“Flower Force” is multi-faceted in operation, an almost natural evolution from Cortada’s previous “FLOR500” project that pushes the elasticity of art to the point of recognizable social practice. The project revolves around Florida native wildflowers and Cortada’s insistence on mobilizing individuals in the state to plant these flowers within their local communities. Similar to the “Flower Force” project, a wildflower has multitudes of significance to its respective community.
Wildflowers magically rise from the soil in a triumphant celebration of color and form. They are architectural masterpieces, miniature cathedrals. Wildflowers can have medicinal properties and carry cultural significance. They can have practical uses and provide food and shelter to hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and other species. Wildflowers allow the planet’s pollinators, with whom they co‐evolved through time, to fulfill their joint responsibility of sustaining life’s fragile web. An intricate and complex biological process that makes Earth verdant, sustains all animals (including humans) and balances atmospheric gases (that accelerate global climate change).
Audience participation in an effort to make an actual change in the environment is nothing new to Cortada’s work, as seen through both “Flower Force” and “FLOR500” respectively, as well as projects such as “Plan(T),” the “Reclamation Project,” and “Underwater HOA.” All these projects require direct involvement from the community to succeed, the goal of all being to prompt specific action against climate change, rather than just raise awareness. This socially-engaged art is fundamental to Cortada’s concentration, transforming his role as an artist into an effective community leader.