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Office of Economic Development
Office of Economic Development

CUBE SPACE

Sea Beds and Signals by Dimitra Skandali
June 8 through August 10, 2019

 Dimitra pro image 
Dimitra Skandali Cube Space installation. Photo by Marie-Luise Klotz

Sea Beds and Signals, by artist Dimitra Skandali, is a site-specific installation created for the Cube Space, a new art exhibition space located on the ground floor of the Center Street Garage on Addison Street near Milvia in the heart of the arts district in Downtown Berkeley. This exhibition was organized by independent curator Demetri Broxton with support from the City of Berkeley’s Civic Arts Program and is on view 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from June 8 through August 10, 2019.  

Using materials such as seagrass and seaweed from the Pacific Ocean and found fishing net from the coasts of Bengal, Skandali’s installation is composed of elements that allude to oceanic environments, pollution and a growing environmental risk. Here these fragile materials hang in tendrils from the ceiling and are woven together to form a delicate web that fills the space. The weaving together of these materials from disparate locations from around the world speaks to the interconnectedness of individuals separated by geography and worldviews who remain linked by the same global issues of climate change and its impact on our oceans. Embroidered into and suspended from the woven mass of sea grass, net and fishing line are two frayed reflective emergency blankets that appear to be held in time in an undulating form as if adrift in the sea. The blankets are embroidered with a multitude of letter-like marks and lines made of sea grass which overlap painted charts of both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. This mark-making manifests a confused emotional and psychological state suggesting an attempted emergency communication in a coded language. The stitching both punctures and holds together the deteriorated blankets, which are now unable to provide protection or safety. Projected onto the shiny underside of the suspended blankets is a video of movement and color which illuminates the ground below and shines through the punctures and tears in the blanket filling the space with movement and light. The installation is accompanied by a soundtrack that draws viewers into an undulating sound of making and unmaking during the process of embroidering the blankets. Sea Beds and Signals evokes fragility, ethereality, and beauty overcoming ugliness, confusion, careless intervention, and destruction.

Dimitra Skandali grew up on Paros, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. She states, “I carry my island with me everywhere and it shapes the way I see the world. I create installations that weave together found elements and sounds from those locales and other sites to create ethereal forms; reminders of the sea, with its openness and possibilities, as well as its fragile and unstable limitations.” Skandali was educated in Greece and the Netherlands before moving to California and earning her MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2013. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and her works have been exhibited throughout the Bay Area, New York, Los Angeles, and Houston, as well as in the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Portugal, the Philippines, and Greece. She lives and works in the United States and Paros Island, Greece.

 

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