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Can you Sea Change?


Multi-sensory installation comprised of Beatriz Chachamovits’s hand built ceramic coral sculptures projection mapped by Natasha Tomchin and paired with sound design by Charles Levine. Inspired by Beatriz’s environmental themed coral sculptures and marine conservation activism, this installation maps Natasha’s video art projections and code based graphics onto Beatriz’s 100% hand made clay sculptures. The pairing creates a hypnotic visual effect as the ‘bleached’ coral goes through simulated life cycles modulated by video that cascades across the installation which is then elevated by Charles’ custom sound design rounding out this physical, digital and aural experience.

Now more than ever in Miami, our marine eco-system is seeing the devastating effects of pollution and climate change. This is particularly dangerous as Florida is home to North America’s only barrier reef (and third largest globally) which spans from St. Lucie’s inlet all the way south passing the Dry Tortugas island. The Florida barrier reef stretches 300 miles and contains over fifty species of corals and 500 species of fish. Tragically, about 50% of the reef has died off over the last 20 years from man-made pollution, natural diseases, and overall higher water temperature.

Our goal is to create awareness by unveiling the majestic and natural art of Florida’s at-risk marine ecology and to expose its continuous rate of degradation. This collaboration brings to life something intangible for most audiences through sculpture, projection mapped with video art and heightened by the narration of paired soundscapes. Throughout the duration of the projection mapping, the installation tells a narrative of changing temperatures and increased pollution in the ocean. As time progresses the art installation transforms and reveals all of it’s elements including hidden pieces of ceramic trash blending into the corals as a direct result of human beings.

At our core we believe change IS possible through positive affirmation and emotionally connecting individuals with the cause. This installation draws people in inviting them to spend time examining the “ocean” and just like in nature, the longer the observer is engaged the more majesty is revealed. However, just like in nature today there is an ongoing environmental crisis happening in Biscayne Bay and the surrounding oceans.

sculptures with projection mapping
sculptures with projection mapping close up

This collaborative installation has been shown on three different occasions:

– Debuted for Miami Art Week December 2020 at the Center for Subtropical Affairs as part of a curated art show by Good to Know FYI called A Subtropical Affair.

– March 2021 on site at Bill Baggs State Park in Key Biscayne on the beach with the Florida Reef in the backdrop.

– June 2021 on the rooftop of Soho Beach House as a curated night of programming including cocktails named after endangered coral provided by Bombay Sapphire, debuting the film version of the installation which was projected approximately 30 feet long on the next door building and an ecoactivism panel with Marilu Flores who is the regional director for Surfrider Florida and Puerto Rico.

sculptures with projection mapping installed at CCSA miami
sculptures with projection mapping on the beach

“Degradation can be reversed and we can create art that aids the regeneration of the ecosystem. Life – sickness – death – life.  In a way I see artists as architects of the future, and the future I want to live in is one where we made it work”   Beatriz Chachamovits

Collaboration partners:

Sculpture – Brazilian artist Beatriz Chachamovits’ work deals with the decline of the coral reef ecosystems through drawings, sculptures and installations that investigate and highlight the main causes of the state that coral reefs are found in today. The phenomena known as coral bleaching, ocean acidification and plastic pollution are the main starting points in discussing the human effects in ocean conservancy. Her Carcass installation consists of hundreds of small clay sculptures of coral, sponges, animal bones and plastic debris that together form a white, dead and exposed barrier reef.

Projection Mapping and Video Art – Natasha Tomchin activates Beatriz’s white sculptures by video projection mapping each element with a mirade of ocean seascapes, code-generative depth tracing, and her own digital art. She’s able to map individual pieces of trash and coral to create a juxtaposition of beauty and pollution that blends together before coming back sharply into view. Creating a narrative by shifting videos and evolving details, the installation demonstrates visually the changes of our marine ecosystem.

Sound Design – Charles Levine has made a name as half of the DJ / Producer duo Soul Clap, touring the worlds festivals and night clubs for well over a decade. While music for dancefloors and the airwaves has been his primary focus an interest in ambient experimentation and how sound pairs with installation art has been steadily growing. As part of DJs 4 Climate Action, Charles has access to Greenpeace’s Nature Sound Library which when mixed with synthesizers, live instruments, recordings of living and dead coral reefs, and other found sounds creates a truly unique soundscape designed to be paired with the “coral reef” moving through various life stages.

Cinematography – All Seeing Media (Karli Evans) is a skilled photographer and videographer who has been a long time collaborator of Natasha Tomchin for documenting art installations and portraits. Karli was on site to document the first iteration of “Can You Sea Change?” and was inspired to collaborate with the team to document the various installations and put together a film version of the piece that can be used to large scale project the installation or to showcase in a new format and provide context.

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