Felice Grodin’s Terrafish Diagnostic 2521 is a speculative video about the evolutionary adaptation of the Physalia physalis, a species closely related to jellyfish and commonly known as the “man o’ war.” The Physalia physalis lives in colonies composed of many physiologically integrated zooids, which together form clusters that work as singular organisms to claim and terraform the South Florida waterfront. Grodin sets one colony, named Terrafish, 500 years in the future, where a drowned Miami exists more as an intertidal zone, submerged by the effects of sea-level rise, than as the hyper-capitalist city it is today.
Terrafish Diagnostic 2521 reflects on the pervasiveness of invasive species in the unstable South Florida ecosystem, impacted by the human-made consequences of climate change, and imagines a future overtaken by these uncanny creatures. Mapping the ecosystem they destabilize through the lens of architecture and urban design, the project renders moments of tension and vulnerability between human and non-human species. With archival footage and sounds, AutoCAD drawings, and augmented reality, it analyzes the mutability of rapidly shifting ecologies of nature, architecture, and urban development.
Terrafish Diagnostic 2521 expands on the narrative of Grodin’s 2017–2018 Augmented Reality commission, Invasive Species, at the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), which was curated by PAMM’s Jennifer Inacio.
Felice Grodin lives and works in Miami Beach, Florida. Her practice focuses on the integration of art and narration. Many of her stories take shape as possible futures that can be experienced in the present, incorporating digital tools including augmented reality, digital modeling and fabrication, and video. From 2017–2019, Grodin was featured in Felice Grodin: Invasive Species, the first solo exhibition of large-scale augmented reality artworks, at PAMM. She has since teamed up with PAMM for additional AR projects in collaboration with UNTITLED Art Fair, The Deering Estate, and Miami International Airport. Grodin is also a founding member of the collaborative A.S.T. (Alliance of the Southern Triangle), which explores artistic and cultural possibilities reimagined in an era of climate change and political volatility. In addition, in 2015, she was awarded a WaveMaker Grant from the Cannonball Arts Organization. Grodin received a Bachelor of Architecture and the Thomas J. Lupo Award for Metropolitan Studies from Tulane University, and a Master of Architecture with Distinction from Harvard University, where she received the Faculty Design Award.
Anna L. Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World, 2015↩
Le Guin positions the container, rather than the spear, as the first human tool, following the writings of Elizabeth Fisher. Ursula K. Le Guin, The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, 1986↩
In “On Non-Scalability,” Tsing establishes that a primary critique of scalable frameworks is of their inability to maintain diversity. Taking that intrinsic flaw into account, we aim to not promote the amplification of a singular feminist framework. Anna L. Tsing, “On Non-Scalability,” 2012↩
In an interview with Jorge Cotte, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun states, “Every form of communication is based on a fundamental leakiness.” These leaks can be seen as moments of possibility. Wendy Chun, “Reimagining Networks,” The New Inquiry, 2020↩
Anna L. Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World, 2015; Anna L. Tsing, Roxana Fabius, Patricia M. Hernandez, Mindy Seu, “Big histories are always best told through insistent, if humble, details,” The Scalability Project, A.I.R. Gallery, 2020↩
In Glitch Feminism, Legacy Russell sees the glitch as a catalyst rather than an error, a “correction to the machine.” Legacy Russell, “Digital Dualism And The Glitch Feminism Manifesto,” Cyborgology, 2012↩
Here we are drawing from Judy Wajcman’s definition of interpretive flexibility. Wajcman describes technology’s malleable character, emphasizing that there is nothing inevitable about the way technologies evolve. Users have the power to radically alter technologies’ meanings and deployment. Judy Wajcman, TechnoFeminism p.37↩