That Urges us to Reconsider
How We Live Alongside Other Species
Through November 22
Generator: USF Contemporary Art Museum
USF St. Petersburg, Harbor Hall
We humans, for all our good intentions, tend to think of ourselves as superior. Yet we go to war, divide ourselves in bitter political rivalries, pollute our air and water, and devour harmless animals for food.
Aren’t we supposed to get along in peaceful co-existence? It might be naïve to think so, but we should remember that this is one planet, and the turbulence we thrive on undoubtedly will turn its angry head in the near future.
These unsettling thoughts underscore a new exhibition SUPERFLEX: This is the Tip of the Iceberg,’ opening October 6 at the new space known as Generator: University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, on the St. Petersburg waterfront campus.
This is no ordinary art show. Through dynamic and unexpected imagery, it urges us to reconsider our place in the world – or more importantly, our place alongside other creatures who share the same world.
The exhibition explores the space “in which human life depends on coexistence with other species,’’ notes Sarah Howard, Curator of Social Practice at the USF Contemporary Art Museum on the Tampa campus. But even as global warming pushes us further into uncharted waters, she says the creators are hopeful, and their work inspires a “greater understanding of the needs of all species for a sustainable future.’’
SUPERFLEX is a Danish artist collective that blurs the lines of art, design, science and activism using a variety of symbols to address social problems. You can learn more about the group and its philosophy at the opening reception on October 6 from 6 to 9 pm, when Superflex founder Bjørn Christiansen speaks in the Harbor Hall auditorium adjacent to the gallery space.
Specifically, This is the Tip of the Iceberg sheds light on Florida and its precarious environment. The creators based their results on in-depth research on the sea, biodiversity and climate, translated through two “parallel and interconnected realms,’’ separated by a curtain which acts as an imaginary filter between land and sea.
The exhibition also features the animation Vertical Migration (2021), first exhibited in a 500-foot-high projection on the United Nations Secretariat Building in New York City during the 76th United Nations General Assembly.
Highlighting the role of biodiversity as critical to the health of our oceans, the installation invites an intimate encounter with a siphonophore — a relative of the jellyfish — whose complex organisms function collectively.
Ultimately, the show imagines a future in which all lifeforms coexist as equals, adds Howard. “It probes how we can redefine our thinking about our built environments to accommodate all forms of life, not only humanity. It reflects on the precarity of our climate to provoke deeper thinking about our ecological relationships.’’
Artist Talk + Opening Reception
Friday, October 6, 6-9 pm
Harbor Hall Auditorium + Gallery, USF St. Petersburg
1000 3rd St S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Lecture by Dr. Joseph Dituri
Wednesday, October 11, 6 pm
Harbor Hall Auditorium, USF St. Petersburg
1000 3rd St S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
GENERATOR: USF CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM
An expansion of the University of South Florida College of The Arts’ Contemporary Art Museum, GENERATOR is an incubator of new ideas and a place for expanded artistic experimentation.
Primarily focused on the moving image and time-based contemporary art, GENERATOR offers a new cultural dimension to the St. Petersburg arts district that contributes to the city’s prominence as an arts destination while offering free public access to an inclusive space for creative exploration, research and experimentation.
GENERATOR: USF Contemporary Art Museum builds upon the museum’s distinguished history of innovative and bold programming, while shining a light on scores of untold stories and emerging voices as relayed principally through digital media, film, and advanced visualization technologies and platforms.
Projects will focus on issues of equity and justice while using the unique perspective of artists to illuminate diverse knowledge, excluded histories, and practices for future resiliency in an uncertain time.
Additionally, programming will be inspired by an expanded understanding of our contemporary climate that highlights local and global environmental, social and political concerns.