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Aspen Ideas: Climate Public Art, Film, and Performances

We're excited to present a series of temporary site-specific public art commissions, film screenings, and performances highlighting issues related to climate change and sea level rise.

Art and Performance at Aspen Ideas: Climate

Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs through its Resiliency 305 initiative and The City of Miami Beach present a diverse cross section of Miami-based artists for visual art installations and multimedia performances. 

Artworks are presented by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs through its Arts Resilient 305 Initiative, made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, City of Miami Beach Mayor, City Commission, and City of Miami Beach Tourism and Culture Department’s Cultural Affairs Division.

lou anne colodny

lou anne colodny’s multidisciplinary practice encompasses dance, installation art, photography, video, theatre, and beyond. Her works are in the Permanent Collections at PAMM (Perez Art Museum of Miami), Miami, Florida; the Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, Florida; MoCA, Museum of Contemporary Art Optic Nerve archive, North Miami, Florida; Miami-Dade Community College, Miami-Dade Public Library Collection, the Okaloosa-Walton College, Niceville, Florida and the collection of Francine Bishop Good and David Horvitz, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Colodny was the founding director of MoCA, Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, Florida and director of its precursor, COCA for 15 years. Presently she runs an alternative art space, under the bridge in North Miami, Florida.

CiRCA.,  2020 – 2023

Mixed media installation

On display March 11-13, 1st Floor, Expo Hall C

CiRCA. is an immersive exhibition by south-Florida-based artist lou anne colodny, which addresses the precariousness of human existence in these times of ecological crisis. CiRCA. is a blurring of fact and fiction, and “Speculative Fiction”, as coined by the artist, as an element that does not exist in reality. It has been brought to this indoor space for preservation and protection. CiRCA. is a phantom structure found in the future: 2250. Like Plato’s “cave”, CiRCA challenges our ideas about perception and reality. A hidden interior reveals hundreds of ancient stones, made of newsprint revealing historical information from the 2020’s. Snippets of information create a timeline depicting the COVID plague, politics, world events, racial tensions, and climate change.

Amanda Keely

Amanda Season Keeley is a visual artist, curator, and publisher. Her practice utilizes the language of printmaking, sculpture, and text-based works, often forming community collaborations and multimedia interactive installations. In 2014, she founded EXILE Books, an independent publishing house and store specializing in artists’ books, which operates out of her studio in Little Haiti and continues to evolve as an experimental creative project space.

Words to Sea, 2021 - 2024

Participatory site-specific installation with limited edition artist book

On display March 11-13, Registration, Lobby outside of Hall C

Words to Sea, an ongoing project by Miami-based artist Amanda Keeley, immerses visitors in a contemplative atmosphere of calm mindfulness and self-reflection. The interactive experience guides guests through a moment of focused gratitude and fosters inner balance as they consider their fragile ocean surroundings.

The focal point of the Words to Sea installation is a poetic artist’s book printed on water-dissolvable paper with eco-friendly plant-based ink. Each page contains a short affirmation, intention, and mantra about self-care and our environment. Viewers are invited to remove pages from the book and release these words into the nearby ocean. This ceremonial moment allows for a pause to breathe and set intentions of gratitude and positivity. 
A dynamic panel system made of recycled cardboard accompanies the installation. Configured as a wave pattern within the space, this constructed environment illustrating both sunrise and sunset, provides a moment of calm and intimacy.

Nicole Salcedo

Nicole Salcedo is a Cuban-American multi-disciplinary artist born and based in Miami, Florida. She studied fibers, sculpture, and object design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, with a foundational practice in drawing. Nicole’s drawings open up pathways that offer a deeper understanding of our interconnectedness. Employing repetitive mark-making using graphite, oil stick, or ink on paper and fabric. Ethereal figures are the main subject matter of her work, and are meant to establish an instant connection to the viewer, but are also reflective of the artist own journey of spiritual and self-development. Salcedo’s influences include botany, fractals, the physics of electromagnetic energy, and her animistic spiritual practice. Her work builds off of a legacy of Cuban women artists such as Ana Mendieta and Belkis Ayón, whose imagery is potent with references to the spirits of nature and syncretic religions of the Caribbean. Through the inclusion of nature-based motifs, Nicole invites viewers to explore the intricate web of connections between the natural world and human consciousness. Salcedo’s work draws us closer to the mystery of existence and invites us to embrace the beauty and complexity of the world around us.

Buried Luminaries 

Performance and installation, 8:20am, March 13, Miami Beach Botanical Garden

Buried Luminaries is a meditative performance by Nicole Salcedo. The performance is accompanied by the sounds of musician Agua Dulce that conjures the orbits of celestial bodies through a movement exploration of cycles and spirals. Attendees are invited to contemplate the cycles of life and death, grief and joy, light and dark. Through the inclusion of nature-based motifs, Nicole invites viewers to explore the intricate web of connections between the natural world and human consciousness. Salcedo’s work draws us closer to the mystery of existence and invites us to embrace the beauty and complexity of the world around us.

Alexis Alleyne-Caputo

American-Bahamian, Alexis Alleyne-Caputo is a graduate of Goddard College, MFA, New York University, MA, BS/MA, BMCC – The City University of New York, AA, a certified Arts in Medicine practitioner and Dr. John Graham-Pole scholar (University of Florida – Center for Arts in Medicine). Academic and artistic affiliations are as faculty at the New York Film Academy (2019 – present), and formerly as university professor at the University of Miami (2014-2017), New World School of the Arts at Miami-Dade College (2010-2015), as guest artist at Harlem School of the Arts, and as art consultant at Florida Memorial University (Lou Rawls Center for the Performing Arts). Her master project Afro Diaries™ is a collection of work by, for, and about women of color, offering a window into the landscape of miscarriages women endure. The work reflects and refracts the critical issues of identity, cultural differences, human rights, and draws from myriad issues and concerns that create conflict and inequality in society. It is permanently archived in the Eliot D. Pratt Library at Goddard College, the University of Miami Special Collections (1996-2013), and New York University (Bobst Library).

Crisis and Echoes, 2024

Multidisciplinary performance featuring video, spoken word, and dance, March 12, 1:50pm, 1st Floor, Expo Hall C

Alexis Alleyne-Caputo (Afro Diaries) presents Crisis and Echoes. Crisis and Echoes is a visual conversation, performance, statement on the global impact of climate change and prompt to take action. Crisis and Echoes is created from field research as a Catalyst Miami fellow (2019 - 2020), (2023 - 2024), and as an alumna of the Community Leadership on the Environment, Advocacy, and Resilience (CLEAR), Leaders in Grassroots Health Transformation (LIGHT) programs, and research interviews with Miami-Dade community activists. Invited collaborators are dancer and choreographer, Alessandra Greco, Harmony Jackson, dancer and writer Yolande Clark-Jackson, and animator Robin Clare.

Smita Sen

Smita Sen (b. 1994) is an artist working with sculpture, dance-based performance, and advanced technology to research how the body internalizes its environment and significant life events. Sen has had solo exhibitions at Recess (2021) and the Brooklyn Public Library (2022). Sen’s work has been shown internationally in Dubai, U.A.E, and at venues like Miami Design District (FL), Bard College (NY), Flux Factory (NY), Anthology Film Archives (NY), and ISSUE Project Room (NY). Sen has been in-residence at Drew University (2023), the Bakehouse Arts Complex (2022), Recess (2021), and Mildred’s Lane (2018). She is the recipient of an Ellies Creator Award from Oolite Arts (2022), the Instigator Fellowship from New York University ITP Camp (2018). Sen was a member of NEW INC, the New Museum's incubator (2022-2023). 

Breaths of Care, 2024

Multidisciplinary performance and video, Tuesday, March 12, 1:30pm, 1st Floor, Expo Hall C

Reflecting on the complex relationship between the climate crisis, public health, and our collective well-being, Miami-based artist Smita Sen’s performance Breaths of Care offers a dance-based performance on the ripple effects of our changing natural landscape. The work is centered on the lungs and the breath, as the climate crisis stands to have the most immediate and damaging impact on those with respiratory illnesses. This performance offers choreography that bridges the visceral movement of German tanztheater with Graham technique to investigate the ways the climate crisis is reshaping chronic illness and the demands of palliative care. Weaving together gestures of caregiving, illness, loss, and the vast natural landscape, these works offer a meditation on breathing through grief as we attempt to navigate the climate crisis as a collective.

Carlos Betancourt in collaboration with Alberto LaTorre

As an artist and architect team, Carlos Betancourt and Alberto Latorre have worked primarily from Miami for more than 20 years, inspired by cultural diversity and syncretism of contemporary culture experienced in our community as well as during our travels. In general terms, our collaborative artworks explore the functions of cultural and personal memory by reinterpreting and re-purposing the past and presenting it in a new context. Beauty, identity, and nature are also subjects simultaneously explored in our works.

Prototypes for Reflections Under the Sea: Star World, 2024

3-D printed concrete

On display March 11-13, Miami Beach Botanical Garden

The works on display by Miami-based artist Carlos Betancourt in collaboration with Alberto Latorre for the ReefLine  showcase several prototypes of the starfish marine habitats that will comprise the larger installation that will, upon completion, be permanently located beneath the waters of south Florida, creating an artificial reef. 

The ReefLine is a 7-mile long underwater public sculpture park, snorkel trail and purpose built reef, which will provide a critical habitat for endangered reef organisms, promoting biodiversity and enhancing coastal resilience. The ReefLine received a $5 million grant through a General Obligation Bond approved by Miami Beach voters, and in the Spring of 2024, the ReefLine will launch the production of artworks for Phase 1, showcasing underwater artworks by local, national, and international artists.

Betancourt and Latorre’s final multifaceted installation on the ReefLine will function as a sculptural marine habitat and incorporate Coral Loks, an innovative device created to increase coral out-planting efficiency. Constructed with 3D-Printing technology, the installation will feature a massive 80’ x 80’ star-shaped cluster composed of 50 starfish shaped marine habitats, ranging in size from 4’ to 8’. The work is informed by the beautiful imagery of the migration of starfish and alludes to the reflection of stars high above in the sky. To adopt a starfish and learn more about the ReefLine, please visit www.thereefline.org.

Asser Saint-Val

Asser Saint-Val, born in Haiti, lives and works in Miami, Florida. Saint-Val earned BFAs in both Painting and Graphic Design from New World School of the Arts, Miami/University of Florida, Gainesville. Saint-Val’s work on neuromelanin is a study of spirituality, identity, and the subconscious. He explores these ideas in paintings and multi-sensory interactive art installations. Saint-Val’s works are quasi-figurative and ambiguous, and bring together ideas central to modern debates about neuromelanin. Saint-Val completed residencies at New Wave, Miami Children Museum, Miami FL; Taller Cultural Luís Díaz Oduardo, Santiago de Cuba; Casa del Caribe, Santiago de Cuba; and FOSAJ, Jacmel, Haïti. Saint-Val received the Consortium Award in 2006 and 2011, the Artist Access Grant Award in 2018, and the DVCAI Award in 2019. Saint-Val’s work is in private collections such as the Rubell Museum, the Mike Paola collection, and the Mosquera Collection.

KLASS-C-FI, 2024

Multidisciplinary Installation and performance

Performance, 8:15pm, Opening Reception, Miami Beach Botanical Garden

KLASS-C-FI II, On display, March 11-13, 1st Floor, Expo Hall C

In the context of the ongoing national discourse on climate change, KLASS-C-FI is a collaborative, multi-sensory, and interactive art installation and performance involving a diverse group of local artists. This immersive experience features elements such as a helium sculpture, a piano resonating with Debussy's "La Mer" improvisations, operatic vocals, sound bowls, drums, body painting, aromas, and food. Within this space, an enigmatic figure, reminiscent of the Kumpo dancer from Diola culture in Africa, moves and engages with the audience while offering a selected culinary delight.

The title of the work, KLASS-C-FI, is an inventive linguistic word created by the artist to embrace and merge with Earth’s climate process of change. In the work, Saint-Val invites visitors to climb inside the structure and engage in a multi-sensory experience, while considering the many metaphorical parallels between Earth’s climate and the science of the human body. . For example, the Earth’s Energy Systems (the sun) and the body’s energy system (the kundalini or metabolic system); The human body and the Earth's climate system various feedback loops to regulate balance; and thresholds and tipping points that can have cascading effects. KLASS-C-FI is I am, I feel, I create, I love, I speak, I see, and I know climate change. The installation performance encapsulates the profound parallels between the two entities on a macro and micro level. The objective of this work is to create a surreal environment that celebrates and intertwines with the internal and external transformations occurring within us while eliminating the fears associated with it.

Beatriz Chachamovits

Artist Beatriz Chachamovits was invited to activate Aspen Ideas: Climate 2024 totes and swag with her detailed drawings of marine life. Chachamovits is an environmental artist and educator from São Paulo, Brazil living and working in Miami, Florida. Her intention is to share the majestic beauty of at-risk marine ecologies as well as the appalling rate of their destruction. She works with ceramic sculptures and drawings to highlight the unique shape, form and texture that exists in the underwater world. She is the author and illustrator of the book The little handbook of marine fishes and other aquatic marvels published by Companhia das Letrinhas in São Paulo, Brazil in 2018. On the reverse of the tote, a poem by Miami-based poet Cherry Pickman is presented by O’ Miami.

Concurrently, a nearby satellite exhibition of the artist’s work is on view for Elevate Española: Heliotropic Seekers features five brightly colored hanging plexiglass cutouts of various endangered species of fish and coral native to South Florida shores, including grouper, angel, grunt, blue tang and parrot fish joined by coral species such as elkhorn, pillar, staghorn, star, starlet and brain coral. The species will overlap in various compositions, emphasizing the interdependence and diversity of coral reefs. By engaging with the natural world, viewers will be prompted to consider how their behavior may affect coral reefs and inspire action to care for the world’s oceans.

Elevate Española is a public art program launched by the City of Miami Beach in 2022 that biannually commissions visual artists to create installations suspended in midair over the East Corridor of Española Way, located between Washington and Collins avenues, made possible with the support of the City of Miami Beach Mayor, City Commission, and City of Miami Beach Tourism and Culture Department’s Cultural Affairs Division.

Cherry Pickman with O, Miami

Cherry Pickman is the author of Theory of Tides, winner of the Poetry Society of America’s Chapbook Fellowship. Her work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Bennington Review, Boston Review, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and PEN, among others. A selection of her poems was included in Eight Miami Poets (2015), an anthology published by Jai- Alai Books. She has been shortlisted for the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the Snowbound Chapbook Award from Tupelo Press and the Missouri Review’s Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize. Her full-length collection Islanders was a semifinalist for the Alice James Award. In June 2017 she received a fellowship from AIRIE (Artists in Residence in the Everglades). Pickman is a graduate of Columbia University’s MFA program; she lives and works in Miami.

Performance, 3pm, March 13, 1st Floor, Expo Hall C, Plenary

Joanne Wang and Nick McBrian, Hurricane of Trash (HOT) in collaboration with Clean Miami Beach

Joanne Wang is an artist, fabricator, and designer based in Oakland, CA. Her work is centered around sustainability and often uses repurposed, secondhand, or discarded materials in both her personal art practice and custom commercial work. Joanne has a BA in Art and Biology from University of California, Santa Cruz and currently works as a children’s sustainable fashion design teacher and freelance installation artist, creating custom art and decor for businesses and events.

Nick McBrian is a fabricator and designer who specializes in custom builds for homes, businesses, and events. While his main focus is fine woodworking, Nick is always up for the challenge of working with new materials and methods to realize a client’s vision.

Nick and Joanne both live and work from their home studio in Oakland, CA. The two work together to create art installations with a focus on sustainability, from smaller-scale restaurant decor, to larger-than-life projects for corporate events and conferences.

Hurricane of Trash (HOT), 2023

Found objects, suspension cable

On display, March 11-13, 1st Floor, Expo Hall C

The Hurricane of Trash (HOT) art installation, brought to life by artists Joanne Wang and Nick McBrian, vividly illuminates the pressing issues of climate change and plastic pollution, casting a spotlight on the environmental challenges confronting our world. Displayed first at the Cisco Partner Summit 2023 in the Miami Beach Convention Center, HOT prompts action and reflection. Over a span of two months, Clean Miami Beach diligently collected plastic debris, ensuring every piece retained its original color, symbolizing both the magnitude of the issue and the potential for preservation and change.


The City of Miami Beach and Oolite Arts have commissioned three short films on climate solutions through the Climate Commissions program to debut at the 2024 Aspen Ideas: Climate event on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 at 1 pm. A brief discussion will follow the presentation of the short films featuring filmmakers Jayme Gershen, Joshua Jean-Baptiste, and LeAnne Russell, moderated by Hansel Porres Garcia, Cinematic Arts Manager at Oolite Arts.

The filmmakers — all South Florida-based — received $15,000 to create a 10-to-12-minute film on the climate crisis. They are:

The Mango Movie by Jayme Gershen
Through a tapestry of observation, personal anecdotes, and collective reflections, The Mango Movie, a short documentary about how people eat mangos, adopts an emotional lens, delving into the heart of Miami's beloved mango season and its intricate connection with climate.

Jayme Gershen, an award-winning filmmaker and photographer whose short film “Six Degrees of Immigration” (2019) is featured on the New York Times’ Op-Docs channel, won a regional Emmy and aired on PBS stations around the country. Gershen is currently a fellow of the ITVS Humanities Documentary Development Fund, supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Ripples by Joshua Jean-Baptiste
Luz, a passionate environmental researcher, discovers her community is at risk of being flooded by an impending development. Opposing her mentor's cautious approach, she sparks a grassroots discussion that threatens to derail the lucrative investment.

Joshua Jean-Baptiste, a Haitian-American writer with a diverse background in the film industry. He co-wrote the feature film “Ludi” (2021), which was awarded the Cinematic Arts Residency from Oolite Arts and premiered at both the Miami Film Festival and SXSW. 

Before the Flood by LeAnne Russell
‘Before the Flood’ is a portrait of a man reflecting upon his youth before the end of the world as he knew it.

LeAnne Russell, a Miami native, actress and filmmaker who is developing her first feature film. She has a master’s from the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University and received a Special Jury Mention for her application to the 2022 Cinematic Arts Residency at Oolite Arts.


Oolite Arts, Miami-Dade’s largest artist support organization, helps fast forward the careers of South Florida filmmakers through its Cinematic Arts Program. Learn more about Climate Commissions at oolitearts.org/climatecommissions.

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