In conjunction with the Aspen Ideas: Climate conference taking place on Miami Beach March 6-9, 2023 the City of Miami Beach and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs will present a series of temporary site-specific public art commissions, film screenings, and performances highlighting issues related to climate change and sea level rise. Fifteen (15) South Florida-based artists will present work, including visual artists Laurencia Strauss, Orlando Estrada, Cornelius Tulloch, Magnus Sodamin, Justin H. Long, Claudio Marcotulli, and Michelle Weinberg. The Film program will feature artists Cheryl Maeder, Shireen Rahimi, Sri Prabha, and Coral Morphologic (artist duo Colin Foord, and J.D. McKay). Performances will include works by artists Amanda Crider and Liony García, and a sound installation by Juraj Kojš. The program will also feature two satellite exhibitions in Miami Beach by visual artists Beatriz Chachamovits, Mira Lehr, and Lauren Shapiro at the Jewish Museum of Florida, and Jessy Nite at the Avalon Hotel.
Aspen Ideas: Climate is presented by the City of Miami Beach and the Aspen Institute, a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. In collaboration with the City of Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County and a diverse group of partner institutions in and beyond South Florida, the Aspen Institute is enlisting global and local policymakers, scientific experts, corporate leaders, inventors and innovators, artists, young leaders, influencers, and engaged members of the public to participate in Aspen Ideas: Climate 2023.
ASPEN IDEAS: CLIMATE 2023
VISUAL ART, FILM and PERFORMANCE
March 6 through 9, 2023
Visual Art Program
Claudio Marcotulli (b. 1973 Caracas, Venezuela; lives and works in Miami, FL)
On view March 6-9 – Miami Beach Convention Center, Registration Lobby, Level 2
Sea Show appears as a fixed colorful light sculpture on the wall, until the piece begins to morph and captivates the viewer with mixing patterns and images using a concealed TV monitor in its center. The artwork borrows its name from the popular annual event Air & Sea Show, giving it a whimsical spin and posing critical questions around the environment’s role in our lives and our voracious consumption of it. Initially trained as an Aeronautical Engineer, Claudio Marcotulli’s projects range from sculpture and performance installations to film and digital imagery that often reference memory, natural elements, and issues of climate change with a surrealistic and existential approach. Sea Show was commissioned by the City of Miami Beach in collaboration with the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA) for the 2022 edition of No Vacancy, an annual juried art competition celebrating mainly local visual artists.
Cornelius Tulloch (b. 1997 Miami, FL; lives and works in Miami, FL)
On view March 6-9 – Miami Beach Convention Center, Hall B
Passages, a multisensorial installation, offers a place of contemplation of the black history of the Everglades. Environmental justice and social justice are in dialogue with each other, within the stunning backdrop of this beautiful and threatened ecosystem. Passages made a public debut during the Miami-based organization AIRIE (Artists in Residence in the Everglades) Art and Environment Summit (2022), and featured performers Arsimmer McCoy and Kunya Rowley as well as Filmmaker Alexa Caravia and Editor Justin Matousek. In this iteration at Aspen Ideas: Climate 2023, the work aims to create heightened visibility and a voice for the “River of Grass”, and the stories it holds. Set against the backdrop of sunset in the Everglades, the landscape transforms in the twilight hours. As nightfall hits the park comes alive with a symphony of sounds. And the narratives and unseen histories of the park come to life through a dance of lighting, color, and sound.
This piece includes the activation of Miami’s Atlas,
a 4min performance by local poet Arsimmer McCoy
Tuesday, March 7, 11AM
Wednesday, March 8, 11AM and 1PM
Justin H. Long (b. 1980 Miami, FL; lives and works in Miami, FL)
Angle of Vanishing Stability (AVS)
On view March 6-9 – Miami Beach Convention Center, Hall B
The Angle of Vanishing Stability (AVS) tests the notion of stability whether it’s one’s home, finances, environment, social circle, or health. Named after a term used in naval architecture to measure how far a ship can heel over before it capsizes completely, the piece stars a sailboat named Captain Winky that is completely upturned, suspended ten feet in the air solely by its mast. The artwork explores this razor edge of equilibrium, finding the limit and learning to survive if all goes upside down. Known for addressing cultural phenomena related to his subtropical roots, Long’s work often combines nautical history with the seafarer’s craft through sculpture, painting, writing, video, performative interventions, and structured installations.
Laurencia Strauss (b. 1966 Los Angeles, CA; lives and works in Miami, FL)
The Bubble Pops Popsicle Project
Zlatko Ćosić (b. 1972 Banja Luka, Yugoslavia; now Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Monday, March 6, 7PM – Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Tuesday, March 7, 12-2PM – Miami Beach Convention Center, Sunset Vista Lobby, Level 4
Wednesday, March 8, 12-3PM – Miami Beach Convention Center, Sunset Vista Lobby, Level 4
The Bubble Pops Popsicle Project is a participatory installation that values adaptive experiences as we face the climate crisis. Participants are asked what they have learned from experiences like migrating and surviving hurricanes and what advice they would share with others. In trade for their advice, they are given hand-crafted popsicles cast in the image of a snow globe depicting local areas at risk of sea-level rise and other climate change conditions. As the popsicles are consumed, the stick reveals advice collected from a previous participant in English, Spanish, and Haitian-Creole. Laurencia Strauss has collaborated in this project with Zlatko Ćosić to present Movement Strategies, a related series of moving images of collected adaptation advice and water. Visitors and locals will be able to view these collective responses– and contribute their own.
Magnus Sodamin (b. 1987 Manhattan; lives and works in Miami, FL)
Florida Wildlife Corridor
On view March 6-9 – Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Creating a 4 feet-tall, laser cut polished steel sculpture based off a digitized drawing, Sodamin seeks to captivate the viewer with inspiration from the Everglades. It is a celebration of life, a window into nature, past and present. Florida Wildlife Corridor reflects South Florida’s wild neighbors, lush landscape, and importance of preserving these wild spaces for the future of our water source and biodiversity. Through this work, Sodamin hopes to bring awareness our local environment and memorialize Florida’s past and present through its magnificent and unique wilderness.
Michelle Weinberg (b. 1961; lives and works between NYC and Miami Beach, FL)
Michelle Weinberg’s design for The Aspen Ideas: Climate 2023 bags, water bottles, and shirts are based on her work installed at the Miami International Airport, titled Tropic Episodes. In this work, Weinberg introduces a rich, stylized narrative inspired by South Florida's collision of lush tropical flora with streamlined mid-century and post-modernist architecture. As they glide past the 32 panels positioned along the 3rd level Skywalk between Terminals D and E, travelers are immersed in her imagery, like players in a giant film strip or heroes in a graphic novel or video game. She fuses an art deco palette with patterned vortices inspired by nature forms such as corals, storms and ocean gyres, all elements that figure in the future climate realities of Miami Beach and of the planet.
Orlando Estrada (b. 1986 Los Alamitos CA; lives and works between NYC and Miami, FL)
On view March 6-9 – Miami Beach Convention Center, Hall B
Tiered Panorama is a rotating, multi-level sculptural installation addressing Miami’s vulnerability to a future climate-refugee crisis caused by sea level rise. This parafictional diorama of The Magic City collages organic and artificial materials such as coconut fiber, seashells, Swarovski crystals, bones, UV pigments, and 3D-printed charms, creating a vibrant and gritty vision of modernity, literally glowing under the residue of petro-capitalism. Focusing as well on the effects of plastic waste on the biosphere, Tiered Panorama, being composed mostly of polyurethane foam, ironically plays with concepts of how the production and use of petroleum-based plastics upend the natural fossil layers within the crust of the earth and confuse these natural markers of time. Tiered Panorama is generously supported in part by a Knight Arts Challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and with the support of the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida, The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, and the Cowles Charitable Trust. The piece was originally exhibited in 2021 as part of Waterproof Miami, a curatorial series presented by Bas Fisher Invitational (BFI) and Bridge Initiative.
Film Program - Miami Beach Convention Center, Sunset Vista D
Cheryl Maeder (b. 1949 in Passaic, NJ; lives and works in West Palm Beach, FL)
For Super Natural, Cheryl Maeder worked with the elements of wind and natural light to create the fog of color in various natural settings, highlighting the spectacular and unique attributes of the region. Executed with eco-friendly materials, the mists of color gently cascade into the natural landscapes, bringing a healing energy as they pass through. This work is in alignment with Maeder’s practice of creating large scale video installations that embrace new technologies and explore climate issues through an often personal and human-scaled approach.
Coral Morphologic (right: Colin Foord, b. 1982 Berlin, NH; left: J.D. McKay, b. 1981 Conway, NH; both live and work in Miami, FL)
Projections of a Coral City
Miami is a coral city. Built with marine limestone mined from the Everglades, its concrete skyline stands like corals colonizing the fossilized reef ridge on which the city was built. Projections of a Coral City (POACC) is a large-scale projection-mapping installation featuring macroscopic images of corals native to Miami and from around the world. The piece was commissioned by the Knight Foundation and premiered on the exterior of the Knight Concert Hall of the Arsht Center for Performing Arts during Miami Art Week 2022. Coral Morphologic was founded in 2007 by marine biologist Colin Foord and musician J.D. McKay in Miami as a multi-faceted platform for the development of symbiosis between humans and coral. Coral Morphologic's unique methodology blends science and art in a way that enamors popular culture with the beauty of coral while inspiring the next generation to restore the reefs and protect the planet.
Shireen Rahimi (b. 1991 San Jose, CA; lives and works in Miami Beach, FL)
Letter from the Age of Ecocide
Dr. Shireen Rahimi's Letter from the Age of Ecocide is a cinematic underwater short film. In the film, a woman experiences painful climate anxiety, and is guided by the poetry of her ancient Persian ancestors to a place of ecological healing. The film was commissioned by Oolite Arts in partnership with the City of Miami Beach as part of Local Love Letters, a program generously co-funded by the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Family Foundation supporting Miami’s filmmaking ecosystem. The film received the program’s People’s Choice Award after its premiere in SoundScape Park in December 2022. As an Iranian/American filmmaker, marine scientist, underwater photographer, and National Geographic Explorer, Rahimi’s work is influenced by Iranian poetry and art, imbued with a finger-on-the-pulse music and editing style, and is deeply informed by her research as a marine anthropologist.
Sri Prabha (b. 1969 Hyderabad, India; lives and works in Hollywood, FL)
Sri Prabha’s Cosmic Occupancy is a selection of video projections featuring elements from ancient forests, lava caves, fossils, flora, and fauna fused with text, moving mandalas, and light fields to encourage and raise consciousness about our place in the universe. Prabha integrates tenets of geography, nature, time, human origins, and the cosmos into his aesthetic process. His works manifest across a range of mediums that include installations, video, light art, sculptural paintings, and sound. Cosmic Occupancy was commissioned by the City of Miami Beach in collaboration with the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA) for the 2022 edition of No Vacancy, an annual juried art competition celebrating mainly local visual artists.
Performance Based Works
Amanda Crider (b. 1977 Allentown, PA; lives and works in Miami, FL)
Blooming Still: A musical exploration of the relationship between humanity and the Earth
Tuesday, March 7, 4:30PM, SoundScape Park, Miami Beach
Mezzo-soprano Amanda Crider will present a program of music for voice and string quartet by contemporary American composers including Jessie Montgomery, Aaron Copland, and Caroline Shaw. The texts of the songs reflect on climate change and the beauty and fragility of our natural world. Crider is the Founder and Artistic Director of Miami’s Art Song concert series, IlluminArts, which she created in August 2013.
Juraj Kojš (b. 1976 Czechoslovakia, now Slovakia; lives and works in Miami, FL)
Friday, March 3, 7PM - Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Wednesday, March 8, 4PM - SoundScape Park, Miami Beach
Juraj Kojš will perform Orchid Music, an experimental music project that investigates the relationship between people, orchids, and technologies. Florida orchids in their multitude of expressions play an important role in understanding how our local environment grapples with the spectrum of climate-driven transformations. Orchid Music uses orchid DNA to provide the creative framework for music. The DNA is mapped to sound sources such as custom-designed synthesizers and drum machines, as well as samples of typewriter, woodblock, nuts and seeds, clay pots, water dripping, flute samples by Margaret Lancaster, Javanese gamelan and voices, rendering a fantastical palette of abstract electronic music sonorities.
Liony Garcia (b. Santa Clara, Cuba; lives and works in Miami, FL)
Monday, March 6, 4:30PM – SoundScape Park, Miami Beach
Historically, public architecture was built to last, and in spiritually directed cultures, its aim was towards eternity. Corporeal Decorum is a multidisciplinary dance performance piece and investigation into the cultural erasure of Miami’s Art Deco District, an area that is particularly affected by the effects of climate change and sea level rise. The piece memorializes important features of the city’s surviving deco architecture, concretizing its elements in both scenery and the body itself. The performer's body stores the memory of these places through sequences of movements that are derived from the tracing of architectural ornamentation in the region. It is a work that deals with themes of loss, recovery, and rebirth.
Made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.
The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council develop cultural excellence, diversity and participation throughout Miami-Dade County by strategically creating and promoting opportunities for artists and cultural organizations, and our residents and visitors who are their audiences. Through staff, board and programmatic resources, the Department, the Council and the Trust promote, coordinate and support Miami-Dade County’s more than 1,000 not-for-profit cultural organizations as well as thousands of resident artists through grants, technical assistance, public information and interactive community planning. The Department directs the Art in Public Places program and serves its board, the Art in Public Places Trust, commissioning, curating, maintaining and promoting the County’s art collection. The Department receives funding through the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, The Children’s Trust, the National Endowment for the Arts, the State of Florida through the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Other support and services are provided by TicketWeb for the Culture Shock Miami program, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, the South Florida Cultural Consortium and the Tourist Development Council.
Beatriz Chachamovits, Mira Lehr, and Lauren Shapiro
On view, Jewish Museum of Florida – FIU, 301 Washington Ave, Miami Beach
Fragile Beauty explores the powerful allure of nature alongside its delicate state today. Featuring site-specific installations by Beatriz Chachamovits, Mira Lehr, and Lauren Shapiro, the exhibition brings together works by local Miami artists that reflect on climate change and human impact on our oceans, coral reefs, and rapidly shifting environment. Utilizing different media to convey the elegance of our aquatic ecosystems and cultivate a broad awareness of their fragility, the participating artists draw attention to the environmental challenges we face in Florida and the actions we can take to reverse them.
For more information: https://jmof.fiu.edu/exhibitions-events
Jessy Nite (b. 1985 Montclair, NJ; lives in Miami, FL)
In Your Eyes, I Come Alive
On view, Avalon Hotel, 700 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach
Jessy Nite uses sunlight as her main medium, projecting shadows to reveal messages and tell stories. In Your Eyes, I Come Alive reveals a new side to the iconic Avalon Hotel through an array of pastel-colored typography, geometry, and illustration. Using its position in real-time, the Sun becomes the storyteller, sharing playful but deeply rooted narratives that connect us to the environment and one another. Specializing in interactive and site-specific installation, Nite fabricates experiences using familiar and disarming imagery, giving audiences the freedom to interact and interpret her visuals for themselves. In Your Eyes, I Come Alive was commissioned by the City of Miami Beach in collaboration with the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA) for the 2022 edition of No Vacancy, an annual juried art competition celebrating mainly local visual artists.