We had the good fortune of connecting with Felice Grodin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Felice, how do you think about risk?
Risk is integral, I believe, to everyone’s life at the moment. Within this time of a pandemic, merely walking outside your front door is a risk. On a larger note, risk is something that people may choose to fear or mitigate, but in re-considering risk, it might something to integrate. In my life and career, I’ve made choices that took me off the beaten track, and certainly by choosing to be an Artist, that in itself is a risk. Yet, it was not so much a conscious choice, but rather a calling. Thus, integrating risk could be something positive, in that we may discover we have agency within the choices we make that contain risk.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My practice pivots between analog and digital worlds, and how worlds themselves can be made through the exploration of art. I began with drawing abstract landscapes on sheets pieces of paper, and eventually experimented with Augmented Reality in areas over 100′ around. Because I studied architecture: cities, networks and infrastructure – both organic and synthetic have influenced me as well. To quote my website (which needs updating!): “My work is also a fusion of my background and the unique cities in which I have lived. San Francisco’s earthquakes, Miami’s hurricanes, New Orleans’ weakened levees, Venice’s rising lagoon and New York during 9/11, have left indelible impressions on me of the vulnerability and resiliency of life in the big city. In turn, my work posits a contemporary interpretation of the space that we live in today – a contradictory world that is simultaneously global, territorial and always transforming.” I overcame the fear and challenge of shifting from a more conventional role as an architect to an experimental artist. But I learned along the way, that both modalities are useful in balancing my skills, pursuits and most importantly, alliances. My story is one of world-imagining and speculative world-making through alliances that cross many disciplines. The common denominator is the imagining of a better future.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If a friend was visiting me I’d surely take them on a trip to the Everglades. Although we have incredible beaches, there is only one Everglades. I’d take them through areas of Miami like Little Havana and Little Haiti. I’d also do something that I haven’t done which – I’d like to do – explore the areas north of South Florida, like the natural springs or the Space Coast. I think that the state of Florida is a series of fantastic and surreal moments, one after another. The element that ties it together is water…
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to take this opportunity to give a shoutout to my colleagues in A.S.T. (Alliance of the Southern Triangle). Alliance of the Southern Triangle (A.S.T.) was established in 2015 and consists of Diann Bauer, Felice Grodin, Patricia Margarita Hernandez, and Elite Kedan. We work in the fields of art, architecture, and urban design. A.S.T. began as a research project focusing on the idea of the global city, with a focus on Miami as a case study. The project is committed to the idea that developmental trajectories of a city can be altered through the adaptation of the networks that already control it, paired with creative rethinking of what a city can be. A.S.T. uses the interdisciplinary space of art to function as a platform upon which to conceive of these possible futures that are both reactive and propositional with regard to the shifting set of legal, economic, cultural, and environmental forces that confront us. My practice and the way in which I look at things, have evolved completely by the support, mentorship, love and encouragement of Diann, Patricia and Elite. I also want to include by dear friend and colleague AdrienneRose Gionta. We’ve worked on many projects, especially inspired by love and where we attempt to find it. Finally, a shoutout goes to Linda Chamorro whom I’ve been recently collaborating with. She’s also helping me to see life more holistically.