Since 2002, Tomie Hahn is an associate professor in the Department of the Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She was appointed as the director of a newly established Center for Deep Listening in 2014 – this organization within RPI became a successor to the Deep Listening Institute, originally established by Rensselaer professor Pauline Oliveros in 1985. The mission of the new center is to research and promote the practice of Deep Listening (described by Oliveros as listening with your whole body) among artists, performers, and general public to enhance creativity and to achieve heightened awareness of their surroundings, in particular sound ambiance.
For several decades, Tomie has been collaborating with composer/computer musician Curtis Bahn, and together they developed experimental intermedia works and researched new performance technologies. They created Streams, an interactive sonic context for live performance. Wearing a custom-build sensor device, Tomie Hahn is able to control all aspects of the virtual soundscape with her body movements. Projects created by the duo were featured in The New York Times, Art Byte, and Rensselaer magazine. Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk) commissioned Tomie Hahn and Curtis Bahn to compose In/Still – this work was performed in 2006 at Princeton's Richardson Auditorium at the special PLOrk concert with Zakir Hussain, Pauline Oliveros and So Percussion, among other pieces composed by Brad Garton, Seth Cluett, Paul Lansky, Scott Smallwood, Perry Cook and Ge Wang.
For her performances with interface duo, Hahn developed Pikapika alter ego, influenced by anime and manga. Pikapika embodies movements from traditional Japanese bunraku puppet theater, but produces a completely different sound palette, through a wireless interactive dance system SSpeaPer, created by Curtis Bahn. As she moves, the sensors are wirelessly transmitting gestural data to the computer, which broadcasted audio output back to her body, projecting sounds from the speakers mounted on Pikapika's body. Tomie also performed on shakuhachi in Tetha duo, with Dan Trueman playing BoSSA, or Bowed-Sensor-Speaker-Array – one of the unique self-built instruments designed by Trueman and Bahn for interface duo.
Hahn has performed and lectured at such venues as Metropolitan Museum Of Art, the American Museum Of Natural History, Japan Society, MIT Media Lab, Galapagos Arts Space, ABC No Rio, Freer-Sackler Gallery at Smithsonian Institute, Franklin Furnace, and Mobius. In May 2009, she presented her taut duo with Melanie Klein in live performance at Greensboro, NC.
Her book Sensational Knowledge: Embodying Culture through Japanese Dance (Wesleyan University Press, 2007) earned the prestigious Society for Ethnomusicology's Alan P. Merriam Prize, which is granted to the most distinguished published English-language monographs in the field of ethnomusicology.