Creation myths, immortalising waters, conservatories, tiki bars, houseplants, Instagram filters, Fyre Festival…how did the tropics transition from a far-off imaginary into a ubiquitous aesthetic? What does the resurgent interest in the tropical say about our contemporary cultural climate, and how are its seemingly infinite manifestations connected? Where did the visual language of the tropics stem from, how is it being used today, and where is it headed?
Understanding ‘tropicality’ as a concept originally developed by western culture and deeply embedded in narratives of colonialism and imperialism, New Tropics traces the tropical imaginary from the so-called ‘Age of Exploration’ to its present application. Stitching together the disciplines of contemporary art, architecture, anthropology, digital culture, cinema, economics, geography, interior design, politics, and technology, New Tropics operates as a networked digital compendium, wherein the presence of the tropical can be traveled in any order.