North Pole (2008)

Xavier Cortada, “Native Flags: North Pole,” 2008.


On June 29th, 2008, Miami artist Xavier Cortada arrived at the North Pole and planted a green flag to “reclaim it for nature.”

As the Arctic sea ice melts, nations clamor to raise their flags over newly open waters to claim the natural resources that lie beneath them – oil, manganese, diamonds, fish – and to control shipping lanes.  Meanwhile, rising sea levels threaten the world below.

Cortada created this NYFA sponsored artist project to engage people globally to help slow the polar thaw: Participants plant a native tree next to a green flag at home and ask their neighbors to do the same.  Reforestation reduces the greenhouse gases that cause global climate change.
During December 3-6, 2009, ecoartspace presented Native Flags at the Verge Art Fair in Miami Beach, Florida.