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GENERATOR: USF Contemporary Art Museum

An expansion of the University of South Florida College of The Arts’ Contemporary Art Museum, GENERATOR is an incubator of new ideas and a place for expanded artistic experimentation. Primarily focused on the moving image and time-based contemporary art, the USF Contemporary Art Museum, GENERATOR offers a new cultural dimension to the St. Petersburg arts district that contributes to the city’s prominence as an arts destination while offering free public access to an inclusive space for creative exploration, research, and experimentation. 

GENERATOR: USF Contemporary Art Museum builds upon the museum’s distinguished history of innovative and bold programming, while shining a light on scores of untold stories and emerging voices as relayed principally through digital media, film, and advanced visualization technologies and platforms. Projects will focus on issues of equity and justice while using the unique perspective of artists to illuminate diverse knowledge, excluded histories, and practices for future resiliency in an uncertain time; additionally, programming will be inspired by an expanded understanding of our contemporary climate that highlights local and global environmental, social, and political concerns. 

EDISON PEÑAFIEL: MARE MAGNVM (A Floridian Odyssey/Una Odisea en la Florida)

August 26 - October 26, 2024
Harbor Hall Gallery, USF St. Petersburg
1000 3rd St S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 - Gallery entrance on South end of building

MARE MAGNVM (A Floridian Odyssey/Una Odisea en la Florida) is a panoramic video installation featuring a stylized, monochromatic sea populated by 14 boats, each with its own unique collection of characters caught in a perpetual loop. Every 30 minutes, the film’s characters arrive back where they began. Despite being larger than life, their boats are constructed of various found objects, including wood, oil drums, and tires, pointing to real-life scenes of migration across bodies of water. 

The name MARE MAGNVM comes from the Latin for “Great Sea,” the term the Romans used to describe the Mediterranean. The word “mare” has a complicated history, being associated with evil spirits and terrors in various cultures, including in Old English and Old Irish. Today, the waters of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, along with other sites of mass migration, reflect an ongoing horror, as millions of migrants flee war, instability, and climate change. MARE MAGNVM does not refer to a single migration event, but rather expands the viewers’ experience to encompass the phenomenon as a whole. A panoramic artwork, MARE MAGNVM immerses viewers in the struggle of crossing borders, alerting them to a future in which rising waters will push unprecedented numbers of people away from the places they call home. 

MARE MAGNVM was produced with the technical support of MAD LABS.  

SUPERFLEX: This Is The Tip Of The Iceberg

October 6 - November 22, 2023
Harbor Hall Gallery, USF St. Petersburg
1000 3rd St S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 - Gallery entrance on South end of building 

GENERATOR: University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum presents its inaugural exhibition, SUPERFLEX: This Is The Tip Of The Iceberg, which explores a world where human life depends on coexistence with other species. Emerging from SUPERFLEX’s in-depth research into the deep sea, biodiversity, and the climate, the installation immerses viewers in two parallel and interconnected realms–a terrestrial space unsettled by rising water and a submerged space in the ocean’s depths–to signify the impacts and consequences of climate change, especially relevant to Florida and its coastal communities, and prompting the imagination of a future in which all lifeforms coexist as ecological equals. 

SUPERFLEX: This Is The Tip Of The Icebergis curated by Sarah Howard, Director of GENERATOR: USFCAM, and organized by USFCAM. GENERATOR: USFCAM and its programs are generously supported by USF College of the Arts, Tampa and St. Petersburg; the Florida Department of State, Florida Arts & Culture; the Lee & Victor Leavengood Endowment; and the Stanton Storer Embrace the Arts Foundation.