Keep Fossils Underground

Video excerpt from WSVN News, April 22, 2023.

#keepfossilsunderground electric bus launched for earth day 2023

The work of renowned Miami-Dade County artist-in-residence, Xavier Cortada, will now adorn one of the Department of Transportation and Public Works’ new Proterra electric buses, reminding riders and residents why electrifying the Metrobus fleet is a top priority, as leaders seek ways to protect our environment and future-proof our community. The bus was officially unveiled at Miami-Dade County’s Indian Hammocks Park at part of an Earth Day celebration April 22. 

“Wrapping up one of our newest electric buses with beautiful art that reminds us of the nature of evolution is the best way to celebrate a new era in our public transportation,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “We are grateful to our County’s artist-in-residence, Xavier Cortada, for bringing to life this idea to engage our residents in a creative way and educate our community about the importance of making our community sustainable and future-ready.” 

The bus features several extinct animals on the exterior with supporting images and messages on the inside and prominently displays the hashtag #KeepFossilsUnderground. The sketches and drawings are part of Cortada’s EPOCH solo show.

“Through EPOCH, I’m trying to help us see ourselves in the context of the evolutionary history of planet Earth. We must realize that we are more than byproducts of an ongoing lifemaking process that has dramatically developed since the Cambrian explosion 540 million years ago. We have succeeded unlike any other species has in the last 25 epochs. We are now in charge of our destiny and that of every other species,” said Cortada, Miami’s pioneer eco-artist, working across disciplines to generate awareness around climate change, sea level rise, and biodiversity loss. 

Over millions of years, the remains of prehistoric animals contribute to the formation of fossil fuels which when burned create greenhouse gases. This electric bus runs on clean energy not fossil fuels, leaving the fossils of the animals Cortada depicts safely underground. Through this installation, Cortada also hopes to drive audiences to use public transportation.  In fact, to see the full exhibition, viewers must ride inside the bus.

"Epoch" Gallery

Ammonoidea (Devonian)
Brontoscorpio (Silurian)
Caribbean Monk Seal (Pleistocene)
Coelophysis (Late Triassic)
Cretolamna (Paleocene)
Dimetrodon (Cisularian)
Gavialosuchus (Miocene)
Glyptodon (Miocene)
Ichthyosaurus (Early Lower Jurassic)
Meganeura (Pennsylvanian)
Omeisaurus (Middle Jurassic)
Paraceratherium (Oligocene)
Paracrax (Eocene)
Paracyclotosaurus (Middle Triassic)
Rugose (Ordovician)
Thrinaxodon (Early Triassic)
Trilobite (Cambrian)
Xiphactinus (Late Cretaceous)