FIU College of Law
Florida International University
Rafael Diaz-Balart College of Law, Room 1100
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Xavier Cortada's "Endangered World" project 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 through www.endangeredworld.org.
we are using stones to build it, our Endangered World: Life Wall is a different
kind of sculpture than the one I built in Holland.. I see this one primarily as
a "social sculpture" --a term coined by artist Joseph Beuys
("every one is an artist"). The wall is erected as every participant
artist performs an eco-action on behalf of an endangered animal living along
one of Earth's 360 longitudes.
is not to say that our Life Wall cannot also have a
physicality. The wall is, after all, made of stones --
each hand-pained by the participant with the longitude where
their "adopted” animal struggles for survival.
wall isn't vertical, though. The stones -- placed in
conspicuous locations (e.g., on top of a desk or night stand) as a daily
reminders of the eco-action pledged by participants on behalf of their
endangered species -- lie flat on a plane across South Florida.
And beyond. Indeed, the Life Wall is as large as the
farthest distance (think globally) between the two closest stones.
like electrons are contained in an atom, I envision our stones are held
together as a "wall” across these vast distances by the force of each
participant's eco-actions. The more participants
engage in sustainable practices, the stronger the bond.
stronger our Life Wall.
-- Xavier Cortada
Xavier Cortada's "Endangererd World: Life Wall is an eco-art project he launched at the Hunebed Center in the Netherlands’ Drenthe Province.
Through eco-actions, participants "adopt” one of the 360 endangered animals featured in Xavier Cortada's "Endangered World: Life Wall."
On a found stone, participants paint the longitude of the animal they've adopted. They keep their marked stone in a conspicuous place (e.g., a paperweight on your desk) as a daily reminder of the sustainable practice they've promised to engage in support of their adopted animal. (See participants' photos)
Special thanks to
Gretchen Scharnagl and Artistic Expression in a Global Society, a foundational
global learning course she co-teaches at Florida International University.