State University (US), ISEA (SG, CA), TEI (JP), CHI, CAA, among others. She also regularly presents at academic conferences such as Tuning Speculation; the Society for Literature, Science and Art (SLSA); and the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S).

Her first book, _How Noise Matters to Finance_ (University of Minnesota Press, 2016), traced how the concept of “noise” in the sonic and informatic domains of finance mutated throughout the late 20th century into the 21st. Her current writing project, tentatively entitled The Xenology Notebooks, is a transmedia, transdisciplinary corpus expansively considering the “xeno”.

Knouf is intimately interested in the mutations that occur when practices of art, design, science, engineering, writing, and poetry intersect and infect each other. She sees the analog/digital distinction as specious, and endeavors to break down the boundaries between “art” and “craft”. To that end, her work has involved embedding electronics into handmade paper using fibers such as abaca and kozo; building antennas to pick up satellite transmissions for a sound art installation; developing generative poetry for smartwatches about satellites and stars passing overhead; collaborating with musicians to break down boundaries between the United States and Cuba; using drones in musical performance; and exploring the limits of the transgender voice.

In the classroom, Knouf acts more as a facilitator and guide, and works to expand student understandings of the material beyond the conventional. A fierce proponent of the integration of theory and practice, Knouf endeavors to develop an ethos of _artistic research_ whereby students understand and explore how writing about art and design can influence and modulate projects about art and design.

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  • PhD, Information Science, Cornell University
  • SM, Media Arts and Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • BS, Engineering and Applied Science, California Institute of Technology

Courses Taught

  • ARTF 2223: 5D Fundamentals: Experience and Drawing

Research/Publications Highlights


N. Adriana Knouf, _How Noise Matters to Finance_, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016).

Refereed Book Chapter

N. Adriana Knouf, “Electronic inclusions in handmade paper,or how to finesse material incongruities in the spirit of the Bauhaus,” in _Bauhaus Futures_, ed. Mike Ananny, Laura Forlano, and Molly Wright
Steenson, (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2019).

Professional Affiliations

Member, College Art Association
Member, Society of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Research Interests

  • Drones
  • Noise
  • Queer futurities
  • Radio Art
  • Sound Art
  • Speculative and Critical Design
  • Xenology