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Florida Is…Native Flags
September 6, 2018 - October 3, 2018
“Florida Is…Native Flags”
a solo exhibition
11000 S. Red Road
Pinecrest, FL 33156
Exhibit runs from September 6 through October 3, 2018
About “Native Flags”
Native Flags was created as an urban reforestation project to help restore native habitats for plants and animals across South Florida. Launched in 2008, Native Flags now calls on individuals globally to join the effort. Fusing art, scientific knowledge, and civic engagement, Native Flags seeks to involve individuals directly in restoration efforts through the planting, maintaining and protection of native trees.
The restoration of native trees offsets the threat of global warming. This effect has turned urban reforestation effort into a top priority by planting drought-tolerant native plant species. These native plant species reduce the effects of carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming and increase the amount of clean air present.
About the Artist
Xavier Cortada’s art-science practice is oriented toward social engagement and the environment. He has created art installations in the Earth’s poles to generate awareness about global climate change: In 2007, an NSF Antarctic Artist and Writer’s Program Fellow, the artist used the moving ice sheet beneath the South Pole as an instrument to mark time; the art piece will be completed in 150,000 years. In 2008, he planted a green flag at the North Pole to reclaim it for nature and launch a reforestation eco-art effort.
Cortada often collaborates with scientists in his art-making:
At CERN, Cortada worked with a physicist to develop a site-specific art installation capturing the five search strategies which the CMS experiment has used to discover a new Higgs-like particle. The five giant banners hang at the location (100m below the ground) where the particle was discovered.
He has also worked with a population geneticist on a project exploring our ancestral journeys out of Africa 60,000 years ago, with a molecular biologist to synthesize an actual DNA strand made from a sequence randomly generated by participants visiting his museum exhibit, and with botanists in participatory eco-art projects to reforest mangroves, native trees and wildflowers.
Cortada is currently working with scientists at Hubbard Brook LTER on a water cycle visualization project driven by real-time data collected at a watershed in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
At Florida International University, Cortada collaborated with Florida Coastal Everglades LTER scientists in using the diatoms they study to address sea level rise and environmental degradation. From 2011-18, Cortada based his engaged art-science practice at Florida International University. He served as Artist-in-Residence at FIU School of Environment, Arts and Society, the FIU College of Arts, Sciences & Education, and the FIU College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts.