The East End’s very own Cindy Pease Roe is part of an immersive exhibit featuring several environmental artists in New York City. Arcadia Earth, open until the end of January 2020, dives into the depth of our waters with 15 rooms and 13,000 square feet of artistic creation, heightened by augmented reality, to a multi-sensory, fully interactive experience. Arcadia, defined as an “image of life that is believed to be perfect” by the Cambridge Dictionary, is more than meets the eye. The maze of colorful hues and seemingly beautiful displays contrasts with a more serious subject, climate change.
Featuring additional works by artists Tamara Kostianovsky, Chika, Meta, Basia Goszczynska, Poramit Thantapalit, Charlotte Becket and Emmy Mikelson, and Etty Yaniv, each of the rooms focuses on a different climate change issue. Through the help of charity and educational partner, Oceanic Global, the art exhibit gives way to an educational tour on the very real threat global warming poses, with factual texts and voice-overs throughout the tour.
There’s an application for guests to download upon their visit. This app unfolds another dimension of the exhibit, from augmented reality imagery to listing businesses with sustainable practices.
Created by Valentino Vettori, Arcadia Earth was designed as a luminescent display for a much darker conversation. The Indy caught up with Roe to learn more.
How did you become involved with Arcadia Earth?
I was introduced to Valentino Vettori, who created Arcadia Earth, through my son. My son is connected with Oceanic Global and told Valentino about my work. At the time I was thinking about creating a gyre. As it turned out, he could envision it and thought it would be cool to add mirrors and additional ideas to the piece. So it’s a collaboration with his vision.
How would you describe Valentino’s vision?
He wanted to create this experience that would be taking on the issues that are facing Earth today and us as a species, and that it would be a very immersive experience for people to come from using technology, art, and his ability to create an amazing set. But to use it toward a solution in terms of educating people as opposed to it being a problem.
Have you met the other artists before?
The first Arcadia Earth was last year down in Miami for Miami Art Week. I met other artists last year down there, not all of them.
How do you incorporate the East End into your piece?
I have incorporated all of the marine plastic that I picked up off the local beach in the sculpture. My piece is a chandelier and I actually got a vintage airplane fuselage cover from John Mazur of Lumber and Salt in Jamesport. It’s a six by six-foot cone shape.
What inspired the piece?
Just after I’d met with Valentino, I was driving home on the North Fork, and I saw this huge cover and I was like, “Oh my god, that would be amazing. It’s so perfect to create this gigantic chandelier.” I had already created a smaller replica of the chandelier gyre in my studio. So it had already been on my mind. I feel that using fiber optics is a way of bringing in a whole new audience and teaching them about plastics and a way of really engaging people with the art. There are 14 large gyres around the world. The one that most people know about is the island of plastic out in the Pacific, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the size of Texas, that’s a gyre, the confluence of current and wind.
Arcadia Earth is located at 718 Broadway, New York. The experience takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour. Tickets start at $27 and can be purchased at www.arcadia.earth or at the door. To view more of Roe’s art, visit www.cindypeaseroe.com.