Frequent Collaborators

Marissa Lee Benedict: From the distillation of algal biodiesel, to the extraction of a geologic core sample with a set of gardening tools, to the imagined fabrication of fiber optic infrastructures, Marissa is an artist who explores connection as material and energy as form. She researches and recreates industrial systems and scientific processes to become intimately familiar with the plant and mineral elements that we extract, concentrate and metabolize to fuel our highly synthesized and ever-accelerating world.


Sara Black has worked broadly as an artist, artist-teacher, arts organizer and curator. Her work uses conscious processes of carpentry, wood-working, and repair as a time-based method, inherited building materials or other exhausted objects as material, and create works that aim to expose the complex ways in which things and people are suspended in worlds together. Sara received her MFA from the University of Chicago in 2006, acted as the director of the arts division at Antioch College from 2010 to 2014 and has since returned returned to Chicago in the role of Assistant Professor of Sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Aaron Hughes is an artist, activist, organizer, teacher, and Iraq War veteran based in Chicago. His multidimensional creative practice operates in a diversity of spaces and media as he seeks out connections, poetics, and moments of beauty in order to construct narratives and meaning out of personal and collective traumas. Aaron uses these narratives in the development of projects that expose and deconstruct systems of oppression and dehumanization.  Aaron works with Iraq Veterans Against the War, Justseeds Artist’s Cooperative, National Veterans Art Museum, Warrior Writers, emerging Veteran Artists Movement, Dirty Canteen, and Prison & Neighborhood Arts Project.

Katie Hargrave makes projects using a variety of forms — installations, publications, videos, and events — that encourage audiences to become participants in research and production as a way to explore their own experiences, their histories, their challenges. Her work is responsive to environments, develops over time, and is co-created with participants as well as collaborators. Katie is a professor at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. She received her MFA in Intermedia from the University of Iowa, MA from Brandeis University, and BFA from the University of Illinois. She is a member of “The Think Tank that has yet to be named” and “Like Riding a Bicycle.”

Rebecca Keller focuses on the intersection between art, audience, and the wider culture, negotiating the terrain between private meaning-making and public symbolism. Much of her recent works fall under the umbrella title “Excavating History” : wide ranging, research driven projects investigate the idea of history as a category and engine for artmaking. Rebecca is an Adjunct Full Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Joseph Madrigal’s studio practice focuses on material explorations orbiting around clay and ceramic processes. These material investigations are influenced by the complexity of memory and bodily experience through habitual, sensual and erotic connectivity. Recent works focus on the domestic realm where the body and object collide and expand in both lived and imagined space. His aim is to find moments of shift, slippage and compression through material and conceptual relationships. Boundaries are permeable and arbitrary; the distances we impose between body, object and space are merely separated by semantic distinction.

Lia Rousset generates spaces where people come together as creative centers. Whether on the street or in the gallery, her work produces situations for experience. Through relationship building and interventions in the built world, Lia’s work aims to bring awareness and connection within ourselves, one another, and our environments. She looks for collective outcomes through material and collaboration, asking us to imagine.

Project Fielding was founded by Sara Black, Billy Dee, Amber Ginsburg, Miriam Stevens and Donesha Thompson and has expanded to involve Caroline Robe and Lia Rousset. We consider building to be a gesture of craft, which by nature is slow, requires commitment, repetition and revision, much like social change. Our choice to work with girls, young women and gender variant youth is born of our experience as women builders in both art and trade contexts. Our name, Project Fielding, encompasses both the experience of deflecting unwelcome assumptions and a new direction for the field of building.

DEEP TIME CHICAGO is an art/research/activism initiative formed in the wake of the Anthropocene Curriculum program at HKW in Berlin, Germany. The initiative’s goal is to explore one core idea: humanity as a geological agency, capable of disrupting the earth system and inscribing present modes of existence into deep time. By knitting together group readings, guided walks, lectures, panels, screenings, performances, publications and exhibitions, we hope to develop a public research trajectory, offering a variety of formats where Chicago area inhabitants can grapple with the crucial questions of global ecological change.