womanWeb (2006) was a taxonomy project that investigated the words that comprised the public conception of ‘woman,’ I created a non-hierarchical web-based structure that demonstrates the maze of identity that women navigate on a daily basis, both internally and externally.
A woman has no one identity. Instead, she is made up of internal and external factors/ pressures that are constructions of the self based on the interconnectivity of complex fragmentations that make up the multiple identities of a woman.
The world’s desire to frame, clarify, compartmentalize, divide and conquer the woman further pressures the woman to BE one fragment more than others, be it a mom or a working woman…
Looking at this fragmentation, one realizes that they are all part of a much larger whole- made up of overlapping identities that provoke, and contradict each other. Women are fragmented in so many ways based upon the cultural norms, stereotypes, expectations and conformity placed upon us. By putting a non-hierarchical structure on it, though it looks chaotic, it is, in fact, organized in a different way than we are accustomed to on the web, and so allows us to navigate through the words, and therefore the idea of woman, differently, every time we come to the site.
Though there is fragmentation, everything is interconnected, including both internal and external constructions of the self, and therefore leads to another, then back onto itself in the daily journey of identity, By following a string of linked words, the user can begin to see the connection between seemingly non-connected thoughts and ideas. At the same time, the user can read and post what these connections mean to themselves and others, creating a starting point for discussion.