Splash!, public art, pool noodles, swimming, pool, Miami Gardens, acoustic, melamine
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Xavier Cortada, "Splash!" 2012

Xavier Cortada, 
"Splash!,” 972 hand-painted melamine tubes suspended from aluminum grids on ceiling of an indoor swimming pool (Betty T. Ferguson Recreation Center Aquatic Facility, Miami Gardens, FL), 2012.
Public artist selection panel/process: Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places.

Artist's Statement:

On a recent visit to the pool, I saw a group of children lined up at the entrance,   all eager with anticipation. Nothing else mattered to them at that moment but sharing each other’s company in the water.  On the slide.  In the fun and splash. Although I wanted to create a piece about tuning out all the other noise, and coming to this happy zone on  a summer day or after school when Mom and Dad allowed them to go to the pool. "Splash!" is ultimately about fun, it also challenges viewers to think about physics.  Through its placement in the space, the art helps viewers "visualize” sound as they are splashing in the water. 

Cortada installed a sculpture of 972 "pool noodles” shaped into a big  on the ceiling of an indoor municipal swimming pool (the work is also as acoustic treatment for the space)

In creating Splash!, artist Xavier Cortada worked with composer/engineer Colby Leider to visualize the resonant frequencies of the pool at Betty T. Ferguson Aquatic Center. The shapes of waveforms depict a literal splash within the pool.  This splash was visualized by solving the wave equation in two dimensions in a computer at the University of Miami's Music Engineering Laboratory. 

Splash! is a work of art that, made of hand-painted melamine foam,  also serves to enhance the sonic qualities of the space by absorbing excessive reverberation. In a unique partnership with the City of Miami Gardens, Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places solely administered the artist selection process.

See CBS 4 news story: "Art Creates A Splash At Miami Gardens Rec Complex", see 


FIU College of Architecture + The Arts

Xavier Cortada
Florida International University
College of Architecture + The Arts
420 Lincoln Road, Suite 430
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Xavier Cortada's participatory art practice is based at Florida International University.


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