Equal parts art and anthropology, an SAIC alum’s mixed media installations investigate contemporary culture through future utopias
Collaboration is often a key value held by fictional utopian societies—a free flow of ideas and artistic exchanges. Saya Woolfalk (MFA 2004) has built an entire multimedia practice of constructing utopias—much of it growing out of the very value system the fictional worlds conflate.
Woolfalk is best known for her detailed installation/performance pieces, No Place (2006–08) and The Empathics (2009–12)—interpretive anthropological surveys about fictional species that both include one- through four-dimensional components. Before graduate school, Woolfalk already had a vigorous sculpture practice that often included live performance, but the new modes and collaborations she explored at SAIC made her fictional worlds even more tangible.