The Octopus Project

As part of UM Professor Cortada’s ART 315 Socially Engaged Art course, Cortada’s University of Miami students will work with staff and students from the SEED School of Miami to develop the main Octopus Project 2021 school-wide socially engaged art project to find and address an issue the group finds to be important to the broader school community. A select group of SEED School students, the art teacher and mental health counselor will meet weekly during the Spring 2021 semester to develop the broader campaign and to bring the following 8 existing participatory art projects to be implemented with other students the school:

SHARE HOW YOU’RE DEALING WITH THE PANDEMIC

An ongoing process throughout the Miami Corona Project, “Share Your Voice” is a participatory art piece chronicling the eight-month duration of the project that aims to prompt individual engagement from the participating audience whose messages will be posted online.

MIAMI CORONA PROJECT: visit website | download catalog

LEARN 500 YEARS OF FLORIDA HISTORY

FLOR500 is a participatory art, nature, and history project created by Miami artist Xavier Cortada to commemorate Florida’s quincentennial in 2013. The project marks the importance of the moment when the history of our state changed forever and gives us a glimpse of what its landscape was like 500 years ago.

FLOR500: visit website | download catalog

TEACH OTHERS ABOUT RISING SEAS

Plan(T) asks the community to plant mangrove propagules that can withstand the test of time and help serve as future storm buffers. By planting for a future with saltwater-intrusion, local residents can begin planning for the effects that climate change will bring to Miami.

PLAN(T): visit website | download catalog

GROW A NATIVE TREE CANOPY FOR OTHERS

Fusing art, scientific knowledge, and civic engagement, Native Flags seeks to involve individuals directly in restoration efforts through the planting, maintaining, and protecting of native trees. This effect has turned urban reforestation efforts into a top priority by planting drought-tolerant native plant species to reduce the effects of carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming.

NATIVE FLAGS: visit website | download catalog

CARE FOR BISCAYNE BAY

Seahorse Society is Cortada’s effort to draw attention to the ongoing threats to South Florida’s seagrasses and the creatures that make the seagrass and surrounding waters their home. By highlighting some of the many sea creatures we humans love, Cortada hopes people will come to understand the importance of protecting the underwater plants that provide their shelter and food; plants rarely noticed by us – the seagrass.

SEAHORSE SOCIETY: visit website | download catalog

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBORS NEAR AND FAR

Cortada created art at the North and South Poles to help address environmental issues at every point in between. In Longitudinal Installation, he placed 24 shoes in a circle along the lines of longitude around the North and South Pole, each shoe serving as a proxy for a person affected by global climate change in the world, conceptually diminishing the distance between them.

LONGITUDINAL INSTALLATION: visit website | download catalog

ACT TO SAVE ENDANGERED ANIMALS

Endangered World is a participatory Eco-Art project by Xavier Cortada that has addressed global biodiversity loss through art installations at the South Pole (2007), North Pole (2008), Holland (2009) and Biscayne National Park (2010) and through online participatory art projects.

ENDANGERED WORLD: visit website | download catalog

HOPE FOR A BETTER FUTURE

Write an open letter to someone living in the future and hang it the installation for the public to read and contemplate. Although the letters are written for people not yet born, the true audience are those breathing in the present. Today, too many are in denial about the human impact on global climate change. By writing to someone in the future, we can’t deny their existence. By writing to them, we create a connection to them.

LETTERS TO THE FUTURE: visit website | download catalog