“90N,” a solo exhibition of works created at the North Pole in 2008

 

Xavier Cortada, “Arctic Ice Painting: 90n14,” North Pole sea ice, acrylic and mixed media on paper, 12″ x 9″, 2008

90N

an exhibition of works created
at the North Pole in 2008
by

Xavier Cortada

at

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

 

Exhibit runs  November 15, 2018 through January 12, 2019


 

90N

In June 2008, New York Foundation for the Arts sponsored artist Xavier Cortada traveled to the North Pole, ninety degrees North (90N), to create new works and site-specific installations addressing environmental concerns.  Cortada, a National Science Foundation (NSF) Antarctic Artists and Writers Program recipient, had traveled to Antarctica during December 2006 – January 2007 to implement various site-specific temporary installations, including the “Longitudinal Installation” and “Endangered World,” to make a point where the Earth’s longitudes converged.  He also created a series of Antarctic “ice paintings” in response to what he learned from scientists he engage with in the residency.

The North Pole works included the creation of Arctic “ice paintings,” the performance of  the North Pole Dinner Party aboard a Russian icebreaker, the reinterpretation of the South Pole‘s “Longitudinal Installation” and “Endangered World” ritualistic installations at the Earth’s northernmost point, and the launch of Native Flags, a  participatory ecoart project.  Cortada created art at the extreme ends of the planet to address issues of global climate change at every point in between.

ARCTIC ICE PAINTINGS

In the summer of 2008, Cortada used Arctic ice to create a series of Ice-paintings aboard a Russian Icebreaker as it made its way back from the North Pole.

 

NATIVE FLAGS:

At a time when melting polar sea ice had many focus on which political power control the Arctic (using the Northwest Passage shipping lanes and the petroleum resources beneath the sea ice), Cortada planted a green flag and reclaimed it for nature. To do so, he developed Native Flags, a participatory eco-art project that engages others in planting a green flag and native tree in their homes to prevent the polar regions from melting. Reforestation sequesters carbon from the atmosphere, helping reduce green house gases that warm the planet.  Learn more a twww.nativeflags.org

Xavier Cortada, “Native Flags | North Pole,” 2008. (http://nativeflags.org/native-flags-north-pole/)

 

 

ENDANGERED WORLD:

Cortada highlighted the need to protect our endangered species by placing the names of 360 endangered animals  in a circle around the North Pole, each aligned with longitudinal degree in which the struggle to survive in the world below. Learn more at www.endangeredworld.org

Xavier Cortada, “Endangered World | North Pole,” 2008 (http://endangeredworld.org/north-pole-about/)

 

LONGITUDINAL INSTALLATION:

As he did in the South Pole, Mr. Cortada placed 24 shoes in a circle around the North Pole, each shoe representing a person living in a different part of the world affected by climate change. Afterwards, he approached each shoe and recited a statement from each person about the impact of global climate change in their lives.  Learn more at www.longitudinalinstallation.org 

Xavier Cortada, “Longitudinal Installation | North Pole,” 2008. (http://longitudinalinstallation.org/north-pole-installation/)

 

Xavier Cortada, Ice Plate, North Pole Dinner Party (Miami): 90N6 , Sea Ice from the Geographic North Pole, pigment and glaze on ceramic plate, 2008

NORTH POLE DINNER PARTY

On June 29th, 2008, Xavier Cortada arrived at the North Pole to create ritualistic installations addressing global climate change and the melting polar caps.  One of Cortada’s performances included a ritual where he fed his fellow travelers pieces of ice collected at the North Pole, thereby integrating the North Pole into their very being.

“I figured that if they ingested a piece of the North Pole, it would become part of them.” said Cortada. “The North Pole water molecules would be swirling through their bodies.  The North Pole atoms would be incorporated into their very cells.  My sense was that after having North Pole communion, they would protect the North Pole.  If nothing else, they would do so for self-preservation.”

 

North Pole Dinner Party/Miami 2008: The Green Project | Claire Oliver Gallery

 

Xavier Cortada performance of North Pole Dinner Party at the Bakehouse Art Complex on August 14, 2015. (Photo by Laurie Fink)

Xavier Cortada, Ice Plate, North Pole Dinner Party (Miami): 90N_ , Sea Ice from the Geographic North Pole, pigment and glaze on ceramic plate, 2008

{in water} exhibition at Pinecrest Gardens

Xavier Cortada’s “Diatom Court,” the site-specific ceramic installation Pinecrest Gardens

 

Xavier Cortada, “{in water}: (P),” 12″ x 16″, archival ink on paper, signed, numbered, limited edition print / edition of 5, 2018..

“{in water}”

a solo exhibition of works
by

Xavier Cortada

at

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

Exhibit runs from May 3 through May 27, 2018

Opening reception
May 4th, 2018
7 to 10 pm

{in water} 

Diatoms are water-bound, single-celled symmetrical organisms encapsulated in silica.  They harness the power of the sun to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and are responsible for generating for one-third of the air we breathe.

Its shell, all that remains from the diatom that lived in the past, is used by scientists today to see what was as they research crucial environmental issues in the century to come.  Scientists—and artists—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 and changes in water management) can be inferred from past diatom remains.

Xavier Cortada collaborated with Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research (FCE LTER) scientists to better understand the impact of global climate change on our ecosystems. The works in the {in water} exhibition are inspired by their scientific research.

Diatom,” (2014), is his first work ever depicting a diatom: Using a microscope, Cortada captured the image of a diatom from samples used by Florida International University FCE LTER scientiststo study the ecology of the Everglades and sea level rise.  In the art, Cortada’s diatoms hover over a layer of images (Cortada captured using Google maps) showing the artificial canals and lakes created to develop parcels of developable land where the River of Grass once flowed.

His latest diatom-themed work, “Diatom Court” (2018), is outside the Hibiscus Gallery in the gardens. On Earth Day 2018, it was unveiled as a permanent, site-specific, ceramic installation on the grounds of Pinecrest Gardens.

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

About the artist:

Xavier Cortada serves as Artist-in-Residence at FIU School of Environment, Arts and Society and the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts.

Cortada often engages scientists in his art-making: At CERN, Cortada and a particle physicist created a permanent digital-art piece to celebrate the Higgs boson discovery. Cortada has worked with scientists at Hubbard Brook LTER on a water cycle visualization project driven by real-time data collected at a watershed in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

He has collaborated with a population geneticist to explore our ancestral journeys out of Africa 60,000-years ago, with a molecular biologist to synthesize a DNA strand from a sequence 400 museum visitors randomly generated, and with botanists to develop multi-year participatory eco-art eff orts to reforest mangrovesnative trees and wildflowers across Florida.

The Miami artist has created environmental installations (North Pole and South Pole) and eco-art (TaiwanHawaii and Hollandprojects, and painted community murals addressing peace (Cyprus and Northern Ireland), child welfare  (Bolivia and Panama), AIDS (Switzerland and South Africa) and juvenile justice (Miami and Philadelphia) concerns.

His studio is located at Pinecrest Gardens.

 

 

Cortada’s Antarctic Ice Paintings featured during Waters Rising Concert at UM Frost School of Music

Waters Rising!: Concert | Invitation | Media

Xavier Cortada, “Drygalski,” (Antarctic Ice Painting), 2007.

 

 


“Water Paintings,” an exhibition of works created at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest by Xavier Cortada

 

“Water Paintings”

an exhibition of works
created at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest
by


Xavier Cortada

at

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

Exhibit runs from March 30th through April 29th, 2018

 Opening reception: April 8th from noon to 2pm

 

Xavier Cortada’s “Water Paintings” exhibition at Pinecrest Gardens.

 

img_3703

Xavier Cortada works with Hydrologist Mark Green to create “Water Paintings” at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest.

WATER PAINTINGS

Water Paintings allowed me to give water at Hubbard Brook’s nine watersheds a voice.  In the work, I made water the protagonist.  In June 2016, I placed nine pencil drawings and nine pieces of watercolor paper inside nylon mesh.  I then tied the mesh bags to a rope at each of the nine weirs at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest and left them there for a period of 16 weeks in 2016.  The water flowing through the mesh stained the paper inside.  Water samples and water data were collected by scientists over the same 16-week period from the same nine weirs.  The final work included water samples, data, even the residue in filters.  I wanted audiences to see the water, what the water did, and what it painted as it flowed and transported materials down the stream.”

Xavier Cortada

 

img_3740

Xavier Cortada, “Water Paintings: Hubbard Brook,” paper and residue captured from water flowing from each of the 9 weirs at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest LTER in New Hampshire, 2016

Xavier Cortada, “Water Paintings: Hubbard Brook,” paper and residue captured from water flowing from each of the 9 weirs at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest LTER in New Hampshire, 2016

 

Hubbard Brook scientists pioneered the small watershed approach, which transformed the study of forests by using whole watersheds as living laboratories. This ground-breaking approach fostered many new discoveries beneficial to both science and society.

Small first-order watersheds can show us how ecosystems respond to environmental change. Chemical concentrations combined with stream flow provides data on stream-water element flux for each watershed.

Water samples and data collected by scientists over a 16-week period from all nine watersheds hang on the walls CLIMA.

Nine sets of “Water Paintings” hang from the ceiling. Cortada created each using the same water scientists study. He placed watercolor paper in mesh and tied it to a rope in each of the nine weirs. The works depict 4 months of streamflow.

 

About the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest and LTER

The Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF) is a 3,160 hectare reserve located in the White Mountain National Forest operated by the USDA Forest Service, near Woodstock, New Hampshire. The on-site research program is dedicated to the long-term study of forest and associated aquatic ecosystems. It has produced some of the most extensive and longest continuous data bases on the hydrology, biology, geology and chemistry of a forest and its associated aquatic ecosystems.

Hubbard Brook scientists pioneered the small watershed approach, which transformed the study of forests by using whole watersheds as living laboratories. This ground-breaking approach fostered many new discoveries beneficial to both science and society.

Hubbard Brook scientists discovered acid rain in North America by taking meticulous, long-term measurements of rain and snow. Scientists continue to document acid rain’s damaging effects and track recovery linked to pollution reduction efforts.

Learn more at http://www.hubbardbrook.org

Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest

Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest

 

https://lternet.edu/sites/hbr

Overview: The Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF) is a 3,160 hectare reserve located in the White Mountain National Forest operated by the USDA Forest Service, near Woodstock, New Hampshire. The on-site research program is dedicated to the long-term study of forest and associated aquatic ecosystems.
History: The HBEF was established by the USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station in 1955 as a major center for hydrologic research in New England. In the early 1960’s, Dr. F. Herbert Bormann and others proposed the use of small watersheds to study element cycling. In 1963, the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study (HBES) was initiated by Bormann and Drs. Gene E. Likens and Noye M. Johnson, then on the faculty of Dartmouth College, and Dr. Robert S. Pierce of the USDA Forest Service. They proposed to use the small watershed approach at Hubbard Brook to study linkages between hydrologic and nutrient flux and cycling in response to natural and human disturbances, such as air pollution, forest cutting, land-use changes, increases in insect populations and climatic factors.Research Topics: Vegetation structure and production; dynamics of detritus in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems; atmosphere-terrestrial-aquatic ecosystem linkages; heterotroph population dynamics; effects of human activities on ecosystems.

Special thanks to the entire Hubbard Brook team, the USDA Forest Service, Dr. Lindsey Rustad, Hydrologist Mark Green, Sr. Researcher Tammy Wooster, Amey Bailey, and Mary Martin.

 

 

 

About the artist:

 

Xavier Cortada:

Xavier Cortada serves as Artist-in-Residence at FIU School of Environment, Arts and Society and the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts.

Cortada often engages scientists in his art-making: At CERN, Cortada and a particle physicist created a permanent digital-art piece to celebrate the Higgs boson discovery. Cortada has worked with scientists at Hubbard Brook LTER on a water cycle visualization project driven by real-time data collected at a watershed in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

He has collaborated with a population geneticist to explore our ancestral journeys out of Africa 60,000-years ago, with a molecular biologist to synthesize a DNA strand from a sequence 400 museum visitors randomly generated, and with botanists to develop multi-year participatory eco-art eff orts to reforest mangrovesnative trees and wildflowers across Florida.

The Miami artist has created environmental installations (North Pole and South Pole) and eco-art (TaiwanHawaii and Hollandprojects, and painted community murals addressing peace (Cyprus and Northern Ireland), child welfare  (Bolivia and Panama), AIDS (Switzerland and South Africa) and juvenile justice (Miami and Philadelphia) concerns.

 

FLORIDA IS… solo show at “The Frank”

Through May 19th at The Frank: Xavier Cortada, “Diatoms,” 2017.

You are cordially invited to

Florida is…

a solo show by

Xavier Cortada

at

The Frank
Frank C. Otis Art Gallery and Exhibit Hall
Pembroke Pines City Center
601 City Center Way
Pembroke Pines, FL 33156

 

Opening: March 29, 2018
Artist workshop: March 31, 2018
Artist talk & exhibition walk-through: April 26, 2018
Exhibit runs through: May 19th, 2018

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.

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.”

 

About Endangered World

Endangered World is a participatory eco-art project by Xavier Cortada that has addressed global biodiversity loss through art installations at the South Pole (2007), North Pole (2008), Holland (2009) and Biscayne National Park (2010) and through online participatory art projects. Learn more at www.endangeredworld.org,

 

Film Screening: Battleground Everglades | Dangerous Seas

 

 

Please join us for the special screening of “Dangerous Seas” on Wednesday, January 24th at 7PM at the Deering Estate in Miami.  The episode of DANGEROUS SEAS showcases Florida artist Xavier Cortada using his own creativity to inspire environmental restoration.

This event is open to the public and is RSVP only.  Click here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/premiere-battleground-everglades-at-the-deering-estate-tickets-41877591002?aff=efbeventtix  (EVENT CLOSED/Sold out)

 

DESCRIPTION

As part of the Speaking Sustainably Film Series, South Florida PBS (WPBT2 – WXEL) and the Deering Estate invite you to a complimentary reception and screening of the Battleground Everglades, Dangerous Seas, on January 24th at 7pm at the Deering Estate Visitor Center Theatre. Reception begins at 7pm with light snacks and beverages. The screening will begin at 7:30pm. Following the screening guests can participate in a Q&A with featured experts and the production crew. Event is free and open to the public.

BATTLEGROUND EVERGLADES explores the struggle to save one of the world’s most revered wetlands: Florida’s Everglades. Devastated by a century of drainage and development, the entire Everglades watershed is suffering from man-made pollution, habitat destruction and species decline.

Hosted by Charles Kropke, author and well-known Everglades expert, the 6-part series showcases dramatic challenges and innovative solutions to restore this World Heritage Site. As more and more countries battle sea level rise, invasive species, algae outbreaks and other environmental issues, the Everglades is poised to become a beacon of learning and hope.

“DANGEROUS SEAS” EPISODE:

South Florida is at the epicenter of a world-wide threat from sea level rise. DANGEROUS SEAS examines how Florida’s porous Biscayne aquifer, the source of South Florida’s drinking water, is endangered by rising oceans and other contaminates.

The program also journeys to a remote Florida Bay mud flat, to discover how sea level rise contributes to dwindling bird nesting populations. In Everglades National Park, audiences can watch scientists studying how sea level rise is affecting critical peat soil, a building block for Florida’s storm-vulnerable coasts. DANGEROUS SEAS also showcases a well-known Florida artist using his own creativity to inspire environmental restoration.

The series will begin airing on both South Florida PBS stations in February 2018, See below airdate schedule! 

WPBT :

101 – Algea  Explosion – Wednesday, February 7th,  7:30 PM

102 – War on Invasive Species – Wednesday, February 14, 7:30 PM

103 – The Battle Over Big Water – Wednesday, February 21, 7:30 PM

104 – Dangerous Seas – Wednesday, February 28, 7:30 PM

105 – Survival at Stake – Wednesday, March 7, 7:30 PM

106 – Glades Warriors – Wednesday, March 14, 7:30 PM

 

WXEL :

101 – Algea  Explosion – Thursday, February 8th, 8 PM

102 – War on Invasive Species – Thursday, February 25,  8 PM

103 – The Battle Over Big Water – Thursday, February 22, 8 PM

104 – Dangerous Seas – Thursday, March 1, 8 PM

105 – Survival at Stake – Thursday, March 8, 8 PM

106 – Glades Warriors – Thursday, March 15, 8 PM

“Mangroves,” a group exhibition at Pinecrest Gardens

Josh Liberman, “Offering”, archival pigment on paper, 2018.

“Mangroves”

a group exhibition of works by


Xavier Cortada

and

Josh Liberman

at

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

 

Few organisms rival the mangrove’s ability to fill so many diverse roles. They help combat erosion and storm-surge, remove large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere, and serve as a breeding ground and nursery for countless animals. Mangroves fall victim to development as their habitats are replaced by man-made barriers such as sprawling sea-walls and rising condos.

 

In 2006, Xavier Cortada launched The Reclamation Project, a participatory eco-art project that has engaged thousands of volunteers in the planting of over eight acres of mangroves on Biscayne Bay. Cortada displays mangrove paintings he created a decade ago as he innovated his environmental art practice.

 

Informed by his studies at the University of Miami Department of Biology, Josh Liberman has photographed elements of nature across five continents. In “Mangroves”, he focuses on South Florida’s shrinking wetlands, capturing the remnants of an ecosystem that used to hug the entire coastline.

Meet Cortada and Liberman along with the artists of the Miami River Show in the Hibiscus Gallery  at 12:30 pm on January 21st, 2018 for the opening of the exhibition.

Exhibit runs January 18th through February 19th, 2018

Xavier Cortada, “Mangrove Roots”, acrylic on canvas, 48″ x 36″, 2007.

About the artists:

 

Xavier Cortada:

Xavier Cortada’s engaged science-art practice is based at FIU School of Environment, Arts and Society and the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts.  Cortada often engages scientists in his art-making: At CERN, Cortada and a particle physicist created a permanent digital-art piece to celebrate the Higgs boson discovery. Cortada has worked with scientists at Hubbard Brook LTER on a water cycle visualization project driven by real-time data collected at a watershed in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. He has collaborated with a population geneticist to explore our ancestral journeys out of Africa 60,000-years ago, with a molecular biologist to synthesize a DNA strand from a sequence 400 museum visitors randomly generated, and with botanists to develop multi-year participatory eco-art eff orts to reforest mangroves, native trees and wildflowers across Florida.

The Miami artist has created environmental installations (North Pole and South Pole) and eco-art (Taiwan, Hawaii and Holland) projects, and painted community murals addressing peace (Cyprus and Northern Ireland), child welfare  (Bolivia and Panama), AIDS (Switzerland and South Africa) and juvenile justice (Miami and Philadelphia) concerns.  His studio is located at Pinecrest Gardens.

Learn more about his work at www.cortada.com.

 

Josh Liberman:

Josh Liberman is a photographer whose roots lie in the outdoors.  He was raised in Melbourne, FL, where he developed an early fascination and love for the sea and the natural world. He studied Biology at the University of Miami and has since been building an impressive portfolio of natural elements around the world.

Liberman works with a variety of conservation-minded brands and organizations.  His work has been featured by Discovery Channel, The Smithsonian, Thrillist, and many more.  He currently serves as staff photographer for the University of Miami Shark Research and Conservation lab.

Learn more about his work at www.joshliberman.com.

 

“Florida is Nature” Artist Talks with Guest Scientists at Pinecrest Gardens


Xavier Cortada will be presenting monthly  Florida is Nature Artist Talks with Guest Scientists and interactive experiences at The Hibiscus Gallery in Pinecrest Gardens, where his studio is located.  In his capacity as artist-in-residence, Cortada implements his Florida is Nature participatory art program onsite.  Each month, Cortada will invite a different Florida International University School of Environment, Arts and Society research scientist as a special guest to join him in a public art science conversation and to discuss environmental issues and his/her work. 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
FIU School of Environment, Arts & Society
FIU College of Communications, Architecture + The Arts

FIU Libraries
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 art – science talks are:

Artist Talks 2017

Monday, September 11th, 2017 at 10:30a:
[FLORIDA IS… Cancelled due to Hurricane Irma]

Monday, October 16th, 2017 at 10:30a:
FLORIDA IS… Nature

Tuesday, November 29th, 2017 at 10:30a
FLORIDA IS… Mangroves

Thursday, December 7th, 2017 at 10:30a
FLORIDA IS… Endangered Species

Artist Talks 2018

Wednesday, February 14th, 2017 at 10:30a
FLORIDA IS… Seagrasses

Wednesday, March 14th, 2017 at 10:30a
FLORIDA IS…

Wednesday, April 11th, 2017 at 10:30a
FLORIDA IS NATURE: Climate Change and Sea Level Rise

Wednesday, May 9th,2017 at 10:30a
FLORIDA IS…Sharks

The art-science 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.  The gallery is located at the entrance of Pinecrest Gardens – 11000 Red Rd, Pinecrest, FL 33156.  We also welcome community groups and high school students 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 or 305-669-6990 for more information.

 

Monthtly Florida is Nature artist talks and community programs are presented by: 

 Image above:
Xavier Cortada, “Puzzled Landscape: Florida is… Wildflowers” digital art, 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 natural environment, not by the edifices and man-made encroachments that displace nature.  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.

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

 

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

 

“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