“Florida is…” on exhibit at top of State’s Capitol

“Florida Is…” by Xavier Cortada

Conceptualized during Xavier Cortada‘s residency at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artist Residency in Captiva, Florida, “Florida is…” is an evolving body of work that depicts the natural beauty of Florida.  It asks Floridians to define their state by its actual nature, not by things we do and build to displace it.  Some “Florida is…” works hang as public art in public venues, admonishing viewers to find better ways to coexist with nature.

The project invites participants to capture and share their images and perspectives on the project’s online platform.

 

You are cordially invited to

Florida is…

a solo show by

Xavier Cortada

at

22nd Floor Gallery
State Capitol
Tallahassee, FL

Exhibit runs December 1st,  2018 through March 31st, 2019

 

PARTICIPATE: Help others understand and appreciate Florida’s natural beauty.  Upload an image of your favorite animal, plant or place to www.floridaisnature.com and tell us why we should all care for it and strive to protect it.  We will share it on our website and social media.  We will also ask you to help us spread the word and get others to see that “Florida is… Nature.”

Xavier Cortada, “(Florida is…) Wood storks,” archival ink on aluminum, 60″ x 40”, 2016 (www.floridaisnature.com)

About Florida Is Nature

Conceptualized during Xavier Cortada‘s residency at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artist Residency in Captiva, Florida, “Florida is…” is an evolving body of work that depicts the natural beauty of Florida.  It asks Floridians to define their state by its actual nature, not by things we do and build to displace it.  Some “Florida is…” works hang as public art in public venues, admonishing viewers to find better ways to coexist with nature.

The project invites participants to capture and share their images and perspectives on the project’s online platform.

In 2015, Cortada created three permanent “Florida is” public art installations in three turnpike plazas, making them cultural destinations in and of themselves.  Each focused on a different aspect of the sunshine state’s natural beauty:  Endangered Animals  (Ft. Drum Plaza),  Diatoms  (Turkey Lake Plaza), and Wildflowers (West Palm Beach Plaza).

“It is important to have the artwork connect with our local environment, and I believe that [Cortada’s] art does that in a very sophisticated way,” said architect Bernard Zyscovich in reviewing Cortada’s public art proposal for the plazas he designed. “Additionally, I love the idea of generating a series of “take aways” from [Cortada’s art] plazas and hopefully from the other plazas as well.  I think that it reinforces the plaza experience as something that adds value to each visitor’s experience.“

Merchandise  is branded with “Florida is” information so that it serves as a catalysts for conversations to address our state’s environmental concerns.

You can learn more about the artist by visiting www.cortada.com

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Group exhibit at the Weisman Art Museum

VANISHING ICE: ALPINE AND POLAR LANDSCAPES IN ART 1775-2012

Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota
January 27th, 2018 – May 13th, 2018

astridXavier Cortada, “astrid,” (2007). Permanent collection of the Whatcom Museum.

Xavier Cortada’s “Astrid” painting will be on exhibit at the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, MN from January 27th through May 13th, 2018 as part of the “Vanishing Ice” exhibit curated by Barbara Matilsky — see http://www.vanishing-ice.org.  You can learn more about Cortada’s piece by reading the American Art essay by Alan Braddock and Renée Ater, Art in the Anthropocene — see http://cortada.com/press/2014/AmericanArt.

Cortada, recipient of a 2006-2007 National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writers fellowship, traveled to Antarctica to implement a series of projects and installations. While there, the Miami artist created “ice paintings” using sea ice and sediment samples provided to him by scientists working in Antarctica.  The artist titled the works on paper by randomly selecting the names of geographic features from a map of the continent that inspired their creation.  To learn more about the series visit http://cortada.com/2007/ice-paintings.

astrid-s

Artist: Xavier Cortada
Title: “astrid”
Series: Ice Paintings: Antarctic Sea Ice series
Medium: Sea ice from the Antarctica’s Ross Sea, sediment from Antarctica’s Dry Valleys and mixed media on paper
Size: 12 inches x 9 inches
Year: 2007
Created onsite at McMurdo Station, Ross Island, Antarctica
Permanent collection of the Whatcom Museum.

Curatorial Narrative
Barbara Matilsky, Curator of Art

VANISHING ICE will introduce the rich artistic legacy of the planet’s frozen frontiers now threatened by climate change, a phenomena understood by the public primarily through news of devastating climactic events The exhibition offers another perspective by providing visitors an opportunity to experience the majesty of sublime landscapes that have inspired artists, writers, and naturalists for more than two hundred years. Interweaving science, history and art, and highlighting their historical interrelationships, the exhibition encourages audiences to value the preservation of alpine and polar environments for the well-being of both nature and culture. Through this exhibition, visitors will begin to appreciate how strongly embedded these regions are in our collective consciousness

Comprised of 70 works of art, Vanishing Ice will unfold thematically and chronologically, tracing the visual impact of glaciers, icebergs, and fields of ice – unique and often fantastic formations – on artists’ imaginations. International in scope, the exhibition features artists from Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Russia, Switzerland, and the United States. It will examine the connections among generations of artists as they sought to understand and interpret the color, light, and structure of ice. Through their magical landscapes, visitors will vicariously experience the blue-green hues and extraordinary shapes of another world.

The confluence of art, science and public education is one of the major themes of the exhibition. In their quest to discover new pictorial motifs, the artist-as-explorer contributed to a greater understanding of the Earth. In the wake of the large number of voyages launched during the nineteenth century, images of alpine and polar landscapes helped popularize revolutionary scientific discoveries and theories in natural history, including the concept of an Ice Age concomitant with a vision of the planet’s ancient origins. Works of art by artists such as Jean-Antoine Linck (Swiss, 1766-1843) and Louis Lebreton (French, 1818–1866) appeared in scientific publications, expeditionary atlases, travelogues, popular magazines, and exhibitions. Today, these early landscapes continue to play a major role in science by helping climatologists measure the retreat of glaciers over the centuries.

A growing number of artists are once again journeying to alpine mountain ranges and the Poles, the most salient indicators of climate change, to document the effects of global warming. The fate of retreating glaciers have been presented by many photographers, including Gary Braasch, David Breashears, and Eirik Johnson who compare their views of the Rocky Mountains, Himalayas, and Andes with historical photographs, which will also be highlighted in the exhibition. Parallel to the nineteenth-century artists’ close relationship to natural history, their images appear in a wide range of venues, including books and exhibitions, helping to visualize the dramatic effects forecast by climate scientists.

Like their nineteenth and early-twentieth century counterparts, many artists are joining government-sponsored expeditions. The US National Science Foundation provides opportunities for artists as diverse as Eliot Porter and Camille Seaman to spend time in Antarctica as a way to increase awareness of polar research. Many artists, in the spirit of Frederic Edwin Church and William Bradford, have organized their own expeditions. Since 2007, artist David Buckland has been coordinating Arctic explorations composed of artists, scientists, musicians, and writers through the Cape Farewell Project, underscoring the expanded role of the artist-activist in publicizing climate change. Seventy artists have participated to date, including Paul D. Miller/DJ Spooky, whose work will also be featured in the exhibition along with video documentation of Cape Farewell’s inaugural expedition.

Vanishing Ice also examines the stylistic evolution of alpine and polar imagery over two centuries. Within this context, the exhibition will feature the wide array of materials, media, and techniques that artists have employed to vividly capture the frozen landscape. Initially limited to drawings, prints, paintings and later photography, artists now utilize video, sound, and site-specific sculpture to interpret these environments. Among the fifty internationally recognized historical and contemporary artists included are: Ansel Adams, Otto Olaf Becker, John Grade, Lauren Harris, Frank Hurley, Issac Julien, Rockwell Kent, Alexis Rockman, and Spencer Tunick.

Vanishing Ice will reveal the transformative power of art in shaping the public’s perception of these starkly beautiful environments. Beginning in the eighteenth century, writers and painters, such as Francois-August Biard (French, 1799–1882), and Frederic Edwin Church (American, 1826–1900) contributed to a new appreciation of alpine and polar landscapes, which were once regarded with fear and now experienced on a heightened, emotional level. This quality, described as the Sublime, intersected with spirituality and was one of the defining aspects of a culture in the throes of rapid industrialization. Polar ice and glaciated mountains became metaphors for both the control of nature and correspondingly lack of control, freedom, nationalism, and more recently climate change.

While showcasing the art, Vanishing Ice will present layers of information through illustrated text panels, graphs, maps and a multi-disciplinary time line featuring milestones in art, literature, science, exploration, and mountaineering, which will help visitors grasp the history of alpine and polar regions and their significance for Western culture. An introductory video, produced by the City of Bellingham’s TV10, will be aired in the gallery and broadcast on the cable channel. Quotes by artists, scientists, writers, and explorers will be strategically placed throughout the galleries to augment the key ideas and messages of the exhibition. The exhibition will feature interpretive graphics for understanding why the Arctic, Antarctica, and glaciers are so critical for maintaining a balanced, planetary ecosystem and suggest what individuals and communities can do to help mitigate global warming.

Additional components of the exhibition include: a 162-page catalogue, published by the University of Washington Press and a web site.

See http://www.whatcommuseum.org/galleries/upcoming/379-vanishing-ice

POSTPONED: CLIMA: An annual exhibit addressing Global Climate Change and Sea Level Rise

POSTPONED DUE TO HURRICANE IRMA


CLIMA Home | Main 2017Main 2016 | Main 2015

 

You are cordially invited to the opening of

CLIMA

an exhibit addressing Global Climate Change and Sea Level Rise
on Thursday, October 12th, 2017  from 6 pm to 9 pm.

at

The Hibiscus Gallery
Pinecrest Gardens
11000 S. Red Road
Pinecrest, FL 33156

 

CLIMA features the work of artists

John Bailly

Xavier Cortada

Michael Gray 

and

Gretchen Scharnagl

plus interactive works developed by

FIU School of Communication + Journalism and Code for Miami

 

 

Gretchen Scharnagl, “Ate Grapefruit,” 2015

 

 

EVENTS BELOW POSTPONED DUE TO HURRICANE IRMA


CLIMA 2017 Schedule:

The exhibit runs from October 12th to November 19th, 2017:

Exhibit opening on Thursday, October 12th, 2017  from 6 pm to 9 pm.

Urbanism Panel discussion on Wednesday, October 18th from 10 am to noon.

Artists’ Talk on Thursday, October 19th from 7 pm to 9 pm.

Science Panel discussion on Friday, October 20th from 10 am to noon.

Performance on Friday, October 20th from 7 pm to 9 pm.

Sea Level Solutions Day on Saturday, October 21st at 9 am.

 

 

Join us on Thursday, October 12th, 2017 at 6pm at the Hibiscus Gallery in Pinecrest Gardens for the opening of CLIMA, an exhibit addressing Global Climate Change and Sea Level Rise. This third-annual show features the work of artists John Bailly, Xavier Cortada, Michael Gray, and Gretchen Scharnagl. The exhibit will also feature interactive works developed by the FIU School of Communication + Journalism and Code for Miami to address sea level rise- including “Will it Flood?,” a new flood prediction app: type in your address! See when the high tides will affect your neighborhood!

The CLIMA exhibit is presented in partnership with Florida International University College of Arts & Sciences School of Environment, Society and the Arts (SEAS), the FIU College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA), the FIU Honors College (Honors) and the FIU Sea Level Solutions Center (SLSC).



clima-web-logo
CLIMA Home | Main 2017Main 2016 | Main 2015

CLIMA 2016 featured Cortada’s “DO NOT OPEN”

Xavier Cortada, “DO NOT OPEN,” 2016.


clima-web-logo
CLIMA Home | Main 2017Main 2016 | Main 2015

CLIMA 2015 featured Cortada’s “Five Actions to Stop Rising Seas”

Xavier Cortada, "Five Actions to Stop Rising Seas: FREEZE IT!," video sreen shot, 2015. In acknowledgement of the support of the Rauschenberg Residency/Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

Xavier Cortada, “Five Actions to Stop Rising Seas: FREEZE IT!,” video screen shot, 2015. In acknowledgment of the support of the Rauschenberg Residency/Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

 

“Florida is Nature” Artist Talks at Pinecrest Gardens

Xavier Cortada will be presenting monthly Florida is Nature Artist Talks at Pinecrest Gardens, where he serves as artist in residence. The artist talks and interactive experiences are free with paid admission to the garden on the select dates below.  After the talk, visitors are invited to walk the garden and engage in the Florida is Nature participatory art project.

Pinecrest Gardens
Participatory Art Projects
and
FIU Digital Library of the Caribbean

cordially invite you to join us for our monthly

Florida is Nature Artist Talk

by

Xavier Cortada

at

Hibiscus Gallery
Pinecrest Gardens

11000 S.W. 57th Avenue
Pinecrest, FL 33156

305-669-6990

Talk is free with $5 admission to the Gardens.
After the talk, walk the garden and participate in “Florida is Nature.”  

 

The dates of the Florida is Nature talks are:

Monday, September 11th, 2017 at 10:30a (Cancelled due to Hurricane Irma)

Monday, October 16th, 2017 at 10:30a

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017 at 10:30a

Thursday, December 7th, 2017 at 10:30a

Wednesday, January 10th, 2017 at 10:30a

Wednesday, February 14th, 2017 at 10:30a

Wednesday, March 14th, 2017 at 10:30a

Wednesday, April 11th, 2017 at 10:30a

Wednesday, May 9th,2017 at 10:30a

We also welcome groups and schools to attend the artist’s talks. If you are interested in scheduling a group for one of the dates below, please contact Lacey Bray, educational programs coordinator, at lbray@pinecrest-fl.gov for more information.

Image above:
Xavier Cortada, “Puzzled Landscape: Florida is… Wildflowers” digital art, 2015

 

“Florida Is…” by Xavier Cortada

Through Florida is Nature,”  Pinecrest Gardens artist-in-residence Xavier Cortada portrays Florida’s environment to connect viewers with our state’s natural beauty.  Come see the works on permanent display at the Hibiscus Gallery in Pinecrest Gardens.

You too can participate in “Florida is…”

Help others understand and appreciate Florida’s natural beauty.  Upload an image of your favorite animal, plant or place to www.floridaisnature.com and tell us why we should all care for it and strive to protect it.  We will share it on our website and social media.  We will also ask you to help us spread the word and get others to see that “Florida is… Nature.”

 

Xavier Cortada, “Luster (Diatoms series- high noon), archival ink on aluminum, 2015

 

 

About Florida Is Nature

Conceptualized during Xavier Cortada‘s residency at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artist Residency in Captiva, Florida, “Florida is…” is an evolving body of work that depicts the natural beauty of Florida.  It asks Floridians to define their state by its actual nature, not by things we do and build to displace it.  Some “Florida is…” works hang as public art in public venues, admonishing viewers to find better ways to coexist with nature.

The project invites participants to capture and share their images and perspectives on the project’s online platform.

You can learn more about the artist by visiting www.cortada.com

San José : DO NOT OPEN until 2117

San José : DO NOT OPEN until 2117

MACLA Instagram screen capture: Xavier Cortada, “DO NOT OPEN/San Jose,” 2017

 

In “DO NOT OPEN,” I ask residents of San José to write letters to the future. I do so because, today, many of their neighbors aren’t willing to listen. Today, too many are in denial about the human impact on global climate change. For many, denial comes easier than visualizing the future impact of rising seas on their community. Our words fall on deaf ears.

So, instead, we must write it all down, keep it in a safe place, and share it later, when others are willing to listen.

Although the letters are intended for people not yet born, the true audience is those breathing in the present.

Sure, the future will be curious.
The future will read our letters and want to know why we couldn’t show restraint when facing insurmountable evidence of our role in creating this global crisis.

The future will be incredulous.
In 2117, our great-grandchildren will read the words we wrote them and want to understand why we didn’t do more when so much—everything– was at stake.

The future will be furious.
A century from now, San José will read what we penned and want to know how, on our watch, ecosystems collapsed, biodiversity plummeted and so much of humanity suffered.

The future will benefit from insights, but “DO NOT OPEN” isn’t for them. It’s not about them. It’s about us.

I’m less interested in them being able to hear us. And more interested in us being able to see them. By writing to them, we name them. By writing to them, we can’t deny their existence. By writing to them, we create a connection to them.

Being able to connect with our progeny raises the stakes for us now in 2017. It lengthens the “care horizon” beyond our lifetime. It provides a path to hope, purpose. It encourages us to do all we can now to protect our planet, its future generations and the animals we coevolved with.

— Xavier Cortada

 

http://cortada.com/event/2017/macla

MACLA Instagram screen capture: Xavier Cortada, “DO NOT OPEN/San Jose,” 2017.

 

During the opening Temperature Check exhibition, MACLA invites attendees to participate in Cortada’s “DO NOT OPEN” performance.

Participant Instructions:

Walk up to the “DO NOT OPEN” wall in the MACLA Temperature Check
Close your eyes: Imagine San José 100 years in the future. Imagine the people living here then. Imagine how rising seas will impact the city and those who will live here then.
Think about what you would like them to know. Think about what someone living in San José in 2117 would want to hear from someone living here in 2017.
Unclip a piece of blank paper and envelope from the “DO NOT OPEN” wall and use a pencil to write it all down:

Tell them who you are.
Tell them why you are writing to them.
Tell them what you thought, what you saw.
Tell them what you felt, what you feared.
Tell them what you did, what you hoped for.
Tell them what you want them to do.

Fold your handwritten letter in two, kiss it, place it inside the envelope and seal it. Sign and date the back of your envelope and write the words:
“DO NOT OPEN until 2117”
Clip the sealed envelope to the “DO NOT OPEN” wall with the handwritten words facing out.
Stare at your envelope for 100 seconds. Visualize the changes rising seas will bring over each of the next 100 years. Think of how your words will be received in San José in 2117.
Walk away.

See: http://cortada.com/event/2017/macla

“Temperature Check: Body of Evidence” exhibit in San José

Temperature Check: Body of Evidence
(September 1 – November 12, 2017)

More than 50 percent of Latinos in the United States see climate change as a key defining issue due to its far-reaching impact within the Latino community. Temperature Check: Body of Evidence will feature the work of Latino artists exploring the artifacts and patterns of climate change through installation, drawing, video and photography. The exhibition will also include a platform for education and exchange with our local community through a series of public programs including guest speakers, panel discussions and family programs to further strategies for discussion and action around issues of sustainability.  Xavier Cortada’s “Diatoms” and “DO NOT OPEN” will be presented as part of the group exhibition.

Diatoms

Xavier Cortada, “Diatoms,”  one-hundred diatom works on framed flat tile (each 6″ x 6″), 2017.

Diatoms are single-celled organisms that live in the water and harness the power of the sun to convert CO2 into oxygen. Its glass shell, all that remains from the diatom, is used by scientists today to see what was as they research environmental issues crucial to the city in the century to come. Scientists—and artists—can determine the past salinity of water by examining the shells of diatoms preserved in sedimentary core samples. Each diatom species has a different salinity preference, so changes in the mixture of fresh and sea water (driven by sea level and changes in water management) can be inferred from past diatom remains.

 


DO NOT OPEN | San José 2117

Xavier Cortada, “DO NOT OPEN,” 2016.During the opening reception, MACLA  invites attendees to participate in Cortada’s “DO NOT OPEN” performance.  The work was first exhibited last year during the CLIMA exhibit. Here are the instructions.

  • Participant Instructions:

      • Walk up to the “DO NOT OPEN” wall in the MACLA Temperature Check
      • Close your eyes: Imagine San José 100 years in the future. Imagine the people living here then. Imagine how rising seas will impact the city and those who will live here then.
      • Think about what you would like them to know. Think about what someone living in San José in 2117 would want to hear from someone living here in 2017.
      • Unclip a piece of blank paper and envelope from the “DO NOT OPEN” wall and use a pencil to write it all down:

     

    Tell them who you are.
    Tell them why you are writing to them.
    Tell them what you thought, what you saw.
    Tell them what you felt, what you feared.
    Tell them what you did, what you hoped for.
    Tell them what you want them to do.

     

    • Fold your handwritten letter in two, kiss it, place it inside the envelope and seal it. Sign and date the back of your envelope and write the words:
      “DO NOT OPEN until 2117”
    • Clip the sealed envelope to the “DO NOT OPEN” wall with the handwritten words facing out.
    • Stare at your envelope for 100 seconds. Visualize the changes rising seas will bring over each of the next 100 years. Think of how your words will be received in San José in 2117.
    • Walk away.

     

Artist’s statement:

In “DO NOT OPEN,” I ask residents of San Jose to write letters to the future. I do so because today, many of their neighbors aren’t willing to listen. Today, too many are in denial about the human impact on global climate change. For many, denial comes easier than visualizing the future impact of rising seas on their community. Our words fall on deaf ears.

So, instead, we must write it all down, keep it in a safe place, and share it later, when others are willing to listen.

Although the letters are intended for people not yet born, the true audience is those breathing in the present.

Sure, the future will be curious.
The future will read our letters and want to know why we couldn’t show restraint when facing insurmountable evidence of our role in creating this global crisis.

The future will be incredulous.
In 2117, our great-grandchildren will read the words we wrote them and want to understand why we didn’t do more when so much—everything– was at stake.

The future will be furious.
A century from now, San Jose will read what we penned and want to know how, on our watch, ecosystems collapsed, biodiversity plummeted and so much of humanity suffered.

The future will benefit from insights, but “DO NOT OPEN” isn’t for them. It’s not about them. It’s about us.

I’m less interested in them being able to hear us. And more interested in us being able to see them. By writing to them, we name them. By writing to them, we can’t deny their existence. By writing to them, we create a connection to them.

Being able to connect with our progeny raises the stakes for us now in 2017. It lengthens the “care horizon” beyond our lifetime. It provides a path to hope, purpose. It encourages us to do all we can now to protect our planet, its future generations and the animals we coevolved with.

— Xavier Cortada

The Art of Diatoms

 

The Art of Diatoms

by Xavier Cortada, Artist-in-Residence
FIU School of Environment, Arts and Society

 

Fig. 1. Cortada’s one-hundred diatom works on tile (each 6″ x 6″), 2017.

I marvel at looking into a microscope.

I focus in and see time. I see the past, really far into the past. I see beautiful small aquatic plants encased in glass that lived on our planet for many millions of years. Sitting inside Dr. Evelyn Gaiser’s Algae Research lab at Florida International University in Miami, I look at a slide and see diatoms.

Diatoms transport me to a place so distant in time that it wouldn’t look like the Earth I know. They help connect me to an Earth I am trying to better understand. An Earth fluid. An Earth as process. An Earth completely interconnected. An Earth generating life forms across space and time.

Fig. 2. Xavier Cortada, Drawings of Diatoms from the Everglades, 6″ x 6″, ceramic tile, 2017.

In diatoms, I also see moments captured in time. Scientists can determine the past salinity of water by examining the glass shells of diatoms preserved in sedimentary core samples. Each diatom species has a different salinity preference, so changes in the mixture of fresh and sea water (driven by sea level rise and water management) can be inferred from past diatom remains.

Their presence in the layered sediment connects us to the ecosystem in which they thrived while they were alive. Indeed, they are a portal to what once was so that we can better learn how to protect what now is.

A diatom glass shell is a talisman.

The tiniest of talismans– as tiny as a cell: a single-celled organism that lives in the water and harnesses the power of the sun to convert CO2 into organic substances to sustain its life and releasing oxygen in the process. Indeed, the oxygen in one of every third breath we take was returned to the atmosphere by and through diatoms!

Elegant, gem-like, the bilaterally symmetrical shapes of many diatoms move me to depict them in my art. I do so to celebrate the science that shows us their relevance in our world. These are some of the works:

Fig. 4. Xavier Cortada, “Diatom” archival ink on aluminum, 36″ x 18″, 2014 (edition 1 of 5) (©2014 Xavier Cortada).

Diatom Fountain (Fig. 3)

I am currently putting finishing touches on Diatom Fountain. Comprised of 1,616 handmade, hand-painted ceramic tiles, we just need to add water as soon as we get the lights and water pump installed on this sixteen-foot tall public fountain. It is my latest public work, one of several featuring diatoms.

This one is at Miami-Dade Housing Authority’s Smathers Plaza, an elderly living community in Little Havana. Here, four vertical water channels disrupt the natural flow of diatoms across the sculpture, much like dredging and canals have disrupted the flow of the River of Grass across South Florida. I like depicting diatoms in public places as a way of engaging audiences – an entry point for them to learn about how scientists use diatoms to monitor water flow and quality in the Florida Everglades and throughout Florida’s ecosystems.


Fig. 3. Xavier Cortada, “Diatom Fountain” 16’ x 8’ x 8’, ceramic tile, 2017.

Florida Coastal Everglades LTER (Fig. 4)

Using a microscope, I captured the image of a diatom from samples used by scientists working in the FIU-led Florida Coastal Everglades LTER (Long Term Ecological Research) program to study the ecology of the Everglades and sea level rise. In the digital art piece, my first work about diatoms, I had this diatom image hover over a layer of maps (that I captured using Google maps) showing the artificial canals and lakes created to develop parcels of developable land where the River of Grass once flowed.

Fig. 5. Xavier Cortada, “Just Below the Surface: 1915 (The Founding of Miami Beach)” 60” x 36”, archival ink on aluminum, 2015 (©2015 Xavier Cortada).

Miami Beach City Hall (Fig. 5)

To create the Centennial art piece for the City of Miami Beach, I used a diatom as the central image for the digital work. The diatom depicted in the art piece was living on Biscayne Bay in 1915. It was creating the very air Miami Beach founders breathed 100 years ago as they brought the city to life. Its glass shell, all that remains from the diatom, is used by scientists today to see what was as they research environmental issues crucial to the city in the century to come.

Fig. 6. Xavier Cortada, “Florida is… Sunshine (Sunset)” digital art, 2015.

Florida Turnpike (Figs. 6, 7)

I was commissioned to create permanent public art installations in three Florida Turnpike plazas, making them cultural destinations in and of themselves. Wanting to connect tourists and locals to Florida’s true beauty–nature, I portrayed Florida’s life-giving sun, its endangered animals, and native wildflowers. At the Florida Turnpike Turkey Lake Plaza near Orlando, I depicted the Florida’s sun-using and water-bound diatoms that harness its power thus creating oxygen. Conceptually, I wanted to track a day in the life across the Sunshine State:
• Sunrise: Huge diatom-clad sunrays rise above the Northbound entrance (on the east side of the Turkey Lake plaza),
• High Noon: life-giving diatoms appear as circles on the ceiling at the center of the building
at high noon, and
• Sunset: the rays set above the Southbound entrance on the west.”

Fig. 7. Xavier Cortada, “[Florida is… Sunshine (High noon):] Luster” archival ink on aluminum, 20″ diameter, 2015 (©2015 Xavier Cortada).

Cortada first published this article for the FIU Florida Coastal Everglades LTER’s Wading through Research | “Diatom of the Month” Blog in February 2017: http://floridacoastaleverglades.blogspot.com/2017/02/diatom-of-month-february-2017.html

Sweetwater Elementary to perform “Longitudinal Installation” during Power of Arts Museum at Sweetwater

Sweetwater Elementary to perform “Longitudinal Installation”

 

 

Xavier Cortada, The Longitudinal Installation (at the South Pole), 2007

Longitudinal Installation,” created by Cortada a decade ago as part of his NSF Antarctic Artists and Writers Program residency in Antarctica, will be performed by Sweetwater Elementary School students on May 24th at 7 pm.  The performance and activity is co-presented by the Reclamation Projects with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.

Participate by following these steps:

1. Find a group of 24 people to perform the Longitudinal Installation ritual with and engage in the performance.
Click here to download instructions.

2. Document the performance with photos and video.

3. Upload photo on www.facebook.com/longitudinalinstallation

4.  Add the “25th quote.”

Xavier Cortada, The Longitudinal Installation (at the South Pole), 2007 (Listen: http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.xaviercortada.com/resource/resmgr/longitudinal_installation_no.mp3)

24 Global Voices

longitude11x17_graphicThese quotes taken from newspapers across 24 time zones that talking about the impact of climate change on that individual’s life. After Xavier Cortada completed the Longitudinal Installation at the South Pole, he walked to the 0 degree longitude, the prime meridian, and walked clockwise around the pole. He stopped at each shoe to recite each of the following quotes:

 

0°, Spain:
“There may be a move of wineries into the Pyrenees in the future.”
— Xavier Sort, technical director of Miguel Torres Wineries.

15° E, Switzerland:
“Losses to insurers from environmental events have risen exponentially over the past 30 years, and are expected to rise even more rapidly still.”
— Pamela Heck, Insurance Industry Expert.

30° E, Zimbabwe:
“We used to be able to grow everything we want but that has all changed.”
— Matsapi Nyathi, Grandmother.

45° E, Turkey:
“We are helpless. We’re trying to rescue trapped people while also trying to evacuate flood waters that have inundated hundreds of houses.”
— Muharrem Ergul, Mayor, Beykoz district of Istanbul.

60° E, Iran:
“More than 90 percent of our wetlands have completely dried up.”
— Alamdar Alamdari, environmental researcher, Fars Province.

75° E, Maldives:
“In the worst case scenario, we’ll have to move.”
— Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Shaheed.

90° E, Tibet, China:
“The Sherpas of Khumbu may not know everything, but they are suffering the consequences of the people’s greed. We mountain people should be careful and take precautions. If we don’t save Khumbu today our fresh water will dry up and the problem will be impossible to solve in the future.”
— Ngawang Tenzing Jangpo, the Abbot of Tengboche monastery.

105° E, Borneo, Indonesia:
“There’s been no rain, it’s horrible. The governor’s office has instructed schools and offices to close until further notice.”
— Hidayat, government official.

120° E, Philippines:
“The disaster covered almost every corner of this province – rampaging floods, falling trees, damaged houses. It happened very rapidly and many people did not expect this because they haven’t experienced mud flows in those areas before.”
— Fernando Gonzalez, governor of Albay province.

135° E, Japan:
“It’s no exaggeration to say that Japan faces a critical situation when describing the rapid decline of marine supply in its domestic waters that is linked to seaweed loss. Tengusa (seaweed) provides food for marine species.”
— Tomohiro Takase, head of the fisheries department at the Hachijojima municipality.

150° E, Great Barrier Reef, Australia:
“In 20 years’ time, bleaching is highly likely to be annual and that will cause shallow-water corals to be in decline. We need to start working out how we can help people who rely on it for their income. It’s really quite a stunning fact.”
— Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, director of the Centre for Marine Studies at the University of Queensland.

165° E, Micronesia:
“We have nowhere to go.”
— Ben Namakin, Environmental Educator.

180°, Tuvalu: “Tuvalu is the first victim of global warming.”
— Koloa Talake, former prime minister.

165° W , Niue: “Yesterday morning we woke up to a scene of so much devastation, it was just unbelievable. Cyclone Heta was just so fast, furious and ruthless.”
— Cecelia Talagi, Government Secretary.

150° W, Alaska, USA:
“We are at a crossroads. . . Is it practical to stand and fight our Mother Ocean? Or do we surrender and move?”
— Shishmaref Mayor Edith Vorderstrasse.

135° W, Yukon, Canada:
“The weather is really unpredictable and the ice freezes much later and breaks up earlier. There are more incidents of hunters falling through the ice.”
— Kik Shappa, Hunter, Griese Fiord, Canada.

120° W Nunavut, Canada:
“Our cultural heritage is at stake here. We are an adaptable people. We have over the millennium been able to adapt to incredible circumstances. But I think adaptability has its limits. If the ice is not forming, how else does one adapt to seasons that are not as they used to be when the whole environment is changing underneath our feet, literally?”
— Sheila Watt-Cloutier, president of the circumpolar conference.

105° W, Colorado, USA:
“In Colorado, climate change means less snow, less water, more wildfires, less biodiversity and less economic opportunity, as there is less water available for development.”
— Stephen Saunders, president, Rocky Mountain Climate Organization.

90° W, Nicaragua:
“I closed my eyes and prayed to God.”
— Mariana González, Hurricane Mitch survivor.

75° W, Peru:
“I tell my wife the day that mountain loses its snow, we will have to move out of the valley.”
— Jose Ignacio Lambarri, farmer, Urubamba Valley.

60° W, Argentina:
“The flooding has forced us to redesign routes. We thought it would be for a short period of time, but it has been almost six years.”
— Carlos Avellaneda, manager of a trucking company.

45° W, Brazil:
“I am very frightened. One thing goes wrong, and the entire system follows.”
— Jair Souto, Mayor of Manaquiri.

30° W, Greenland:
“They tell us that we must not eat mattak [whale blubber], but this is all we know. Eating Inughuit food makes us who we are, and anyway we have nothing else to eat!”
— Tekummeq, Town of Qaanaaq.

15° W, Maurtitania:
“We are only eating one meal a day. When there is not enough food, it is the young and the old that get fed first.”
— Fatimitu Mint Eletou, Bouchamo.


Regis House presents: Seahorses exhibit closing event

SeahorsesGallery | Opening InvitationPress release | Closing Invitation

Xavier Cortada, “Seahorse Society: South” 48″ x 36″, acrylic on canvas, 2014

Join us on

Thursday, May 11th, 2017
from 6 pm to 8 pm

for the official closing of

Seahorses

an exhibit by

Xavier Cortada

at

Pinecrest Gardens
Historic Entrance

11000 S Red Rd, Pinecrest, FL 33156

Exhibit runs April 6 – May 11th, 2017th

 

Proceeds from sales will benefit Regis House.
As a law student, Cortada served as Executive Director of the adolescent drug and alcohol abuse center.

Founded in 1984, Regis House is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), charitable, community-based organization with the mission to improve lives for a healthy community through mental health, family support and substance abuse services.  Regis House, Inc. has served more than 70,000 families throughout Miami-Dade County since its inception.  Programs and services such as co-occurring psychiatric/mental health, substance abuse services, individual, group, and family counseling/therapy, school-based prevention programs, and public assistance programs are many of the programs, and services the agency has to offer.