Art by Anna Shapiro

Wavelady Projects

The first wave was created in 1999.

The Wave is an ongoing project/intervention that has had three propagations in New York, Boston and Providence. It is an image of a solitary wave that has been reproduced through video, color photocopy, silkscreen and publication. Reproducibility is inherent in the notion of waves. By using mechanical and digital reproductions of an individual wave, the political and subversive act of engaging with people in the creative process invites the viewer to become an active participant rather than a passive consumer. Waves represent not only the natural periodicity of the ocean reacting to the moon but 'wave' also becomes the language we use in reference to political movements.

The image of a wave used for the First and Second Wave interventions was a photocopy of a video still, which I mounted on canvas and folded up. I carried the folded wave in my pocket with the intention of community interaction. As I walked around Somerville, MA and New York City I engaged people on the street and asked them if they would like to participate a project. If they indicated no desire to participate, I smiled and walked away. If they agreed, I reached into my pocket and pulled out the parcel. As the participants unfolded it, recognition and wonder would spread across their face. Often questions would arise about the project: Where did you get the wave? How did you find it? Why are you doing this? To these questions I explained the project along the lines of the "multiplied poetic subject," as described by Guy Debord in his essay Towards a Situationist International. By reaching into the pocket of absurdity, the project manages to insert the political without becoming pedantic.

I asked each individual if they would please pose with the wave. This photograph served as a means to document the propagation of the waves. Each 4x6 photograph is paired with a 4x6 of the wave creating a repetition of waves below the photographs. The poster looks like a sea of humanity.

The Third Wave was a silkscreen of a scan of the original wave. I was invited to perform and display the work at an exhibition about PsychoGeography, curated by the Providence Initiative for PsychoGeographical Studies held in February 2005. The intervention follows the same structure as before, enlisting participants of the project to experience the small and increasingly abstract image of water. A development I added on the back of The Wave was a small instructional on "how to make waves" which furthers the notion of the project's ability to continue beyond my own manufacture. After this intervention I created a small accordion book from the photos that I took from that event (available for pucrchase).

The Fourth Wave rolled in at the Women's Caucus for the Arts in Boston, MA in 2006. I presented the concept and passed out waves and took a photograph of the audience with waves and now it is published in a book published in 2008. "BLAZE Discourse on Art, Women and Feminism" a new anthology that celebrates past victories and charts new directions for today's second and third wave feminist artists. The book looks at how feminism has matured over the years and the pressing agendas for today's feminists working in the arts.

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