When Science Meets Art

SWS Society support a unique environment that encourages risk-taking and exploration, visual artists, dancers, designers, actors, writers, filmmakers and musicians collaborate and show their creativeness.

Performing Arts

Dance, Music, Theatre


Prof. Xavier Cortada

Prof. Xavier Cortada

Global Climate Change, Social Engagement
Professor of Practice: Artist at the University of Miami
Interests: Global Climate Change, Social Engagement, Environment
  Read more in EPS/SSA Blog
Professional Biography ....

Xavier Cortada
Professor of Practice: Artist at the University of Miami
Interests: Global Climate Change, Social Engagement, Environment


Xavier Cortada is Professor of Practice: Artist at the University of Miami as a faculty member of the Department of Art and Art History. He has exhibited his work in museums, galleries and cultural venues across the Americas, Europe, Africa and Antarctica—and locally at the Miami Art Museum, the Bass Museum of Art, the Miami Science Museum and the Historical Museum of Southern Florida.

Recent group shows include the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art in Colorado (2007), the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway (2007), the BOZAR Center for Fine Arts in Brussells, Belgium (2007), and the Ministry of Culture in Monaco (2008). Please visit www.cortada.com/calendar.htm for details.

Cortada has created art for the White House, the World Bank, the Florida Supreme Court, and the Museum of Florida History. In his hometown, Cortada’s commissioned work hangs in City Hall, County Hall, and the facade of the Juvenile Courthouse.

Cortada has worked with groups across the world to produce numerous large-scale murals and community art projects, including: environmental installations on Miami Beach and the South Pole. International AIDS Conference murals in Switzerland and South Africa, peace murals in Northern Ireland and Cyprus, and child welfare murals in Panama and Bolivia.

In 2007, as a recipient of the National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, he created site-specific installations at the South Pole. In June 2008, through the fiscal sponsorship of the New York Foundation for the Arts, Cortada will travel to the North Pole to install some of these pieces there.

Cortada holds three degrees from the University of Miami – a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Public Administration and Juris Doctor. The Cuban-American artist’s work and writings are preserved in the Xavier Cortada Collection of the University of Miami Libraries Cuban Heritage Collection.

My work aims to challenge us...

"My work aims to challenge us to find deeper meaning in our present lives by exploring the paths of those who came before us and our relationship to the natural world.

In 2006, I created Absence of Place, a photo installation at the Miami Art Museum. In it 180 present-day images of absent Miami structures were printed on yellow-card stock and hung in plastic bags. On the wall, beneath each photo I wrote a caption of a memory generated at that site. I did so to give context to the new building at the site -- and to give the now absent building life in our collective memory.

Other pieces explore our ability to coexist with nature: In The Reclamation Project, I hung 252 mangrove seedlings (in plastic, water-filled cups) at the Bass Museum and worked with volunteers to place another 2500 across South Beach, `reclaiming` an island that once a lush coastal ecosystem thriving with mangroves.

A follow-up urban reforestation eco-art effort, Native Flags, is currently being implemented through the Miami Science Museum to re-grow Miami’s native tree canopy. Both challenge us to seek ways to coexist with the nature.

In January 2007, as a National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writers Program grantee, I traveled to the South Pole to create site-specific installations about our interconnectedness to one other and our planet: In The Longitudinal Installation, I arranged 24 shoes in a circle around the South Pole as a proxy for those affected by global climate change in the world above.

In the 150,000-year Journey, I used a moving ice sheet to mark time: I planted a mangrove seedling at the South Pole, embedded in the ice it will ride for 150,000 years towards the water’s edge where, theoretically, it will set its roots. The piece addresses the travails of an immigrant's journey --- the displacement, the solitude, the struggle to simply integrate oneself into society. In a more universal way, the 150,000-year Journey, explores humankind as it evolves through time. It will take almost 150,000 years for this art piece to be completed. What will our world look like then? Juxtaposing Antarctica's geological time frames with human time frames (see The Markers, which uses flags to mark the movement of the ice sheet during the past 50 years, when humans first inhabited the South Pole), my art reaffirms the notion that we are simply custodians of the planet who should learn to live in harmony with nature. "

Prof. Xavier Cortada


Project: SOCIALLY ENGAGED ART TO MAKE THE INVISIBLE VISIBLE
Presented as part of the SWS Vienna GREEN Plenary programme, December 2020
Zoom session: 0:52 h

Using art’s elasticity to work across disciplines, Cortada creates processes that engage community in problem-solving. Focusing on the pandemic and our climate emergency, Cortada takes us on a journey through his science art and socially engaged art practice.

 

Prof. Xavier Cortada

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  • HOFBURG Congress Centre

    Vienna, Austria
  • HOFBURG Congress Centre

    Vienna, Austria
  • Schloss Schönbrunn

    Vienna, Austria
  • Schloss Schönbrunn

    Vienna, Austria
  • Palais Niederösterreich

    Vienna, Austria
  • Palais Niederösterreich

    Vienna, Austria
    SWS Vienna Extended Session
  • Auditorium al Duomo

    Florence, Italy
  • Auditorium al Duomo

    Florence, Italy
  • Paradise Blue - Maritim

    Albena, Bulgaria
  • Paradise Blue - Maritim

    Albena, Bulgaria
  • Palazzo Borghese Firenze

    Florence, Italy
  • Palazzo Borghese Firenze

    Florence, Italy