MOBIL WARMING: MIAMI BEIGE—ISLAND OF ABANDONED LUXURY
This intervention with the governor of Florida regarding climate change and First Amendment rights feels like a call and response experience, but has elements of a dance and a possible bullfight. I also took the project, which utilizes digital, print, and performance, to Los Angeles in December.
Florida Governor Rick Scott censors artist on Climate Change; Jay Critchley challenges “cease and desist” order for using the State Seal of Florida in his Mobil Warming proposal: Miami Beige—island of abandoned luxury
In a recent letter to me, CEO of Mobil Warming, Florida Governor Rick Scott and Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzne demanded I “cease and desist” using the Great Seal of the State of Florida in my logo—the repurposed Mobil Oil logo that positions the state seal in the “o.” The proposal, “Miami Beige—island of abandoned Luxury” envisions the Ocean Drive strip of Miami Beach as an exclusive island after expected sea level rise.
In a letter sent to Adam S. Tanenbaum, General Counsel, Florida Department of State, Lawrence G. Walters of the Walters Law Group, who represents me, states that his client “enjoys a First Amendment right to continue his publication of the Seal in his political speech. We therefore request that your office retract the demand.”
“Governor Scott and his fellow Republicans deny climate change science,” I state, “yet Florida is feeling the severe impact of sea level rise and storms threaten to wipe away popular tourist destinations along the coast.” Miami has been listed as the number one most vulnerable city worldwide in terms of property damage, with more than $416 billion in assets at risk to storm-related flooding and sea level rise. “Our country was founded on the right of citizens to criticize the government, and speak out on matters of public concern,” Attorney Walters continues. “Mr. Critchley’s use of the Seal is obviously satirical and his publications are intended to call the public’s attention to the State’s position on climate change, rising sea levels, and population density in the Miami Beach area.”
As of today, there has been no response back from Governor Scott. I continue to use the Mobil Warming logo—alternating the seals of Florida, California, and the US to date, depending on where I take the project. The LA performance was presided over by me, the CEO, with PowerPoint, music, dance, and the ritualized drinking of petroleum.