January 2022 – Cortada wins Creative Capital Award

National press features Cortada's social practice

Xavier Cortada was selected to receive a 2022 Creative Capital Award, one of 50 selected from among 4,000 artists’ applications. The $50,000 award will help fund The Underwater, the next evolution of Cortada’s Underwater HOA project. Using socially engaged art, The Underwater will work with Miami’s marginalized communities to amplify “Underwater Voices” – those who are underrepresented, underserved, and undervalued. Collaborating with local partners, this social practice effort will use art to map the area’s vulnerability to rising seas and mobilize residents to demand that government equitably plan for a future impacted by climate change.

“I’m thrilled to join the Creative Capital family,” stated Cortada. “Congratulations to my fellow awardees! I can’t wait to engage with them and the Creative Capital team as we advance our ideas.”


“[Antarctica] transformed my practice to one that was almost exclusively dealing with climate – not in a way to despair but to solve,” says Mr. Cortada. “I created all these projects that weren’t about intimidating or sensationalizing or scaring you to death, but were about letting you know that you have agency… What I want is art that understands its role as a vehicle to engage others and to problem-solve.”To many artists, all this paves the way for people to take stronger or more inspired action in their lives. “I think there needs to be a strong activist component, and that artists need to understand the role and power of art in helping us really rethink and unveil what is obscured…” says Mr. Cortada, the Miami artist. “And I think there is a whole generation of artists that will understand that this is their duty.”


Artist Xavier Cortada (2022 Creative Capital Awardee) spoke with transdisciplinary artist Erika Blumenfeld (2000 Creative Capital Awardee), transmedia artist Stephanie Dinkins (2019 Creative Capital Awardee), and Mónica Bello, head curator at Arts at CERN (European Laboratory for Particle Physics) during the live-streamed conversation, “Ecologies of Meaning in Art, Science, and Technology” hosted by Creative Capital.

Each shared brief presentations about their respective work across art, science and technology, and discussed the perceived boundaries, entanglements, and kinships of these fields. Together they considered the contributions artists can make in collaborations with the sciences, and whether novel ethical frameworks can evolve from meaning-making across disciplines.