Grad Talks: Claire Staples, Florence Woolley, Felipe Macia

Open to SAIC faculty, students and staff only
Tuesday, March 14, 4:30 p.m.6:00 p.m.

Please join us in MacLean 1307


Fleming (b. 1987, Philadelphia) is a queer multidisciplinary artist, and a long term member of a network of DIY underground creative communities in the United States. They are currently a second year MFA candidate at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Film Video, New Media, and Animation department. The breadth of their work encompasses both an antagonizing and joyful irreverence for late capitalist cultural mores, and a sincere and persistent reverence for the sublime. Ultimately, whether the work’s expression is humor, rage, psychedelic maximalism or meditative transcendentalism, the force and goal that drives it is liberation. They are engaged in the work of constantly questioning how and what that freedom looks like, and the analysis and growth out of the constructs and systems that inhibit it. Through immersive installations of projected video, sound and sculpture, they invite the participant to experience embodiment and an expanded understanding of what it means to be human. A desktop performance practice that pairs navigation of deep media archives with political discussions typed to the audience, is complemented by an intertwined social practice of advocating for access and equity within art institutions. They are one half of the tekno duo 404 NOT FOUND, and have made music videos for the recording artists Maya Songbird and Zekarias Thompson. They were a co-founder and manager of SLURP, an affordable, qtpoc-centered art space in Oakland, CA from 2016 to 2022. They have shown work at Artists Television Access, curated work at Counterpulse and The Roxie Theater in San Francisco, and performed at Berlin nightclub in Chicago IL, and for SF Pride Trans March.


Florence Woolley is an artist and researcher, working between, moving image, installation and performance. Her work is informed by the politics of land not simply as an object, but as an instrument of social and cultural power, this includes the growth of the global economy, the privatization of public space, and the deep legacies of imperialism. By attending to what has been lost or made invisible, in the past and present simultaneously, she hopes she may challenge perception by casting a disobedient gaze. Her current research is concerned with the contradictory ways in which militarism, nationalism and colonial power are embedded in and made invisible through the aesthetics of the rural English landscape. She is curious about how she may use aesthetics which work against power, by creating new material relations to images. Rather than seeking to solve problems or establish wholeness, she finds nuance and particularities to probe at the entangled relationship between people, place, ecology, and time. She is a member of Siobhan Davies Dance, Next Artist Collective and was a Founder of FFF a political education group that through reading, walking, and cooking engaged with critical pedagogy not as a means to an end but rather as a way to understand and to live life as a process of being and becoming. This is a practice she hopes to return to.


Felipe Macia is an installation artist and filmmaker based in Bogota, Colombia. His work explores life in rural communities, ecology, environmental degradation, forces of nature and activist art. His works expand in the fields of documentary film and video installation. His last short film, Verde Como el Oro, winner of the Rainforest Journalism Pulitzer Grant, succeeded in generating an impact campaign to mobilize citizenship action and political action against a mega mining project that threatened a biodiversity Hot Spot in Colombia´s patrimonial towns of South West Antioquia. The documentary was presented in France 24 as well as in the Medellin Modern Art Museum, Bogota´s District Cinematique, Barichara Green Film Festival and Environmental Film Festival Planet On. The documentary was selected as a case study of exemplary work and practices within the documentary impact field  by the Center of Media and Social Impact at American University, Massachusetts. The short film  The Last Miller premiered in Camden Film Festival and was selected in Hot Docs and FICCI programme 2020. The video installation "Voz de la Tierra" 2017, was part of the exhibition "Oro Vital Cajamarca"  in the Museum of Modern Art of Bogota. Since 2019, Felipe has been part of the board of directors of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Colombia. Currently Felipe is finishing a MFA in Film, Video, Animation and New Media in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.