In 2001, Shu Lea Cheang created Steam the green, Stream the field (Cheang, 2001-02), a work which anticipated a major shift in the discourse and practice of post-media art by 10 years. Shu Lea Cheang insists on calling herself a 'self-styled' artist, emphasising her autonomy to define her activities as art. Her projects highlight the potential of the coming together of social self-organisation with a social and trans-media art practice that combines landscapes and datascapes, the natural and the digital commons.
This text is my first attempt to reflect some of the issues arising from the two Waves exhibitions. The exhibitions in Riga (2006) and Dortmund (2008) were conceived as research projects. By looking at waves as "a principle material and medium of art" the exhibitions were made with an outlook on building a bottom-up, materialist theory of media art.