Xavier Cortada

Hialeah sea level rise exhibit from Xavier Cortada during Art Basel, Paris Talks #artcop

CLIMA features new environmental works by Xavier Cortada, as well as a broad range of earlier works by the artist–including paintings, drawings, videos, digital art and his polar installations.

The solo show will run from November 30th, 2015 through January 29th, 2016 at the Milander Center for Arts and Entertainment  4800 Palm Avenue, Hialeah, FL.  Hialeah, Florida’s fifth largest municipality, is one of the state’s most vulnerable cities:  A four-foot rise in sea level will flood 70% of the population.  During the first twelve days of the exhibit (which coincide with the Paris Talks), Cortada will convene a series of daily participatory performances and panel discussions addressing sea level rise, global climate change and biodiversity loss.

The CLIMA exhibit is presented by the City of Hialeah in partnership with Florida International University Sea Level Solutions Center (SLSC), Florida International University College of Arts & Sciences School of Environment, Society and the Arts (SEAS), the Florida International University College of Architecture + The Arts (CARTA), and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy –with special acknowledgement of the support from the Rauschenberg Residency/Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

CLIMA will feature the following works by Cortada, who serves as Artist-in-Residence for Florida International University‘s College of Arts & Sciences School of Environment, Society and the Arts (SEAS) and FIU’s College of Architecture + The Arts (CARTA):


Join us at 7 pm on November 30th for the exhibit opening and the screening of Cortada’s Five Actions to Stop Sea Level Rise film!

Monday, November 30th – Friday, December 11, 2015

The panels will be will be streamed live (www.cortada.com/clima/livestream).

Milander Center for Arts & Entertainment
4800 Palm Avenue, Hialeah, FL 

The daily panels  will coincide with the Paris Talks  and address global climate concerns.
During this time period Cortada will also be painting related images directly onto three solar panels onsite.

6 pm panel | 7 pm reception and film screening

Sea Level Rise in Hialeah
What causes sea level rise? How will sea level rise impact Hialeah? What can be done now to prepare?

Opening Reception and Film Screening:
Film screening of Cortada’s 5 Actions to Stop Rising Seas and Awash (created during the artist’s participation in the Robert Rauschenberg Residency Rising Seas Confab 2015)

WAIST (Western Antarctic Ice Sheet Threat) Line: Using the “Eyes on the Rise” app, participants will determine their homes’ elevation, find out what the impact melting glaciers will have on their property. They will be use a blue tape to mark the WAIST (Western Antarctic Ice Sheet Threat) Line on their home.  They’ll bring photo’s of their homes’ WAIST Line of the exhibit.

Melt: Blocks of ice will melt at the steps of the Milander Center for Arts and Entertainment.

10 am panel

Policy makers, economists, lawyers and realtors will discuss the impacts on property values and tax base as sea levels rise.  How will society confront increasing infrastructure costs (e.g., desalination plants, water pumps) as the tax base decreases?

Afloat: Participants will bring a print out of their property record (downloadhere) and make paper boats and float them in the interior fountain.

The Ostrich Game (an “imagined performance” by Xavier Cortada): Participants will emulate an ostrich’s gait as they race around a sandbox in the ballroom. Winners will step into the sandbox and shove their head in the sand, if they so choose.

10 am

(Un)Healthy World
What are the implications of global climate change on human health?  The panel will discuss how environmental changes can lead to the rise of infectious diseases and alterations in the microbiome that directly affect the health of humans, animals, crops and other plants. The panel will also discuss the positive effects of nature on the human psyche and the mental health challenges brought about by environmental degradation and loss.

PsychoAnalysis of Climate Change (an “imagined performance” by Xavier Cortada): A psychoanalyst will put the patient on the couch and explore early childhood experiences that may have led to present-day dysfunction.

EnvironMental Therapy Session: Participants will engage in a group therapy session to address grief due to their (environmental) loss and focus on cognitive behavior responses to confront their daily challenges.

Eco-Medication: Participants will take a pill to make them immune from all the dangers of global climate change.

10 am panel

Green Generation
How are future scientists, engineers, architects, and other thinkers going to innovate new technologies and find creative ways  to bring solar power, wind energy and new efficiencies into the mainstream of American life?  How are our schools, universities, and cultural institutions educating our future generation.

The Creative Cube: Participants will think outside the “box.”  They will then turn the box inside out and make it into a sphere.

10 am panel | 7 pm party

Powering the Sunshine State
What is the status of Solar Energy in Florida? What is the Solar Ballot Initiative about? What impact would widespread use of solar energy have on our state’s economy and climate?  What opportunities does clean energy bring for cost savings and job creation?

CLIMA and Cortadito (10am): Drink a cortadito brewed with our solar Cubancafetera.

Solaring (all day): Participants will come to the panel in their bathing suits, then soak the sun rays on the Milander terrace. (Note: Cabana boy will be available with sun tan lotions)
(Tirandonos) pa’l Solar (7 pm):
A party celebrating Solar Choices and Art Basel week, including live music, a Solar Petition Conga Line, and Solar fashion show featuring designs by Lea Nickless.  The event will feature Cortada’s:

SOLAR, a triptych on three solar panels in support of a ballot initiative proposed by Floridians for Solar Choice (see http://cortada.com/events/2015/SOLAR),

Painting a Brighter Future: a political/environmental performance art project, and

Sky high:  a participatory art project where participants will bring their FPL bill to make and fly paper airplanes — seeing if they can make them soar as high as their fossil fuel based utility rates.

10 am

Waning wilderness
How are climate change, habitat destruction and introduction of exotic invasive species changing the ecology of South Florida? What do we have to do proactively to protect our ecosystem, restore native habitats and protect our biodiversity?

Wilderness Wake: Eulogy and memorial service for the end of the wilderness.

The Sacrifice: 
Participants, including members of the Faith community, will come together in a circle and engage in an altogether different type of animal sacrifice.  Their offerings will be for animals struggling to survive across each of the Earth’s 360 longitudes.  One by one they will speak the names of 360 species on the brink of being forever removed from Earth.

4:00 performance and panel | 6:00 pm Mass

Moral Nature: Faith in the face of a Global Climate Crisis
An ecumenical group will discuss the faith community’s response to environmental degradation, and particularly its impact on the poor and generations not yet born.

Longitudinal Installation:
Attendees will engage in the performance of the “Longitudinal Installation“ and record video of their “25th quote” (see http://www.xaviercortada.com/?25th_upload)

South Pole Communion:
The Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida will host several events as a faith-based response to the environmental issues highlighted in CLIMA.

South Pole Communion around the Diocese:  The 77 churches and all of the Episcopal schools of the Diocese, which stretches from the Palm Beaches to the Keys, will be given and invited to use ice the artist brought from the South Pole in their Sunday Eucharist Celebration, in a symbolic communion with an environmental message designed to resonate across the Diocese during CLIMA and the Paris Talks.

South Pole Communion (): The Right Reverend Peter Eaton, the Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese, will celebrate an environmental mass and share communion which includes ice the artist brought from the South Pole at the Milander Center following the CLIMA panel and performance.  This momentous service will be graced by the music of the Anglican Chorale of Southeast Florida, directed by Matthew Steynor.  All are invited.

10 am

Louder than Actions Alone
Literary community and environmental activists will explore approaches aimed at using words and actions to grow a more educated and engaged eco-citizenry.

Words | Deeds: Environmental activists and writers will meet in small groups to co-inspire each other and develop work (e.g., slogans, poems, language) to further their mutual efforts in protecting the environment.

Eco-Slam: Spoken word performances to be delivered by community members addressing climate change concerns.

Oil Change (an “imagined performance” by Xavier Cortada): Car mechanic to receive facial, manicure and pedicure at his shop.

10 am

The chemicals between us
How does runoff from agriculture, our industry, our cars and our homes adversely impact our beaches, our waterways, our bay and our Everglades?

Spelling Bee: Students will be asked to spell the names of chemicals found in pesticides that are destroying pollinator populations in gardens and farms across the state.

Repentance letters: Participants will hand write a letter to Mother Nature asking forgiveness for committing an environmental error. They will end the letter by writing a sentence fifty times promising not to commit that error again: “I will not… “

10 am

What is the impact of climate change  on Florida’s agriculture?  What are the implications for pollinators and the food industry?

The Flow (an imagined performance by Xavier Cortada): Ninety-nine mothers will nurse their babies on the edge of the water along the Miami River valley.

Flower Force: Attendees will participate in a FLOR500 “Tiled Flower Drawing” project– receiving wildflower seeds, and promising to plant a wildflower garden at home. More at www.flor500.com

10 am

How is our fresh water supply impacted by salt-water intrusion from rising seas and over consumption due to population growth?

Moving Water:  Attendees are invited to BYOW (bring your own water) and participate in a procession. Water should be collected from the area and include a label with the following information: individual’s name, source of water (e.g., from a canal, from rainwater), date of collection, description of the site and brief explanation of one’s connection to the site or planned connection. After the procession, the water will remain as an installation at the exhibit.

10 am

Paris Talks | Local Action
Policymakers will discuss the politics of climate change at the local, national, and international level. They will also provide their perspective on what the future will bring based on what happened at the Paris Talks.

Trial by Jury: Does human activity impact climate change? A jury trial with battling lawyers, expert witnesses and a sitting judge will settle this answer once and for all!

Monday, December 13th, 2015  – Friday, January 29th, 2016

Programming for CLIMA will continue after the Paris Talks and will include the following participatory and performative works.

Attendees will engage in the performance of the “Longitudinal Installation” (http://www.longitudinalinstallation.org) and record video of their “25th quote” (see http://www.xaviercortada.com/?25th_upload)

Native Flags: Participants will bring exotic invasive plants they removed from their lawn and receive a native sapling and green flag for them to plant in that very location. www.nativeflags.org The exotic plants will be chopped and placed in a plastic cube onsite at the gallery.

Closing Reception: TBA

All work is the intellectual property of Xavier Cortada.
Copyright 2015 Xavier Cortada


Clima Sponsor Bar

Interview about EcoArt South Florida

EcoArt on the West Palm Beach waterfront. Michael Springer served as the primary designer of this project, completed in 2010. This work is a significant example of the cross disciplinary work of a sculptor who has been doing large scale infrastructure related environmentally sensitive art for decades.

DCA: Tell us about EcoArt South Florida.

EcoArt South Florida: EcoArt South Florida encourages broad support for environmental stewardship within communities by involving citizens of all ages and demonstrating innovative and aesthetically striking ways to create and save energy, reduce heat island effect, capture and reuse stormwater and many other positive approaches to enhancing the health of our interrelated ecosystems. EcoArt (short for ecological art) is not a new art practice. It is only new here in Florida!

Volunteers collect seeds as a part of EcoArtist Xavier Cortada’s installation on Lincoln Road in Miami. Cortada is a multitalented artist whose projects to restore Florida’s urban canopies and mangrove stands are large scale performance pieces involving hundreds of non artist volunteers, government agencies and philanthropic organizations. (photo submitted by EcoArt South Florida)

Cortada’s EcoArt installation on Lincoln Road in Miami. (photo submitted by EcoArt South Florida)

DCA: How does EcoArt encourage the public, and in particular, elected officials, to incorporate arts and culture into everyday life?

EcoArt South Florida: EcoArt South Florida intends to assist targeted communities to establish “EcoArt Nodes” in each of South Florida’s five watersheds by 2015. We define an EcoArt Node as a committed group of stakeholders, with a strong organization at its center (either as its own nonprofit, or as a subunit of an existing organization) dedicated to growing EcoArt and supporting emerging EcoArtists in their locale. An important stakeholder group that must always be included as each EcoArt Node is established, are elected and career officials of municipal and county governments.

The locations for our EcoArt Nodes have been scientifically identified by our GIS study of all five watersheds in South Florida, completed for us by Dartmouth College’s department of geography undergraduate students, Spring, 2011.

EcoArt South Florida’s comprehensive community education program and artist apprenticeship is specifically designed to engage key communities in best ways to establish and support strong EcoArt practices in their areas. We will work with the communities identified as EcoArt Nodes to field this program which will be the basis for ongoing development and support of EcoArt practice.

In addition to establishment of targeted EcoArt Nodes, starting in early 2012, EcoArt South Florida Board and Advisory Committee members will begin to meet where they live, with county and city officials.

To date, the only municipality in Florida we are aware of that has done this is Boynton Beach. Credit goes to Boynton’s Mayor and Commissioners for establishing a Green Alliance of local citizens involved in Green urban and community development that recommended key elements of a Green Ordinance for the city. EcoArt South Florida was a member of this alliance. The resulting new ordinance Includes mention of EcoArt at various places. We are delighted to encourage our city and county officials to follow the lead of Boynton Beach in assuring that EcoArt is included as their communities develop creative ways to “go green.”

Follow the link to learn more about how EcoArt has been integrated into Boynton’s many new green initiatives, please contact the administrator of Art in Public Places Debby Coles-Dobay.

Jackie Brookner (NY) and Angelo Ciotti (PA) are EcoArtists embedded in design team for restoration of West Palm Beach’s largest urban green space, Dreher Park, revamped from 2002-2005 to expand water retention. Features “BioSculpture” ™ in new retention pond which cleans waters with plants on the sculpture’s surface, sculptural earthen mounds reminiscent of indigenous people’s shell mounds, created from dirt excavated to create a large new retention pond, and a learning garden featuring plants used by inhabitants over a thousand year period to the present. (photo submitted by EcoArt South Florida)

DCA: What does EcoArt do for South Florida?

EcoArt South Florida: EcoArt practice has many identities. All contribute to the community. Most involve the community at every level of the planning, design and creation of EcoArt projects.

In addition to our consultations with communities we have identified as EcoArt Nodes, and continuing to develop our pilot community education and artist apprenticeship program, EcoArt South Florida is also currently working on three program aspects that we believe have great potential for inspiration, education and engagement of the public:

  1. First, the integration of Public EcoArt at the design stage of urban buildings and neighborhoods that will be seeking LEED or other green certification. EcoArt South Florida is working with the South Florida chapter of the US Green Building Council on this.
  2. Secondly, engaging EcoArt with greening the public schoolyard. EcoArt South Florida has been reaching out to public school districts, teachers and administrators through the annual LEARN GREEN conferences; and we are in the process of working with a math and science middle school to develop what will probably be the first comprehensive outdoor classroom in South Florida.
  3. And finally, modeling a new kind of urban streetscape featuring a variety of Florida native canopy trees (instead of the “monoculture” approach currently used) and understory vegetation that encourages the return of pollinators and birds. EcoArt South Florida is involved with a consortium of organizations developing a pilot of this kind of streetscape. Our partners include the grass roots West Palm Beach organization Northwood GREENlife that is taking the lead, the Palm Beach chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, 1000 Friends of Florida and the Center for Creative Education. In addition to the creation of a multiple-species Florida native urban forest pilot streetscape that can be replicated widely, the project will also incorporate arts: sculpture, ceramics, video, storytelling, performance and a community celebratory procession/parade once the planting has been completed.

EcoArt South Florida believes EcoArt will not prosper in our region unless public officials, both elected and career, and our colleagues in the building, development and planning professions are given incentives to do so. It is for this reason that we will be focusing heavily over the next year to two years on insertion of EcoArt within city and county green ordinances as has been done in Boynton Beach.

DCA: What does the future of EcoArt hold for Florida?
EcoArt South Florida: We believe Florida can become one of the key centers for EcoArt practice. EcoArt South Florida is dedicated to making this happen. And this is as it should be. As we point out on our website, engagement of art and culture with environmental issues is still not widely done anywhere, not only in Florida. This is a shame, because, as those of us involved in the arts professions know well, art has the potential to inspire, educate and engage in so many ways. This inspiration and engagement will be necessary if we are to address successfully the many serious implications of climate change. And we have very little time to do this. Art is a form of knowledge, just as important as science. Unfortunately art and artists have not been adequately engaged with science in the struggle to bring our valuable ecologies back to health. Now is the time to bring EcoArt to the task.

DCA: Why do you believe arts and culture are important in the lives of Floridians and visitors to our state?
EcoArt South Florida: Art creates culture and has for as long as human being have inhabited the earth. The best time to have begun to bring art to the task of healing our fragile ecologies was many decades ago. The second best time is now. Florida needs us. The planet needs us. Let’s get to work applying artistic imagination and creativity in tandem with scientific advances to the challenges that face us.

Nurturing Nature

This post comes to you from Cultura21

There are still some weeks left to visit the exhibition Nurturing Nature which runs through April 16th at OSilas Gallery on the campus of Concordia College in Bronxville NY.

Artists in the exhibition include: Eva Bakkeslett, Norway; Vaughn Bell, Seattle; Susan Benarcik, NYC; Michele Brody, NYC; Jackie Brookner NYC; Linda Bryne NYC; Xavier Cortada, Miami FL; Sonja Hinrichsen, Germany; Basia Irland, CO; William Meyer, Westchester, NY; Maria Michails, NYC; Roy Staab WI; Joel Tauber, CA.

Curated by Amy Lipton, ecoartspace and Patricia Miranda, Director OSilas Gallery

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:
– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

Nurturing Nature: Artists Engage the Environment

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace

Nurturing Nature opened on February 10th, 2011 and runs through April 16th at OSilas Gallery on the campus of Concordia College in Bronxville NY.


Artists in the exhibition include: Eva Bakkeslett, Norway; Vaughn Bell, Seattle; Susan Benarcik, NYC; Michele Brody, NYC; Jackie Brookner NYC; Linda Bryne NYC; Xavier Cortada, Miami FL; Sonja Hinrichsen, Germany; Basia Irland, CO; William Meyer, Westchester, NY; Maria Michails, NYC; Roy Staab WI; Joel Tauber, CA.


Curated by Amy Lipton, ecoartspace and Patricia Miranda, Director OSilas Gallery

Concordia opened 130 years ago as a small Lutheran College. SInce then it has grown from a pre-seminary religious training school to a liberal arts college welcoming students of all faiths. OSilas Gallery Director Patricia Miranda invited me to curate an exhibition on art and the environment. In keeping with the college’s history, we decided the show would include a focus on various spiritual or ethical traditions in relationship to our care of the planet, what Christianity terms Stewardship, Tikkun Olam or repair the world in Judaism and Compassion for all living beings in Buddhism. Images and knowledge of nature can all be found in all ancient spiritual traditions, as well as Biblical and medieval mystical texts and pagan rituals which involve sun and moon cycles, star formations, tides, seasons, animals, gardens and plants. The artists in this exhibition are working with transformative approaches and processes towards a new vision that is ecological, and participates with the living cycles of nature.




The works cover a range of sensibilities and formal styles and address various issues including solar energy, suburban sprawl, species decline, food, agriculture, recycling, water purification and plants for restoration. What all these artists have in common a desire to to bridge the gap between art and life by raising an appreciation of the natural world and by working in a collaborative process with nature. Many of the artists work in an interdisciplinary basis with scientists, botanists and biologists and also participate in community based educational projects where they engage with the public.


Linda Byrne ‘s sculptural installation titled Ghost Net resembles a giant fishing net. Her material (the ubiquitous and life-threatening to marine life), 6-pack plastic ring, tells a tale of our vanishing natural world. She cut and tied the uniform, machine-made rings into strands and, with repetitive action, wove them into a linear shape. Subject, concept, and material coalesce to examine the uneasy relationship that exists between nature and synthetics. Also included are 6 of Byrne’s large scale drawings based on the forms of fishing nets. The series are devoid of color to express the lifeless nets left behind by our ailing fisheries and polluted coastal waters.


Susan Benarcik takes elemental forms of the natural and man made world into her studio and carefully transforms them by stacking, stringing, layering, knotting, and weaving them into dimensional sculpture for public and private spaces. Simple materials become contemplative compositions as they evidence a fondness and respect for the natural world and bring equilibrium to our senses by allowing the nature to become part of our daily cognitive experience. Her work for Nurturing Nature is titled Why Our Hangers made from wire clothes hangers, and string. These materials dictated the final form, which resemble chrysalis, wombs, or droplets, forms that are unique to essential natural processes.

The essence of Michele Brody‘s work is to understand how we live with change and the constant flux of our environment. She invites the viewer to a more openness of sensation through the production of ephemeral installations and living sculptures. Her work titled Grass Skirt Sentinels, use materials including copper pipe, fabric, light, grass seed and water, and are sustainable sculptures that support the growth of plants. During the course of the exhibition the works will transform as they go through a full life life cycle with the use of unique lighting


and a water irrigation system.



Alchemy – The Poetics of Bread by Eva Bakeslett is a beautifully executed and lyrical film about a n activity once ubiquitous in almost every household. Eva is the both the maker and the baker of Alchemy and was brought up in Arctic Norway where baking bread is still common in many homes. Her rhythmical movements and confident touch is rooted to generations of woman baking their bread. The timeless beauty of the process brings baking into the realm of poetry and the art that goes beyond the walls of the gallery and onto our kitchen tables.


Roy Staab is a nomadic artist who has been traveling around the world to make art installations in nature for the past thirty years. His earth-sensitive site-specific works use locally available materials and result in ephemeral earthworks that eventually devolve back into nature. The works can last for days or weeks depending on weather conditions and forces of nature. Since 1979 he has been documenting these works with his own camera immediately upon finishing them. Included in Nuturing Nature are two of Staab’s large scale photographs. Baleen was made in the Northwest Harbor in Gardiner’s Bay (Eastern L.I.) off the Atlantic. Big Round pictured here was created in Denmark in summer of 2008 for a group exhibition on Marbaek Beach near Esbjerg. Staab spends the first few days at the site, studying the landscape and watching the changes of light over the course of the day. When the tide came in he walked along the beach and found a sand-dollar fossil. With that in mind the next morning he walked up the river estuary and found a small bay off the shore in an open area. Using the sand dollar design as inspiration he made the five rays of the fossil and then started to walk around and around in a pattern of his foot steps using his eye for measurement. 












Taking the form of a running rickshaw, William Meyers’ Green Rickshaw Project highlights what individuals, businesses and municipalities are doing towards creating sustainability in Westchester County NY. The Green Rickshaw builds a community of its own as it conceptually and physically navigates between actions being taken by organic farmers, locally made products, municipal sustainability initiatives, and home energy audits. Components of the Green Rickshaw include a rickshaw chassis fabricated from recycled bicycle parts, a steel kiosk, reclaimed oak ‘pulls’, zero formaldehyde birch plywood, bamboo flooring, flexible solar panels, a green roof module, a traveling library, and a cell phone recharge station.





Nurturing Nature includes 180 pencil drawings by Xavier Cortada for the first time presented in their entirety Endangered World: LifeWall. In 2009, Cortada created drawings of the 180 Endangered World animals struggling to survive on our planet’s eastern hemisphere and, as a performative work, assumed the identity of the animal by uploading those images online as self-portraits on his facebook profile photo.


A second installation by Cortada titled Reclamation Project includes 180 Atlantic Cedar saplings in clear, water-filled cups arranged in a grid on the gallery windows and mirroring the 180 drawings in the Endangered World Project. The saplings are up for adoption, visitors can sign up to take home an Atlantic White Cedar tree for their yard or neighborhood at the end of the exhibition.


Maria MichailsThe Handcar Projects are a series of works revolving around issues of industrial agriculture, topsoil erosion and biofuel. The handcar reflects on the history of the train and its impact on economic and urban growth and explores the artist’s interest in energy generating mechanisms in the form of a mode of transportation. On the wall behind the Handcar are a series of small plexiglass houses covered in photographic images of corn. Titled, Off the Grid they reflect the competing economic factors on land use exerted by population growth and urban expansion. The small houses in Off the Grid question the ubiquitous use of this raw material and raise the question of whether we use precious land to feed ourselves, house ourselves or fuel ourselves?




Sonja Hinrichsen has 3 video works/ perfomances of ephemeral works created in nature. In Sun/Moon an environmental installation/performance piece from Wyoming, 2008 the artist chose an open plain to perform a ritual, positioning rocks, one by one, to draw an ancient symbol that has been used by indigenous cultures throughout the world, to represent the sun – as well as the moon. The rocks were coated with a phosphorescent material and glowed for several hours after sunset.

For Paradise Tree, an environmental intervention in Spain, (Sept. 2008), Hinrinchsen tried to find words reflecting what she saw, heard, smelled and experienced and then embroidered these words onto the leaves of a fruit- bearing fig tree.The slow, meditative act of embroidering became a performance, commemorating myths of Moorish times telling of beautiful young women who, while being kept at home, were dreaming of passion and adventure.

Vaughn Bell’s sculptures Personal Biospheres explore the miniaturization of landscape, the separation of one piece of “land” from the whole, and the relationship of care and control that this embodies. A tiny mountain or a small piece of land is suddenly within the scale of the human body, implying a different relationship than the one of awe, alienation or domination that is present in many encounters with our surroundings.


Jackie Brookner has been making sculptural tongues out of soil called Biosculpturesâ„¢ since 1992. These works are vegetated water filtration systems that create destinations, restore urban habitat, and reclaim the undervalued resources of stormwater and other polluted water. Early versions of these evolved into soil chairs, where earth can embrace the whole body. “The tongue is a provocative image because it is a part of our selves where our physical and mental functions come together–a place where taste, sex and speech meet–where the dualism of mind and body clearly breaks down”.


Basia Irland‘s A Gathering of Waters: Boulder Creek, Continental Divide to Confluence was created for Weather Report: Art and Climate Change, curated by Lucy Lippard for the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, 2007. The Backpack/Repository, suspended from beaver-cut aspen, is constructed from recycled truck inner tubes. Objects from the four-month long project contained within the Backpack/Repository include the Logbook, Canteen, video documentary, forty-seven water samples (one for each mile of the creek), watershed maps, and two images of Arapaho Glacier. The Glacier provides most of Boulder’s drinking water, so when it has melted away, where will the residents of this Colorado community obtain their water? This question prompted the artist to create a 250-pound, hand-carved ice book embedded with native riparian seeds – Columbine, Blue Spruce, and Mountain Maple. This ‘ecological text’ is released asthe ice melts in the current. Irland worked with stream ecologists, river restoration biologists, and botanists to determine the best seeds. When the seeds regenerate and begin to grow along the river, they help with restoration efforts by building the soil, holding banks in place, and stopping erosion.




A beautiful and forlorn tree, stuck in the middle of a giant parking lot. Ignored and neglected. Hit by cars, and starved for water and oxygen. Joel Tauber, a young and amorous man, is drawn to the tree. Outraged by the indignities that the tree is forced to endure, he devotes himself to improving the tree’s life – watering it with giant water bags, installing tree guards to protect it from cars, building giant earrings to celebrate its beauty, lobbying to remove the asphalt beneath its canopy and to protect it with a ring of boulders, and helping the tree reproduce. Sick-Amour functions as a microcosm of the plight of urban trees and of forgotten individuals in general. Sick-Amour culminated as 3 distinct artistic entities: a 12-channel video tree sculpture, a public art project comprised of approximately 150 “tree baby” plantings throughout California, and a 33-minute hybrid love story / documentary film.



Images top to bottom: Installation view with Grass Skirt Sentinels by Michele Brody; Grass Skirt Sentinel by Michele Brody; Why Our Hangers by Susan Benarcik; Big Round by Roy Staab; Green Rickshaw by William Meyers; Endangered World by Xavier Cortada; The Hand Car Project and Off the Grid by Maria Michaels; still from Paradise Tree by Sonja Hinrichsen; Biosphere by Vaughn Bell; and A Gathering of the Waters: Boulder Creek by Basia Irland. For further info please see the website for OSilas Gallery.







ecoartapace is one of the leading international organizations in a growing community of artists, scientists, curators, writers, nonprofits and businesses who are developing creative and innovative strategies to address our global environmental issues. We promote a diverse range of artworks that are participatory, collaborative, interdisciplinary and uniquely educational. Our philosophy embodies a broader concept of art in its relationship to the world and seeks to connect human beings aesthetically with the awareness of larger ecological systems.

Founded in 1997 by Tricia Watts as an art and nature center in development, ecoartspace was one of the first websites online dedicated to art and environmental issues. New York City curator Amy Lipton joined Watts in 1999, and together they have curated numerous exhibitions, participated on panels, given lectures at universities, developed programs and curricula, ad written essays for publications from both the East and West Coasts. They advocate for international artists whose projects range from scientifically based ecological restoration to product based functional artworks, from temporal works created outdoors with nature to eco-social interventions in the urban public sphere, as well as more traditional art objects.

ecoartspace has been a project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs in
Los Angeles since 1999.

Go to EcoArtSpace

Native Flags project in Miami

Miami-based artist Xavier Cortada will present his artwork Native Flags at the Verge Miami Art Fair Dec. 3–6. The goal of the project is reforestation and awareness of global warming and its impact on political jostling for control of the Northwest Passage. Cortada planted his green flag at the North Pole this past summer, essentially claiming the territory for reforestation rather than global shipping routes.

More about the project at the ecoartspace blog and xaviercortada.com.

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Xavier Cortada "Native Flags" at Verge Miami

In conjunction with ecoartspace, Miami-based artist Xavier Cortada will present a participatory artwork titled Native Flags and invites everyone attending the Verge Art Fair as well as the general public to collaborate in the creation of the work.

Melting polar sea ice has global political powers clamoring to place their flags over the Arctic to control the Northwest Passage shipping lanes and the petroleum and mineral resources beneath the ice. Cortada developed Native Flags as an eco-art project to engage people globally in a reforestation campaign to prevent the polar regions from melting. At home, participants can also plant a native tree next to Cortada’s green flag and ask their neighbors to do the same. Together, they can help to support the regrowth of the planet’s native tree canopies – one yard at a time.

On June 29th, 2008, Xavier Cortada arrived at the North Pole and planted a green flag to reclaim the landscape for nature. The trip was sponsored by New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) as part of Cortada’s larger 90N project. The work addresses global climate change and included the reinstallation of Cortada’s Longitudinal Installation and Endangered World projects as part of a National Science Foundation Antarctic Artist and Writers residency.

Cortada has created art installations at the Earth’s poles to generate awareness about global climate change and has developed participatory art projects to engage communities in local action at points in between. Cortada’s work created during his National Science Foundation Antarctic Residency has been exhibited in museums including: Weather Report, curated by Lucy Lippard at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art in 2007, and Envisioning Change, a United Nations Environment Programme-sponsored exhibition which opened in Oslo, Norway in June 2007. Cortada launched the Reclamation Project in 2006 to remind Miami Beach residents and visitors of the island’s origins as a mangrove forest by having over 2500 mangrove seedlings displayed in shop windows across the island. Annually, volunteers plant the seedlings on Biscayne Bay.

Catalina Hotel, 1732 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida Opening preview reception: Thursday December 3rd, from 6 to 10pm Friday & Saturday, December 4-5, noon to 8pm Sunday, December 6th, noon to 6pm

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A Report from SFEAP

For those of you who haven’t been following the South Florida Environmental Art Project (a.k.a. SFEAP- with founder Mary Jo Aagerstoun, above), I want you to know that they are doing good things out there. They hosted a Symposium recently in Stuart, FL, and invited a few artists (Xavier Cortada, Betsy Damon and Michael Singer) who either live in or have worked in South Florida to speak about their work. I had the honor to give the keynote address and got to learn a bit about some of the issues facing that region and explore ways of encouraging the creation of new community-engaged eco-art. The key thing for me is their emphasis on a strategy to build up a movement, connect people and groups and train artists, as a useful model for other places around the world seeking to do the same. An organization worth following and supporting

Here’s me (and a few other interviews) from the reception at the end of the day (I’d like to thank the Academy and particularly thank my hairdresser…).

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The Reclamation Project

Now this is just beautiful. Xavier Cortada has helped to instigate waves of tree plantings and land restoration with his piece The Reclamation Project. He begins with legions of mangrove seedlings, artfully arranged in clear plastic cups. The seedlings can be adopted by individual donors or businesses. When they are ready, the teeny trees are then transplanted into areas where they will naturally thrive. In this way each plant begins its life as part of an art piece and matures as an act of restoration.

Begun in 2006 as a program partnered with the Miami Science Museum, the program expanded the following year to included native Florida trees on land. This season mangrove seedlings were adopted by several Florida schools and a host of local businesses. Growing, sprouting, planting as art. Beautiful.

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