Calendar

HIGHWAYS ARE A CONSTRUCT, Temporarily held for Sunset Blvd, above Interstate 110, and across from the Four Level Interchange or “the Stack” the world’s first multilevel highway interchange.

Special Commission on Roads

101 8th Street, Miami Beach

March 15 - April 18, 2021

 

Mark Twain, once a steamboat captain on the Mississippi, developed techniques for navigating the river. While the passengers saw "pretty pictures" of landscape scenes, he was extracting information from the changing "face of the water." A little ripple, eddy, or "faint dimple" signaled turbulence or obstacles in a complex and potentially dangerous organization below the surface.

- Keller Easterling, Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space

The Department of Reflection's Special Commission on Roads explores roads, highways, and related infrastructure and how what has since its inception been promoted and mythologized as an emblem of American freedom is today crumbling beneath our wheels. How did we get here? ...or are we still stuck in traffic?

 

For the past 100 years our basic needs have been intrinsically tied to roads, and the extraction of fossil fuels and other depleting natural resources such as asphalt and sand. All of this doesn't take away from the very real necessity of the cars, trucks, buses, and bikes we all use along our innumerable paved roads on a daily basis, but what alternatives can we collectively dream up when we view our roads just as temporary and banal as a traffic jam? Our Special Commission on Roads endeavors to answer just that and other related concerns through the lens of the artistic practices of local and national collaborators.

 

The Commission had its beginnings in July of 2020 when DoR Director misael soto felt compelled to hit the road. What started as instinctual and somewhat impulsive melded into investigative art practice (or was it art all along?). While in transit misael turned their focus towards the country's highway history and the social implications of the now failing infrastructure, what they see as perhaps the most telling of American public works projects. Seven different customized road signs became research tools as misael temporarily placed them on sites along the road throughout the country, revealing circumstantial truths along the way. Related to this research a road signs installation was installed semi-permanently at Dimensions Variable, Miami in December of 2020. These signs have made their way to Miami and are being employed once again to help in researching local streets, highways, and infrastructure as part of this Commission.

The Special Commission on Roads includes work and collaborations with several local and national artists including Jenna BalfePaola Cassola, Najja MoonNina Sarnelle, J.M. Urbina, Donzii, an exhibition featuring works by artists from New York City organized by P.A.D., and a curated library of free books by Bookleggers.

 

Findings will be made available to the public at the conclusion of the commission.

Schedule

 

March 31, 2021, 6pm

Paola Cassola with Christelle Chopard: Exploring the space between: Dharmic Movement Workshop

 

Paola Cassola will guide visitors through a workshop which will begin at our main space in South Beach and includes a short walk in the area. Participants will be given a series of exercises in order to observe, explore, and experiment the outdoor space, evoking feelings of contemplation and mindfulness while challenging infrastructure, those of their surroundings and those of their inner nature. In a moment of recollection, writer, life coach and healer Christelle Chopard (Amarun), will offer a vortex meditation and facilitate an inner exploration sharing the tools to align frequencies with intention and balance the five elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether). Please wear comfortable clothing.


Multi-media artist Paola Cassola's work aims to question how the physical form can move through space and time either as one entity or in tandem choreography with others. Cassola was born in Milano, in 1980. She has lived and worked in London, Madrid, Geneva, Santiago de Chile and Rio de Janeiro and currently lives and works in Miami, Florida. Her work has been exhibited at United Nations (Geneva, Switzerland), Laura Haber Gallery (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Fountainhead Wynwood (Miami, FL), Galleria Ca'D'Oro (Miami-New York), Fabbrica del Vapore and Palazzo Radetsky (Milano, Italy), Artigo Rio (Rio de Janeiro, Brasil), Escola de Artes Visuais at Parque Lage (Rio de Janeiro, Brasil), Gam Gallery (Rio de Janeiro), Essenz Gallery (Wien, Austria), Palazzo Ca'Dona' at 57 Venice Biennale (Italy), Photolux Festival (Lucca, Italy). In 2007, she became the first artist to travel from London to Ulanbataar (Mongolia), in 30 days, in an old Fiat 500 car. Cassola’s work has been presented in publications including: Elle, L’Espresso, MarieClaire, Vogue, BeArt Magazine, AmericaOggi, Artribune, Giornale dell’Arte, Miami New Times, El Nuevo Herald.

Holistic life coach, Christelle Chopard brings a unique approach based on the 5 elements of nature for healing and for the creation of vortexes in spaces. Christelle has three decades of experience offering holistic therapies, yoga-therapy, coaching and consulting to individuals and at healing resorts worldwide. Her clear methodology (Dharmi® Method) leads people to healthy bodies, relationships and lifestyle. She is also a published author, offers yoga teacher training, and life coaching certification training. Christelle incorporates ancestral wisdom and innovative coaching modalities to support your wellbeing.

April 3-4, 2021

J.M. Urbina: New Works

 

Starting Saturday morning, J.M. Urbina will take as much time as he needs to complete two new canvases over the course of the weekend. DoR Director misael soto will engage the artist in dialogue as he creates, discussing researched materials and personal musings on roads, infrastructure, petro-capitalism, Venezuela, and the climate crisis. Using asphalt tar and paint the commissioned works will then hang in the space for the duration of the Special Commission. Passersby will be able to watch the artist create from our storefront windows.


Venezuelan-born Miami-based painter, J.M. Urbina, has been exploring the aural associations between unconventional painting mediums (tar, asphalt) and their respective relationships to color for the past several years. Fascinated by textural landscapes, J.M. draws from the material wealth of his home country’s petroleum industry and blends it with abstract painting methods. These artworks, removed from any political context, create connections between sensory stimuli and the greater industrial environment.

 

Date TBD

De-Code Compliance

with team members Jenna Balfe and Najja Moon

The Department of Reflection's De-Code Compliance Team has been focusing on roads for the Commission and will be conducting exploratory field research around our offices on South Beach. Who do roads and related infrastructure truly serve and how are these dynamics visibly apparent in our common areas? Watch and engage with us as we work! Everyone's input is welcome and encouraged.

April 17, 2021

Join us for a closing celebration as we reflect back on the Commission and commune with several invited artists. P.A.D. will be with us all day with a sidewalk exhibition and sale of work by a number of New York artists, and programming will include a presentation by Nina Sarnelle (5pm), a performance by Paola Cassola (6pm), and a closing dance party with Donzii (7pm).

Paola Cassola: Bodymobil.2021.

A new work specially conceived for DoR's Special Commission on Roads Cassola places her body in the middle of an investigation using decommissioned car tires and improvisational movement while the audience is immersed in documentation of Cassola's journey from London to Mongolia, a work from 2007 titled Beyond boundaries. To the land of Gengis Kahn, and a series of photographs titled Infra-STRUCTURE-movements (2020).

Nina Sarnelle: Erosion of Silicon Beach

Nina Sarnelle's video and accompanying mementos from Santa Monica, California re-imagines the very real problem of beach erosion in Southern California (exacerbated by human-caused climate change) with an even further anthropocentric twist, staging a participatory shattering of techno-optimism that is both quotidian and sublime.

Door to DoR - an exhibition by Project Art Distribution (P.A.D.) 

with Adam Milner, Adams Puryear, Alejandro de la Guerra, Andrea McGinty, Andy Ralph, Becky Kinder, Bob Szantyr, Carlos Rigau, Cole Wilson, Dan Mandelbaum, Erik Sommer, Isaac Dunne, Kristina Schmidt, Maja Wittrup, Marissa Delano, Peter Hoffmeister, Rory Rosenberg, and Sonya Derman

Hit the Road with P.A.D.! The shipping blanket is made to move, made to protect and transport. In 2021, we are still dependent on archaic means of transportation (i.e. the fossil-fuel-burning automobile). Let's imagine the future of movement and herd down to Miami right on time for herd immunity. This cattle drive will bring P.A.D. and its roving salesman to the end of Spring Break for a special exchange with the Department of Reflection.

Two paintings by J.M. Urbina and a photograph by Paola Cassola on view at the Department of Reflection Special Commission on Roads. 

Project Art Distribution presents NYPL2020 an exhibition featuring books, comics, sculptures, and drawings by several artists on October 3, 2020.

misael soto conducting De-Code Compliance research in Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Miami, FL on February, 2021. Taken by John DeFaro.

Paola Cassola, Infra-STRUCTURE-movements, Photography, 2021.

Still from Erosion of Silicon Beach by Nina Sarnelle

Multi-media artist Paola Cassola's work aims to question how the physical form can move through space and time either as one entity or in tandem choreography with others. Cassola was born in Milano, in 1980. She has lived and worked in London, Madrid, Geneva, Santiago de Chile and Rio de Janeiro and currently lives and works in Miami, Florida. Her work has been exhibited at United Nations (Geneva, Switzerland), Laura Haber Gallery (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Fountainhead Wynwood (Miami, FL), Galleria Ca'D'Oro (Miami-New York), Fabbrica del Vapore and Palazzo Radetsky (Milano, Italy), Artigo Rio (Rio de Janeiro, Brasil), Escola de Artes Visuais at Parque Lage (Rio de Janeiro, Brasil), Gam Gallery (Rio de Janeiro), Essenz Gallery (Wien, Austria), Palazzo Ca'Dona' at 57 Venice Biennale (Italy), Photolux Festival (Lucca, Italy). In 2007, she became the first artist to travel from London to Ulanbataar (Mongolia), in 30 days, in an old Fiat 500 car. Cassola’s work has been presented in publications including: Elle, L’Espresso, MarieClaire, Vogue, BeArt Magazine, AmericaOggi, Artribune, Giornale dell’Arte, Miami New Times, El Nuevo Herald.

Nina Sarnelle is an artist and musician living on stolen Tongva/Kizh/Chumash land that is often referred to as Los Angeles. She earned a BA from Oberlin College and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University in 2012. A founding member of artist collectives the Institute for New Feeling and dadpranks, her work includes intimate participatory performances, large public events, music composition, video and sculpture. Her work has been shown at the New Museum (NY), Whitechapel Gallery (London), Hammer Museum (LA), Getty Center (LA), Ballroom Marfa (TX), MoMA (NY), Istanbul Modern (Turkey), Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (Berlin), NADA (Miami), Museum of Art, Architecture & Technology (Lisbon), Fundacion PROA (Buenos Aires), Black Cube (Denver), Southern Exposure (San Francisco), Recess (NY), Akademie Schloss Solitude (Germany), Jardin Essential (Brussels), UNSW Galleries (Sydney), Project 88 (Mumbai), Kevin Space (Vienna), Villa Croce Contemporary Art Museum (Genova), Center for Contemporary Arts (Santa Fe), Mwoods (Beijing), MoCA Cleveland, Human Resources (LA), Borscht Festival (Miami), SPACES (Cleveland), Threewalls (Chicago), Vox Populi (Philadelphia), Miller Gallery (Pittsburgh), and featured in Frieze, Art in America, Vogue Italy, Huffington Post, SFMoMA, Creators Project, FlashArt, and Hyperallergic.

Donzii is known for their performance art narrative and skilled musicianship, which has amassed a cult following in Miami. Their sound, replete with mythical utopian guitars, can be compared to No Wave and Post Punk, yet they don’t align themselves with any one genre. Currently Donzii is Jenna Balfe on vocals, Dennis Fuller on bass, Danny Heinz on guitar, Miles Hancock on keys & Monroe Getz on drums.

P.A.D. is an art exhibition space in historic SOHO (South of Houston) District in New York City. It reflects the bustling economy of artists making, selling and promoting their artworks on the street year-round, weather permitting. The aim of the space is to platform small and editioned works by artists that are interested in embracing new contexts for exhibiting.

The Special Commission on Roads is supported by the City of Miami Beach and their Open House residency program, and by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.