Saya Woolfalk creates anthropological, multi-media art that engages with ideas of utopia.

Saya Woolfalk. ChimaTEK Life Products, 2015; installation view, Disguise: Masks and Global African Art, 2015, Seattle Art Museum. © Seattle Art Museum. Photo: Nathaniel Willson.

->developed and alternative society and species

Ethnography of No Place, Chima Cloud, etc

-race called the “Empathics”= plant-human hybrids that have the ability for a kind of  consciousness transcendence

-engages identity- “It is one that is aspirational as opposed to existential, potential as opposed to certain.”

-use of simple geometric shapes and primary colors to encourage a more objective perspective

She’s been working on this project for 10 years and the narrative is not always idealistic, ie stories of the ramifications of the “Empathic’s” advances.

Saya has a current exhibition at the Everson/ The Urban Video Project !!!!

The Utopian Impulse 

Utopia =”a place in which the problems that beset our current condition are
transcended or resolved. Yet it also means, or at any rate suggests through a pun
on the ancient Greek words for ‘no place’”…”believed, is present in virtually every
future-oriented activity humans engage in(Richard Noble)”

-much art is animated by some kind of utopian aspiration

– the modelling strategy

“We think art makes the world a better place. But does this
make us utopians? And perhaps more importantly, does it make all art utopian?”

-> no, if it were we’d have no way to distinguish art

psychological or ethical level of utopia(n)

therapeutic form of utopian impulse

-importance of participation

-virtual reality utopia

-biennial system


“It is art oriented beyond existing conditions, sometimes to the future, sometimes to the past; it is art that asks us difficult questions about the conditions we live with and the potential we have to change them(Richard Noble)”

“…Therefore any creative activity – that is, cultural activity – in the twentieth century, must have its roots in revolution.(Constant Nieuwenhuy)”

working class = included all people engaged in productive work that contributed to society ~Saint Simon late 1700s!



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