Tamara Kostianovsky is an artist who uses discarded clothing to create visceral yet intricate sculptures and installations related to the environment and to consumer culture. The site-specificwork commissioned by Arcadia draws attention to the need to upcycle everyday objects and depicts the metamorphosis of an animal carcass turning into lush vegetation, thus embodying the transition from a slaughter culture to a new model of fertility, regeneration and sustainability.
Born in Israel and raised in Argentina, Tamara Kostianovsky has presented exhibitions in the United States, Latin America, and Europe, receiving distinguished awards such as a Guggenheim Fellowship and grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. Exhibition reviews of her work appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Village Voice, Marie Claire, La Repubblica, El Diario New York, Colossal, and Hyperallergic.
The installation creates the atmosphere of jellyfish in the ocean. Each jellyfish is made of plastic bags that are used in daily life to carry items from grocery stores, merchandise from retail stores and food from restaurants. The ceiling is made of plastic bottle mostly yogurt cups, plastic bottles and milk jugs. It represents waves and life in the coral reef under the sea. The materials I used in this installation have inundated our ocean environment and become
microplastics that are harmful to the marine life and our food source. Jellyfish are one of the species that may help filter microplastics. I created the jellyfish from cutting up plastic bags as long strips and
sewing them with thin wire to look like their tentacle before building the entire jellyfish body. I hope this installation will make people realize the harmful impact of microplastics on our environment. We
should start research and develop a way to prevent the problem.
“Plastic Tsunami (Sirens)“
Plastic Tsunami started as a sculptural installation that was loosely based on The Seventh Man, a Haruki Murakami short story which deals with a Tsunami, memory, and trauma. The sculptural installation started in 2015 as part of a solo exhibition and transformed several times since then – informed by the characteristics of the space it inhabits.
Waves have fascinated me since early on, perhaps because I grew up in a city by the sea. They can be beautiful and fierce at the same time – their rhythmic movement embodies life and destruction. I have been preoccupied by that duality in relation to the fragility of our Eco system, specifically the increasing danger to our oceans.
The installation is made of thousands recycled fragments taken from my studio work and from every-day life. Together, I aim to create out of these repurposed pieces hybrid seascapes in which the viewer is placed somewhere between the real and the imagined, the organic and the artificial. The layering process resonates with a relentless stubborn resilience and an urgent desire for survival.
Galaxy is a site-specific LED Light installation living in the vertical space of Arcadia Earth’s underwater VR experience space.
It is visualizing sea water surface glint — the sunlight energy passing through the audience with patterns waving across the darkness overhead of 360 degree underwater VR experience.
“the Rainbow Cave”
Commissioned by Arcadia Earth to create an installation celebrating the recent NY State ban on plastic bags, I built the Rainbow Cave out of approximately 44,000 salvaged plastic bags (the amount used in New York State every single minute) and upcycled fishing nets that I pulled out of dumpsters.
Entering the installation submerges you in a sea of plastic, awash in bright, vibrating colors. The walls resemble bleaching corals, now dying en masse in our feverishly warming oceans. As you enter deeper into the cavern, your body throws shadows upon the densely stippled walls, perhaps even bringing to mind Plato’s Allegory of the Cave—a story that continues to resonate through the millenniums because it so succinctly illustrates people's innate fear of change and the pain it brings.
Awakening to the facts of the climate crisis is frightening and saddening. But if we are to survive, we must embrace change. Fortunately, there are ways to ease our transition and promote positive outcomes.
Modern science has statistically proven the powerful role color plays in healing communities and reducing violence. It is no wonder that rainbows are such a potent symbol for peace. In the midst of this climate crisis and all of the suffering it causes, we need light and color more than ever.
Special thanks to Indigo Plastics for generously providing all the salvaged bags used in the installation.
CINDY PEASE ROE
Ten years ago, while walking along the beach on the North Fork of Long Island I was struck by the amount of plastic debris that had washed up on the shoreline. I was aware of the global plastic pollution issue at hand, such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – the nation-sized gyre of swirling plastic that continues to grow off the west coast of the U.S. However, I had never been so abhorrently exposed to the issue on a local and personal level – it was now, for the first time, on my doorstep, and it was totally undeniable. Just as our behavior as a species has changed the course of our natural world, what I have learned over the years has changed the course of my artwork.
I brought some of this plastic marine debris back to the studio and began making art, simultaneously, as my sculptures began to evolve, so did my understanding of the science behind the plastic pollution crisis in the ocean.
The majority of my work is made 100% from marine debris while in some cases I upcycle from other environments. When needed, I collaborate with local craftsmen to produce a multifaceted piece – such as fabricating a metal armature of a whale or other marine creature. Currently I am experimenting with technology such as fiber optics as a lighting element to bring awareness to the issue and reach a wider audience. Using programmable technology, albeit new, and not from the ocean, is a useful tool that can be woven into my work and bolster the strength of my message.
My artwork is friendly, engaging, playful, and more importantly it is educational and persuasive. My goal is to create art that not only sends a message but also allows the audience to learn and digest the information at their own rate. I work to give a voice to the natural world which has been silenced and abused, to inspire change and to ignite a desire to live healthier lives.
“The Creation of Oxygen”
The Creation of Oxygen uses immersive projection mapping to tell the story of how 70% of Earth’s oxygen is created from microscopic, oceanic organisms called phytoplankton. In this installation, the creation and journey of oxygen and the ozone layer are illuminated, creating a completely immersive experience. The story unfolds in four parts; beginning with the rise of phytoplankton deep in the ocean and the bubbling up of oxygen, which then condenses to create the ozone layer, the ozone layer then rises and allows for life to flourish on our spaceship Earth.
“The CO2 Cycle”
This installation utilizes projection mapping and interactive content to demonstrate the organic balance of the CO2 cycle found in nature and how humans impact that system.
The first section uses two 5ft terrariums, one containing a zoomed-in perspective of mycelium and the other containing a depiction of a thriving ecosystem, to display how mycelium connect all living ecosystems, thus acting as the unseen “internet” of nature. Mycelium break down organic matter, creating CO2 in the process which is then ingested by plant life. Projections are used in this section to show the interconnectedness of the plant kingdom, as the signals from the mycelium breathe life into the surrounding greenery.
The second section utilizes a large-scale projection mapped living landscape to demonstrate how humans can directly impact the natural balance of the CO2 cycle. The projections and interactive content in this piece add a second layer to the installation, which allow participants to influence the behavior of the environment based on their proximity to the plant life. When society adds more CO2 into nature than the delicate balance can handle, the plant life is negatively affected, which is shown in the installation through an interactive change in lighting and graphics that symbolize the death and decay of nature due to humanity’s overindulgent production of CO2.
Story + Direction by Justin Bolognino // META // @jbolognino
Technical + Content Direction by Eric Chang // META // @change.is
Special Thanks to : Woody Poulard -@grinchdubs, Kat Vlasova- @alienpinecone, Georgia Marcantoni @georgiamarcantoni, and Jonathan Thompson- @pointshader, Georgia Marcantoni @georgiamarcantoni, and Jonathan Thompson- @pointshader
Charlotte Becket and Emmy Mikelson
Charlotte Becket and Emmy Mikelson are New York City based artists. In addition to their individual work they collaborate on installations that incorporate projection mapping and kinetic sculptures. These works take the form of mirage-like hybrid landscapes as a metaphor for understanding coexistent realities, such as physical and digital space. By perforating the boundaries between physical and computational environments, the work seeks to prompt a dialogue that reflects on how our actions and experiences can become distorted and manipulated in a hybrid landscape. Their work has received support from Signal Culture, Culture Hub NYC, Pratt Institute, Pace University, and most recently Arcadia. Both Emmy and Charlotte received their MFA’s from Hunter College CUNY and their individual work has been widely exhibited and received support from artist residencies and grants.