Meet our Artist in Residence: Rebecca Shapiro

Loving the awesome art installation that we have for the TEDActive stage this year? Have you had a chance to explore the Dome in the Creative Lounge?

Both of these wonderful pieces were designed and built by the TEDActive 2015 Artist in Residence, Rebecca Shapiro. Rebecca is a painter, illustrator and installation artist whose work has been featured in numerous exhibitions including TEDxMtHood (formerly TEDxConcordiaUPortland) in 2013 when she designed the stage installation and gave a TEDx talk.

Rebecca is the creator and project lead for the TEDx Artist in Residence Incubator Program working closely with TEDxMtHood co-curator, Michelle Jones. The TEDx Artist in Residence Program supports TEDx organizers who want establish official artist in residencies for their events, strengthening community ties, honoring local culture and enhancing attendee experience.

Rebecca’s stage installation, titled Untangled, is a piece about “untangling the stores, beliefs and behaviors that keep us bound and prevent us from enjoying movement and momentum in our lives.”

Photo: Marla Aufmuth/TED

This piece and her installation at TEDActive this year are inspired by her long-term projects, some of which focus on themes like discovering yourself, community, and reflection. She enjoys creating interactive pieces that require the audience to think and offer their own ideas to the piece.

“Remember making forts as a child?” she asked me. “Inside the fort, you created your own story. You didn’t know that you were doing it, but you were writing the story of who you are.”

Her interactive art installation, The Act of Stillness, is “a metaphor for the pursuit of the creative process.” This piece invites attendees to create intentional moments for reflection and creativity during TEDActive. People can enter the space and add their own thoughts to its walls, creating a collection of memories and ideas sparked by other attendees or TED speakers. Rebecca contends that  “stillness leads to your best ideas,” so she wanted to create a space where attendees could slow down and invite their best ideas and stories to emerge.

Image provided by Rebecca Shapiro

“I wanted to create a low-tech space within a busy, tech-heavy conference. I created a space you could step into to reflect or ask a question or do nothing, because we need to take more of this time for ourselves,” she explains.

Photo: Marla Aufmuth/TED

Rebecca challenges our TEDActive attendees to carve out some time for themselves to reflect on everything they see and hear this week. Make sure to stop by The Act of Stillness this week and add your ideas to its walls!

by Diana Enriquez

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