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Flood No More: A Climate Art Pop-Up (Cancelled)

Cara Despain, Sea Unseen (2016). Audio narrative installed in storm drains, Miami, FL. Originally commissioned by Fringe Projects Miami in 2016. Courtesy of the artist.

This event has been cancelled.

From December 12–15, Van Alen Institute is hosting the Keeping Current Festival, a series of events in Greater Miami that celebrate community-led climate action. Get inspired by the possibilities for climate adaptation and find out how your neighbors are tackling solutions to sea level rise.

On December 14, interact with artworks ranging from installation, sound art, dance, performance, fashion, and participatory work.

Bringing together artworks ranging from installation, sound art, dance, performance, fashion and participatory work, Flood No More features 12 South Florida-based visual and performing artists tackling one of the most important issues of our time: climate. From re-visioning and re-designing public space with Agustina Woodgate’s Rayuela to inviting visitors to give advice on ways to adapt – such as immigrating or surviving a hurricane – with Laurencia Strauss’ The Bubble Pops, these artists offer new ways of thinking about solutions to climate action and adaptation. You can explore every nook and cranny of José Martí Park in this unique pop-up exhibition and event as you come across these site-specific artworks throughout the park.

Artists: The Climate Crusader, Xavier Cortada, Department of Reflection, Cara Despain, Jenna Efrein + Christin Paige Minnotte, Regina Jestrow, Lucinda Linderman + Kim Yantis, NWD Projects, Carrie Sieh, Laurencia Strauss, Fereshteh Toosi, and Agustina Woodgate. Curatorial consultant: Susan Caraballo.

As part of the day, meet team members from Curtis + Rogers Design Studio, the Miami-based landscape architecture firm redesigning José Martí Park. Selected by the City of Miami, Curtis + Rogers Design Studio will create a master plan to reduce the park’s flood risk while better serving community needs.

Food from local eateries will be provided!

This event is part of Keeping Current: A Sea Level Rise Challenge for Greater Miami.

The Climate Crusader
Alexander Zastera
Alexander Zastera is an artist and art educator also known as the “Climate Crusader,” is a sustainability superhero leading art and sustainability workshops at various South Florida cultural institutions. The Climate Crusader will interact with visitors at José Martí Park and guide visitors in creating personalized sustainable tote bags out of old T-shirts for the event.

Underwater HOA
Xavier Cortada
Underwater HOA depicts South Florida’s vulnerability. Park visitors are encouraged to make and install a yard sign (similar to the ones realtors use to sell houses or politicians use to campaign) on their front lawn to depict how many feet of melting glacial water must rise before their property is underwater. Each is numbered with the figure in feet that refers to the current land elevation of their home. By mapping the crisis, Xavier Cortada and collaborators made up of residents make the invisible visible. At José Martí Park, Cortada will also install the signs in different locations throughout the park, using the park as a microcosm of Miami marking the signs with landmarks and their corresponding elevation levels.

Xavier Cortada
In his new, socially-charged “Plan(T)” project, Cortada is embarking on a public campaign to urge every resident across Miami-Dade County to plant a saltwater-tolerant mangrove propagule and an elevation-marked flag in their yard to symbolize and start preparing for the future of sea level rise. The “mangrove in every yard” reforestation effort focuses on raising awareness and building community. By encouraging residents to plant a mangrove seedling in their yards, Cortada hopes to facilitate climate conversations, help sequester carbon dioxide, and grow our salt-tolerant native tree canopy.

Agua Living Pathways
Curtis + Rogers Design Studio
Agua Living Pathways is an interactive community installation by Curtis + Rogers Design Studio, the design firm awarded with the Adaptive Redesign of the Jose Marti Park. When construction of a project is about to start, one of the first activities done on a site is flagging to indicate the places that will be affected by groundbreaking interventions. We are calling the community and park users to “break the grounds” of the park by flagging the pathways with their hopes and desires for change through the lenses of Community, Nature, and Water. Defining how they want to live with water (agua) by taking charge as active agents of climate change resiliency. Members of the community will be given color-coded flags to write what they want to see happening in the park along the themes of Community (yellow), Nature (green), and Water (blue). The flags will be collected after the installation and will be registered as community feedback that will inform the Adaptive Redesign of Jose Marti Park moving forward.

Department of Reflection: Pop-up Office
Misael Soto with Archival Feedback
As an artist-in-residence at the City of Miami Beach, Misael Soto founded a para-fictional department titled the Department of Reflection. The department presents a foil (or reflection) of municipal entities while producing creative moments of exchange between the municipal institution and its residents. Expanding its reach into the City of Miami, the department hopes to provide clarity to important conversations, leading to new ways of seeing and perhaps even some solutions. Their Pop-up Office invites visitors to have a reflective experience with, amongst other elements, two reclining chairs handcrafted out of sandbags where you can listen to sounds by Archival Feedback as you look over the Miami River.

Sea Unseen
Cara Despain
An abstracted audio narrative, Sea Unseen borrows from the language of mid-century radio dramas and film soundtracks; remixing collected sounds and music into a quasi-sci-fi score to carry an allegory about sea level rise. Acknowledging the conflict of Miami’s heralded growth with its geography, the work reminds listeners of the vulnerability of a city surrounded by ocean and waterways built nearly at sea level. Written and directed by Cara Despain, score by Andrew Shaw, and read by Scott Fetzer, Jenny del Rosario, and actor Patrick Fugit.
Originally commissioned by Fringe Projects and presented in storm drains beneath downtown Miami’s Miami-Dade College, Wolfson Campus in 2016.

Jenna Efrein + Christin Paige Minnotte
Composed of thousands of collected suspended plastic bottles, Waterway is an immersive architectural experience informed by the glut of single-use plastic polluting our oceans. It gives the viewer a palpable and dynamic sense of being in the glittering beauty of the underwater environment, as if traveling through shifting currents of penetrating light and motion.

Invasive Species
Regina Jestrow
Invasive Species are mushroom/flower-like plants created from reclaimed paper, fabric and wire. The term “invasive species” is commonly applied to plants or fungi that are not native to specific locations and have a tendency to spread into new environments over time. Jestrow’s artwork will appear to be growing throughout José Martí Park, appearing to be thriving and growing the surrounding. Invited to pick the flowers, visitors take them home as a memory of the moment, allowing the flowers to invade new homes around the world.

Suiting-Up for the Future
Lucinda Linderman + Kim Yantis
Suiting-up for the Future is an artist collaboration featuring sustainable workwear and utilitarian accessories that act as “Wearable Tools for the 21st Century.” Artists Kim Yantis and Lucinda Linderman combine their backgrounds in costuming, performance, and curating to reveal several head-to-toe looks. Yantis creates suiting from sustainable and reclaimed high end fabrics and Linderman’s “Tools” are made from reclaimed plastics and industrial discard.

The Border Between—Where Shall We Stand?
NWD Projects directed by Dale Andree
The dancers of NWD Projects accompanied by percussionists led by Ray Robinson will embody the border between the urban landscape and the natural landscape that is powerfully reflected in the placement and design of José Martí Park. NWD Projects’ mission is to promote dance as a vehicle for social change by increasing awareness of environmental and social issues through collaboration with the artistic, educational and scientific communities and has been producing National Water Dance since 2014.

Zero Waste Drawing
Carrie Sieh
Interdisciplinary artist Carrie Sieh whose work addresses environmental issues among other topics, will lead a zero waste drawing workshop using bamboo pens, locally-made plant-based inks, and charcoal made from hurricane-downed avocado wood. During the workshop, participants will learn what local plants can be grown or foraged for ink-making. They will also make alternative drawing tools using natural materials foraged from the park. Sieh is founder of Zero Waste Miami, a platform dedicated to promoting local resources and skills in the pursuit of waste reduction and circular economy, particularly as it relates to social justice, climate change, and degrowth.

The Bubble Pops
Laurencia Strauss
The Bubble Pops is an interactive project that values adaptive experiences as it connects memory and anticipatory futures. Cast popsicles become edible sculptural devices to collect living knowledge and spark conversations. In exchange for a popsicle, participants are asked to share an experience when they had to adapt – such as immigrating or surviving a hurricane – and what advice they would give to others. These exchanges generate increasingly important resources as we respond to the climate crisis and they create platforms that develop our sense of interdependence, self-reliance, and capacity.

Carbon Capture and Release
Fereshteh Toosi
Artist Fereshteh Toosi asks “What is your relationship to this organic place?” She will guide a short contemplative activity to foster mutuality and reciprocity through interspecies connection. Visitors can drop-by the Carbon Capture table any time throughout the day to participate. Toosi’s participatory creative process results in the creation of performance events, small sculptures, short films, sound art, installations, scores, and poetry.

Agustina Woodgate
Rayuela is a site-specific street intervention inspired by the ancient popular street game, hopscotch, except this one is hundreds of numbers long. Always emerging out of a drain, it occupies city sidewalks as an invitation to imagine new ways of engaging the neighborhood. It serves as a metaphor for the re-design and re-thinking of public space such as in the re-visioning of José Martí Park due to the seas rising. Rayuela starts at a drain in the corner of SW 5th Street and runs along the Riverwalk to the center of José Martí Park ending in the Miami River.

Previous appearances: Highway 443 underpass, Tira / Beit Horon, Israel; Biennial of the Americas, Denver; Greensboro, NC; Krakow, Poland (2015); Buenos Aires, Argentina (2014); Bass Museum of Art, Miami, US. (2013)