Forthcoming December 2017 — Exhibition ‘Mapping Domeyko’ Laznia, Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdánsk, Poland
2017 — Symposium ‘Visualidad, Materialidad y Minería (Visuality, Materiality and Mining), MAC Parque Forestal, Santiago, Chile
2017 — Exhibition ‘El Tráfico de la Tierra (Trafficking the Earth), MAC Parque Forestal, Santiago, Chile
2017 – Research and Development Award Valand Academy and Hasselblad Foundation, Sweden
2017 — Individual exhibition ‘Coquimbo & Swansea’, National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, Wales
2017 — Conference to celebrate the 215 Anniversary of Ignacio Domeyko, Vilnius and Minsk
2017 — Research residency, Serlachius-museot, Finland
2017 — Artist residency, Casa Feliza, Fundación Camara Oscura, Barranquilla, Colombia
2017 — Online publication Fototazo, Colombia
2017 — Artist talk and roundtable ‘Landscapes of Abandonment’, Birkbeck University, UCL, London
2017 — Artist talk ‘Conflicted minerals and artistic practices’ workshop, Arts Catalyst, London
2017 — Artist talk, University of Leeds
2017 — Marta Dahó’s presentation ‘Los Paisajes de la Globalización’, Sociedad Fotográfica Alavesa, Vitoria, País Vasco, Spain
2016 — Visiting lecturer in collaboration with mmmmm collective, Slade School of Fine Arts, UCL, London
2016 — PhD thesis, University of Brighton
2016 — Marta Dahó’s paper ‘Ecologías Mutantes symposium’, MACBA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona
2016 — Donation of work to foundation for contemporary art, Fundación FAVA, Santiago, Chile
2016 — Group exhibition and publication ‘Arena’, Noorderlicht Photofestival, Museum Belvédère Heerenveen The Netherlands
2016 — Artist in residency, Academy of Fine Arts / Łaźnia, Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdańsk, Poland
2016 — Veronica Posada ‘A visual Economy of London — South America’, MA thesis, University of Westminster, London
2016 — New website ‘Traces of Nitrate’, University of Brighton
2016 — Conference ‘Traffic: movement / place / flow / mobility’, Plymouth University
2016 — Symposium ‘Artists in the Field – Ephemeral Landscapes and Experimental Geographies’, Parasol unit, foundation for contemporary art, London
2015 — Artist talk, Galería AFA, Santiago Chile
2015 — Artist talk, MA Photography, Universidad Finis Terrae, Santiago, Chile
2015 — Artist talk ‘Explore 15’, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), London
2015 — Interview, Fototazo, Colombia
2015 — Publication ‘Beyond Gated Communities’, London
2015 — Federica Chiocchetti’s (The Photocaptionist) essay, Unseen Photo festival magazine, Amsterdam
2015 — Group exhibition and publication ‘Depresiones Intermedias’, Parque Cultural Cerro Carcel, Valparaíso
2015 — Conference ‘Portable Landscapes: Environments on the Move’, Durham University
2015 — Online network, Temporary School of Experimental Geography (TSOEG)
2015 — Online network European Prospects
2015 — Sympium ‘Visuality, Materiality and Mining’, University of Brighton
2015 — Exhibition ‘Sun&Shadow’, Wild Pansy Press Project Space, University of Leeds
2015 — Publication ‘Research News’, Centre for Research and Development, University of Brighton
2015 — Performance lecture ‘Underway series’, PARCspace, London College of Communication, London
2014 — Publication ‘Observatorio Cultural’ No.25, Consejo de la Cultura, Santiago, Chile
2015 — Publication ‘Paisajes Tarapaqueños’, Metales Pesados, Chile
2015 — Radical walking tour, The Bluecoat, Liverpool
2015 — Conversation, The Bluecoat, Liverpool
2015 — Artist in Residency ‘LOOK/15 International Festival’, Liverpool
2014 — Group exhibition ‘Contrasts and Utopias’, Biennial of the end of the world, Argentina
2014 — Interview, Cien Ojos Latinos, Guatemala
2014 — Conference ‘Photography and Politics and the Politics of Photography’, 3rd Conference of Photography and Theory, Cyprus
2014 — Exhibition Feria Ch.ACO, Galería AFA, Santiago de Chile
2014 — Artist talk, Cultural Santa Inés, La Serena, Chile
2014 — Publication ‘Toxic Forest’, Quadern de les arts i les lletres, No195, Barcelona
2014 — Artist Residency ‘Dispositivo 2/Plataforma Editable’, Chile
2013 — Conference paper ‘Beyond Gated Communities Research Conference’, University of Brighton
2013 — Conference ‘Re-Contested Sites/Sights’, TrAIN: Re-Contested Sites/Sights Conference, University of the Arts, London
2013 — Professional network, Ph: The Photography Research Network, London
2013 — Group exhibition ‘Surface Exposure’, University of Brighton
2013 — Network, Arte Sur
2013 — Week of events ‘Traces of Nitrate: Some documents’. Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck, University of London
2013 — Symposium ‘Critical Urban Ecology: Urban Territories’, University of Brighton
2012 — Doctoral Award, Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK
2010 — Bi-personal exhibition ‘On the Verge: Epiphanies on the Commute’, Blank Gallery, Brighton
2010 — Individual Exhibition ‘Mapping the Zone’, Galeria Moro, Santiago, Chile
2010 — Festival ‘Business Districts’, This is Not a Getaway, London
2009 — Symposium ‘Santa María de Iquique: Una Arqueología de la Violencia’, Universidad Uniacc, Santiago, Chile
2009 — Artist residency ‘Portraits Now’, Haywood Hospital, Stoke-on-Trent
2009 — Group exhibition and publication ‘Between the Hallucinatory and the Real’, MA Photography, University of Brighton
2008 — Group exhibition ‘Coded’, Brighton Media Centre, Brighton Photo Fringe, Brighton
2006 — Group exhibition ‘A to Z’, Man museum, Liverpool Biennial of Independents, Liverpool
Laznia, Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdánsk, Poland
Bi-personal exhibition with Jakub Bojzcuk
Forthcoming December 2017
'My Travels' (Diaries in Exile). From the series 'Mapping Domeyko', 2014 © Ignacio Acosta
Mapping Domeyko is a project inspired by the expeditions of Ignacy Domeyko. Through a constellation of materials, including drawings, historical photographs, objects and new photographic series, the project builds a visual archive that speaks about the relationship between history, mineralogy and migration.
Based on My Travels (Diaries in Exile), the project maps out Domeyko’s global movements, exploring his blurred national identity between Chile, Lithuania and Poland.
Museo Arte Contemporáneo (MAC), Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile
Visualidad, Materialidad y Minería (Visuality, Materiality and Mining)
8 September 2017
A multidisciplinary symposium exploring the visual and material culture of mining industries in the Atacama Desert. The symposium is articulated around activism, environmentalism and artistic practices, discussing forms of engagement, resistance and representation of the environmental, social and political complexities of extractive industries in Chile. The symposium presents a timely critical analysis of the impact of contemporary and historical mining on Chilean landscapes and communities, in response to the work produced by the exhibition 'El Trafico de la Tierra' presented by the Traces of Nitrate research team.
Este simposio multidisciplinar propone explorar la cultura visual y material de las industrias mineras. Se articula en torno a la relación entre activismo, ecologismo y prácticas artísticas, examinando formas de participación, de resistencia y de representación de las complejidades ambientales, sociales y políticas de las industrias extractivas en Chile. El simposio presenta un oportuno análisis crítico del impacto de la minería contemporánea e histórica sobre los paisajes y las comunidades chilenas, en relación al la exhibición El tráfico de la Tierra presentada por el equipo de investigación del proyecto Traces of Nitrate .
Museo Arte Contemporáneo (MAC), Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile
Trafficking the Earth
Ignacio, Acosta, Louise Purbrick, Xavier Ribas
7 September-12 November 2017
Capitalism changes everything. It has altered our relationship to the Earth. It has ripped lands apart, torn out their materials and hauled them over the surface of the world as the traffic between nations and within markets.
Extraction and export is the business of capital.
All forms of exchange are acts of appropriation but mining removes material that can never be replaced; taken, transformed and trafficked with no intent to repay.
Trafficking the Earth is a collaboration between photographers Xavier Ribas, Ignacio Acosta and an art historian, Louise Purbrick. Their collective research has documented the movement of mineral wealth of Chile into global markets and European landscapes. Nitrate and copper is their focus. The transformation of these natural resources into industrial materials draw desert and city, slag heap and country house, ruin and regeneration, landscape and archive, Chile and Britain, into the same circuit of capital.
Over the last five years Acosta, Purbrick and Ribas have encountered other artists, photographers, curators, translators and activists and worked alongside them sharing a concern with politics of documenting the inequalities of extractive industries.
Trafficking the Earth is a collection of documents that reproduces historical constellations of appropriation and accumulation, depletion and displacement, violence and its disguise, begun by mining nitrate and copper.
Our work is documentation. Photography is our focus but it is only one type of document in historical and contemporary mining landscapes. A photograph is a trace, an imprint of time and space, but as Walter Benjamin wrote, 'to live is to leave traces' and the documents of nitrate and copper are found in many places, preserved and obscured.
The Atacama Desert, the Pacific ports of Iquique and Pisagua, mining town of Chuquicamata, the slag heaps of Coquimbo, the City of London, the docks of Liverpool, the waterfront of Swansea, First World War munitions factories and battlefields, English country estates and Oxford Colleges may appear as separate geographies yet they are entangled together in the transport and transformations of nitrate and copper.
The rupture of mining the Earth and trafficking in the Earth's substance sets in motion material transformation upon material transformation as the operations of industrialisation and the manipulations of commoditisation use up both land and labour: ore into metal, rock into chemical, chemical into commodity, metal into exchange, natural substance into industrial form, and finally into the arbitrary abstractions of the global market: only a value, merely a share price.
Once nitrate is dug into soil to feed cattle fodder or poured into the explosive mixtures that make dynamite, once copper disappears into cables encased in plastic and is embedded within the intricate internal wiring of lap tops and smart phones, only their market value appears to remain: they are capital; they have become capitalised forms, invisible as anything else.
But nothing ever really disappears. Every act of appropriation is found in the land: in ruins and residue. Ecological contamination is historical evidence. A trace. The entangled geographies of desert, port and city are also entwined histories. Trafficking the Earth traverses past and present, one folds into the other in constant transformation.
Xavier Ribas' photography is a circumnavigation a nineteenth century photographic album, Oficina Alianza and the Port of Iquique 1899, a document of the extraction and export of nitrate from the Atacama Desert that was sent to the City of London offices of Antony Gibbs and Sons. Ribas' work considers the dynamic effects of nitrate by returning to sites of explosion wherein fragments of history of the violence of exploitation may be seen.
The mobilities of mined materials, once extracted from the Earth and compelled through corporate economies, is the subject of Ignacio Acosta's practice. His photography is an exploration of the global political ecology of copper mining that makes visible the buried connections between environmental contamination and capital accumulation.
Louise Purbrick's writing reflects upon materiality itself; she tries to capture the forms mining in words and thereby recognise the substance and complexity of the documents of capital.
Traces of Nitrate. Mining History and Photography Between Chile and Britain, is a research project developed by the authors at the University of Brighton, with the financial support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
Valand Academy, Gothenburg University and Hasselblad Foundation
Research and Development Award
'Burning Machine Festival', Swedish Lapland, 2017 Image © Moses Agestam
The research project Drone Vision (2016–2018) led by Dr Sarah Tuck explores the affects and implications of drone technologies on warfare, surveillance and protest.
National Waterfront Museum, Swansea
'Coquimbo & Swansea'
Installation view 'Coquimbo and Swansea', National Waterfront Museum, Wales, 2017.
Site-specific installation of photographs and texts from series 'Coquimbo & Swansea', part of 'Copper Geographies'.
From the late 1820s, copper ore was extracted from the Region of Coquimbo, northern Chile and smelted in the Lower Swansea Valley, Wales. Copper was mined from remote sites and brought by mule to Las Compañías, one of Chile’s first industrial metallurgical centres and where smelting processes had been established.
The ore and partly-smelted copper was shipped to the Lower Swansea Valley to be refined. The valley was heavily contaminated for more than two centuries, until the 1960s and 1970s when conservation work was carried out to reclaim polluted land.
These geopolitical tensions remain hidden in the photographs. By bringing these landscapes together, the artist wishes to reclaim historical connections and invites the viewer to imagine what is no longer there.
Copper objects from the Museum's collection as part of the installation of 'Coquimbo and Swansea', National Waterfront Museum, Wales, 2017.
An artist talk took place on Saturday, 1 July, 11.30am at the National Waterfront Museum.
Funded with the generous support of:
National Waterfront Museum, Wales
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Chili block from the Museum's collection as part of the installation of 'Coquimbo and Swansea', National Waterfront Museum, Wales, 2017.
As curator Robert Protheroe-Jones suggests 'The Chili block found in the wreck of the S.S. Lapwing off the Isle of Wight in the English Channel. This steam ship sank on 1 July 1872 on a voyage from Liverpool to Rotterdam. Its cargo comprised Chili blocks, most of which were inscribed “Urmeneta y Guayacan”, and smaller ingots inscribed “Logan”.
The Chili blocks would have been smelted in the works of Jose Urmeneta & Company at Guayacan, Chile. They weighed up to 180kgs; the example acquired by the Museum weighs 70kgs. Chili blocks formed a major import to the south Wales copper smelting industry in the later nineteenth century as the industry changed increasingly from smelting ore to completing the smelting of regulus and to the refining part-smelted copper. This block was the first opportunity that the Museum had had to acquire a typical example of a Chili block.
The “Logan ingots” weighed around 6kgs each and were of the standard shape and dimensions of ingots produced by UK smelting works. A similar ingot inscribed “PG&S” (Pascoe Grenfell & Sons of Swansea) is displayed adjacent to your exhibition, and further ingots, inscribed “V&S A” (Vivian & Sons of Swansea) and “CCC BS” (Cape Copper Company of Briton Ferry near Swansea, best selected) are displayed in the Transformations gallery of the Museum. The “Logan” ingots would have been produced in the Birkenhead, Liverpool copper refinery owned by Logan & Company'.
The Great Hall of Lithuania Academy of Sciences, Vilnius, Lithuania
Joined conference paper with Jakub Bojczuk
'There is no future without the Past: Conference to celebrate the 215 Anniversary of Ignacio Domeyko'
Performance-lecture, The Great Hall of Lithuania Academy of Sciences
'Mapping Domeyko: A visual arts project inspired by the expeditions of Ignacy Domeyko'
This paper presents a selection of new works produced as part of ongoing research ‘Mapping Domeyko’ conducted by Ignacio Acosta and Jakub Bojczuk. Since 2014 and based on Domeyko’s memoirs 'My Travels' (Diaries in Exile), the artists have engaged in a series of journeys through the global trajectories of Domeyko in Belarus, Lithuania, France, Chile and Poland. The project builds an eclectic archive composed of drawings, historical photographs, objects, new photographic series and texts that reflect upon the global mobility of Domeyko, and political context in which he emigrated from Europe to Chile in 1838. This archive is organised in series and sequences that are presented as ongoing public engagement activities, such as exhibitions, publications and talks, attempting to provoke new ways of thinking in relation to notions of history, identity, mineralogy and visual arts.
This presentation focuses on a new sculptural piece titled ‘The journeys of five rocks from Chile to Poland and other five from Poland to Chile’ (2017), produced in collaboration with Chilean artist Livia Marin. This work is based on an exchange of minerals facilitated by the artists in 2015, between two mineralogical museums where traces of Domeko’s expeditions can be found: the Museo Mineralógico Ignacio Domeyko, Universidad de La Serena, Chile and Muzeum Geologiczne Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego, Kraków, Poland. In the journey from museum-to-museum, the minerals were subject to a series of studies, in which they were drawn, photographed, and multiplied by a system of moulding and casting that took place at the Academy of Fine Arts (ASP), Gdansk in July 2016.
An exhibition ‘Mapping Domeyko’ will take place at Laznia, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Gdansk, Poland in December 2017.
Aerial photograph of Mänttä paper mill. Photographed by Karhumäki (1959). Collection: G.A. Serlachius Oy. Image courtesy of Gösta Serlachiuksen taidesäätiö, Serlachius-museot
This residency focused on new research to explore how the exploitation of non-renewable resources has impacted the Nordic Countries and how photography can be used to address these complex issues.
Casa Feliza, Fundación Camara Oscura, Barranquilla, Colombia
29 April — 12 May 2017
Artist residency to build a site-specific photographic intervention for ongoing series 'Intuitive Projects'. The project is developed in Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, northern Colombia, in the area of the Kogi people, a unique ethnic group who believe in 'Aluna' or 'The Great Mother' as the force behind nature.
A talk the local community on working methodologies takes place in Casa Feliza on Wednesday 3 May at 19:00. All welcome.
20 April 2017
fototazo has asked a group of 50 curators, gallery owners, blog writers, photographers, academics and others actively engaged with Latin American photography to pick two early career photographers whose work deserves recognition.
This project aims to highlight great work being made in the region today and also to provide a starting point in both English and Spanish for exploring contemporary Latin American photography. LatAm f100 is a collaboration between fototazo and the photographer and educator Jaime Permuth.
The series 'Hidden Circuits' (2015), developed as part of 'Copper Geographies', was selected Marta Dahó.
'Ignacio Acosta, with Copper Geographies, has developed a very meaningful project, for the geopolitical reflections he contributes as well as for the questions he poses regarding the challenges that photographers must confront in order to work on the drastic and dramatic transformations that a given territory experiences. How to photograph the interdependence of geographically distant events that occur almost simultaneously including such diverse realities as: labor, ecologies, social elements, politics...? With subtlety, but forcefulness, Acosta's work provides significant insight to the link between the effects of extractive industries and our way of moving and communicating with each other; dealing with the opacities of a system marked by the laws of the Capitalocene, despite the evident limits of the photographic medium'. Marta Dahó.
Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CILAVS), Birkbeck University, UCL, London
Artist talk and roundtable
‘Landscapes of Abandonment’
6 April 2017
Panel of discussion: Luciana Martins (Birkbeck), Leslie Wylie (Leicester), Jordan Goodman (UCL) and Ignacio Acosta (Brighton).
To accompany Freddy Dewe Mathews’ exhibition ‘El Encanto’ at the Peltz Gallery, ‘Landscapes of Abandonment’ considers the histories of the Putumayo region in Colombia and the challenges of a critical artistic practice that interrogates the legacies of exploitative activities on abandoned places.
Arts Catalyst, London
Artist talk and roundatable
'Conflicted minerals and artistic practices'
5 April 2017
Conflicted minerals workshop, Arts Catalysts.
Invited to present 'Copper Geographies' during a workshop that explored different ways in which artistic and cultural practices contribute to our understanding of the relationship between geological natural resources (their extraction and distribution) and conflict on multiple scales.
The workshop brought together a artists, curators, film-makers and researchers that focus their practices on regions and communities where concentrations of natural “critical materials” - raw materials deemed essential by states for industry, technology and sustainable energy – are entwined with histories of conflict. The event enquires how can different modes of transdisciplinary research address complex systems of visual, cultural, societal, technological, ecological, economic and political forces? What type of aesthetics and conceptual approaches can narrate these contemporary global realities? What role do artists, film-makers and art academics play as active agents in the multidisciplinary discourse around the Anthropocene?
University of Leeds
15 February 2017
Presentation at University of Leeds.
Invited by Andrea Thorma and Judith Tucker, who are part of Land2, a network of artist that focuses on the possibilities of landscape / place research based at the University of Leeds.
The lecture lecture was accompanied with a workshop for students of Fine Arts about research methodologies.
Sociedad Fotográfica Alavesa, Vitoria, País Vasco, Spain
Paper by Marta Dahó
'Los Paisajes de la Globalización'
3 April 2017
Discharged copper wires. From 'Metallic Threads' (from 'Copper Geographies'), Leading cable manufacturer, Aberdare, South Wales, 2015 © Ignacio Acosta
Si la concepción clásica del paisaje, cuya herencia pervive en muchas de los proyectos fotográficos actuales, contribuyó a naturalizar ideológicamente la dimensión desigual de las relaciones sociales, ocultando la realidad de los procesos históricos y conflictivos que la produjeron, ¿cuáles son los desafíos actuales provocados por las radicales transformaciones del territorio y su gestión transnacional? A través de diversos casos y referentes, en esta charla hablaremos de los retos y las problemáticas a los que se enfrenta la fotografía en su diálogo con los efectos de la globalización.
Marta Dahó es comisaria de exposiciones, investigadora y docente en diversas escuelas de fotografía Barcelona. Es miembro asociado del Grupo de Investigación Art Globalization and Interculturality (AGI) en la Universidad de Barcelona y desde 2012 desarrolla su tesis doctoral sobre Prácticas fotográficas y paisaje en la modernidad global. Entre sus proyectos curatoriales destacan la retrospectiva de Stephen Shore (Fundación Mapfre, 2014), Agroperifèrics (Centro Huarte, 2014), la retrospectiva de Graciela Iturbide (Fundación Mapfre, 2009), An idea of Europe (Festival Fotofreo, 2010) y Talent Latent (Festival Scan, 2008).
Slade School of Fine Arts, UCL, Londons
Visiting lecturer in collaboration with mmmmm collective, Luna Montenegro and Adrian Fisher
Performance piece by Luna Montenegro and Adrian Fisher based on Álvaro Guevara's poems, Slade School of Arts, London
A talk exploring the work the Chilean-born, painter, poet, playboy and boxer, Álvaro Guevara Reimers (1894-1951).
'Álvaro Guevara moved to London in 1912 and won a scholarship to study at the Slade School of Fine Art. Having established himself as an artist, he was associated with the Bloomsbury circle. Eventually, despite his ambiguous sexual orientation, he married the painter Meraud Guinness, an inquisitive adventuress that was the elder daughter of multimillionaire banker Benjamin Guinness, part of the Guinness brewery clan. Guevara lived between Valparaiso, London, Paris and Aix-En-Provence. Most of his paintings were exhibited with some acclaim in the 1920s and 1930s. However, the majority of his body of work had been reduced to ashes when a bomb fell on December 9th, 1940 on the warehouses of James Bourlet & Sons, where Alvaro had arranged for it to be stored during the war. Three of Guevara’s surviving paintings are held in the Tate Gallery collection. Despite their tumultuously bohemian conjugal - yet mostly separated - life, when Álvaro became terminally ill with cancer, Meraud cared for him in her property ‘La Tour de Cesar’, near Aix-en-Provence, until he died in October 1951. In his last year of life he was composing a collection of prose poems in French. Guinness published it posthumously, in 1954, as a small edition of 400 copies, titled ‘Dictionnaire Intituif’. The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda wanted to translate the text into Spanish but died before this could happen'. (Extract from piece written by Federica Chiocchetti (The Photocaptionist) and published on Unseen Magazine, Amsterdam, 2015)
'Intuitive Project' is a platform directed by Ignacio Acosta devoted to exploring the work of Álvaro Guevara. The project proposes a fictional encounter with Guevara through an imaginary archive. Facts and fiction are intertwined through the fusion of original archival materials with constructed re-interpretations and the idea of re-enacting his life and personality.
University of Brighton
Completion of Ph.D thesis
'The Copper Geographies of Chile and Britain: A Photographic Study of Mining'
Dr. Louise Pubrick
This practice-based thesis is a study of the uneven geographical development of Chilean copper mining industry and the circulation of copper in Britain.
My research examines three key historical moments in a pattern of ‘de-nationalisation,’ a term identified by Sassen (2003), of the copper resources of Chile: (1) 1840–1880; (2) 1904–1969; and (3) 1981–today, in which resources have been transferred from public to private management. In my research, I use a combination of photographic and historical methodologies to explore the impact of those processes on the extractive ecologies of Chile and to connect them to the global geographies of London, Liverpool and Swansea. My thesis considers how photography can be used to propose a re-mapping of the relationship between the global and the local, the national and the transnational, making visible the hidden geopolitical forces that shape the mobile and unequal geographies of copper.
My doctoral investigation explores the global circulation of copper and its agency to produce geographical and political change. With the aim of revealing their close connections and networks, it examines the notion of ‘unequal geography’ established by Baran (1957) and the newer ‘mobility paradigm’ proposed by Sheller and Urry (2006). I follow the flow of copper, in Held’s words, ‘across space and time’ (1999), creating a constellation of photographs and texts about the transformation and mutation of copper as it traverses the world, exploring traces of extraction, smelting, manufacture, transport and trade processes across geographies. In doing so, I open ways of thinking about how landscape carries traces of those processes, bringing to the fore the significance of photographic intervention in highlighting them.
The photographic research conducted during this investigation is organised in three lines of inquiry: Global mobility of copper; Post-industrial landscapes; and Contemporary mining industry and its relation to London. The first, Global mobility of copper comprises four visual essays presented together this written thesis: 'Sulphiric Acid Route' (2012), 'Metallic Threads' (2010-2015), 'High Rise' (2012) and 'Hidden Circuits' (2015). These works explore the mutation and transformation of hard-rock mining, back and forth from Chile to Britain from raw material to capital; through ore, smelted commodity, stock market exchanged value, assembled material and waste. The second, Post industrial landscapes, is explored through two case studies. The first of these is 'Coquimbo&Swansea' (2014), which studies forgotten historical mining connections between Coquimbo, Chile and the Lower Swansea Valley, Wales between 1840 and 1880. This is followed by 'Miss Chuquicamata, the Slag' (2012), which examines the Chuquicamata corporate town, Antofagasta Region, Chile and its contested history. The third line of inquiry, Contemporary mining industry and its relation to London involves two case studies. It opens with 'Antofagasta plc, Stop Abuses!' (2010–14), which connects contemporary struggles of the inhabitants of Pupio Valley with the City of London, the world’s centre for mining investment. This line of investigation concludes with the site-specific studies 'LME Invisible Corporate Network' (2011–15), which examines the London Metal Exchange within the City of London, using mapping methodologies. These case studies can also be used to map the three periods of denationalisation of copper resources in Chile.
My photographic work is based on extensive photographic fieldwork in each geographical location, conducted over the last four years, as well as my two years as an activist photographer. Through my written thesis I seek to make visible the historical conditions that are central to the formation of the geographies of copper. Both aspects of my work are informed by the notion of ‘critical realism’ coined by Georg Lukács (1963) and developed later by Allan Sekula (1984). Alongside these case studies, my written thesis contains photographic examples of my practice so as to give insight into my research process.
This thesis has been produced as part of Traces of Nitrate: Mining history and photography between Britain and Chile, a research project developed in collaboration with Art and Design historian Louise Purbrick and photographer Xavier Ribas, based at the University of Brighton and funded by with the generous support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
MACBA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona
'Ecologías Mutantes symposium'
Paper by Marta Dahó's ‘Like a rolling stone; Rastreos y transmutaciones de lo mineral desde las prácticas artísticas’
1 December 2016
Marta Dahó presenting 'Copper Geographies' at MACBA
Curator, writer and researcher Marta Dahó presents a paper titled ‘Like a rolling stone; Rastreos y transmutaciones de lo mineral desde las prácticas artísticas’ in which, three bodies of work were used to map new photographic research practices dealing with the extractive industries: 'Copper Geographies' (2010-2015), Ignacio Acosta; 'Tudela' (2014), Jorge Yeregui; and 'Symton' (2013), Regina de Miguel.
Fundación FAVA, Santiago, Chile
Donation of work to foundation for contemporary art
'Miss Chuquicamata, the Slag'
Installation view, Fava Foundation during Ch.ACO art fair Santiago.
Ch.ACO exhibition catalogue
FAVA foundation holds a collection of contemporary art, through which encourages education, philanthropy, heritage, and collecting. In partnership with diverse public and private institutions, the foundation creates flexible programs that stimulate and encourage cross-community integration. The chief curator of the collection is Pablo León de la Barra, who works as curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
'Miss Chuquicamata, the Slag' was donated to the foundation for educational proposes. This artwork consists of 56 framed photographs of the corporate mining town of Chuquicamata copper mine, which is located in the Atacama Desert, Chile. The donation is accompanied by a bilingual essay with the political history of the site.
The work was exhibited and published during Feria Ch.ACHO, Santiago's leading contemporary art fair alongside other pieces from the collection of FAVA.
Noorderlicht Photofestival, Museum Belvédère Heerenveen The Netherlands
Group exhibition and publication
22 May - 3 July 2016
Installation view Noorderlicht Photofestival.
Catalogue Noorderlicht Photofestival.
A sites-specific installation for a group exhibition which casts a forensic look at the traces left behind in the landscape. Through a twenty one photographic works, the exhibition and publication examine the impact of man on the landscape. 'Copper Geographies' was selected by the festival chief curator Wim Mellis.
Academy of Fine Arts / Łaźnia, Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdańsk, Poland
Artist in residency in collaboration with artist Livia Marín and Jakub Bojczuk
Studio work at Academy of Fine Arts, Gdańsk, Poland
Artist residency to develop an installation for upcoming exhibition 'Mapping Domeyko' at Łaźnia, Centre for Contemporary Art. The work was developed at Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. It consisted of the preproduction in plaster of a series of rocks resulting from a mineral exchange between the mineralogical museums of the Universidad de La Serena, Chile and Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland. The original rocks are currently part of the Museums collections.
With the kind support of Academy of Fine Arts and Łaźnia.
University of Westminster, London
Veronica Posada MA thesis
'A visual Economy of London — South America'
Image Verónica Posada 'A visual Economy of London — South America', 2017
This thesis analyses social dynamics related to the work of four photographers — Julio Etchart, Eva Sajovic, Ignacio Acosta and Marcelo Brodsky — whose visual proposals have been travelling between South America and London as a transcultural memory device, representing communities and social issues related to trans-Atlantic cultural practices.
University of Brighton
'Traces of Nitrate'
New platform of Traces of Nitrate team.
‘Traffic: movement / place / flow / mobility'
15 April 2016
Presentation of 'Copper Geographies', Plymouth University.
This conference seeks to explore the symbiotic relation of artists’ activities and an understanding of the ways in which place might be conceived in relation to flows, traffic and mobility.
An important aspect of the conference explored the ways in which contemporary artworks understand both place and subjectivity as shifting concepts and to examine what agency that an artist or group of artists may have in regard to this fluid notion of place.
Parasol unit, foundation for contemporary art, London
'Artists in the Field – Ephemeral Landscapes and Experimental Geographies’
Organised by Temporary School of Experimental Geography
16 January 2016
Parasol unit event.
Took part in a symposium which considers the wider role of fieldwork in contemporary arts practice, including themes of exploration in Julian Charriere's work. A panel of artists (Ignacio Acosta, Luce Choules, Andrew Ranville, Corinne Silva, and Emma Smith) shared insights into their research, personal fieldwork methodologies, and artist-led expeditions. A discussion opened up to examine artistic practice in the landscape, reflecting on the ways artists are redefining the geographic narratives of place, site and encounter.
Galería AFA, Santiago Chile
21 December 2015
Señor and Señora Alvaro Guevara in their Studio. Tatler Magazine, 30 April 1930.
Deliver talk at a leading gallery of contemporary art in Santiago for art collectors, curators and public in general.
MA Photography, Universidad Finis Terrae, Santiago, Chile
'Copper Geographies, Intuitive Projects and Mapping Domeyko'
15 December 2015
Stamp commemorating the nationalisation of copper by Salvador Allende, 1971.
Deliver presentation for MA students of Photography invited by writer and curator Andrea Josh
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), London
Artist talk in collaboration with Jakub Bojczuk
15 November 2015
Drawing on Domeyko's series. From 'Mapping Domeyko'.
Invited by The Temporary School of Experimental Geography to join a panel of discussions of artists working on the field as part of 'Explore2015: Expedition and Fieldwork', the Society's annual fieldwork and expedition planning weekend.
An interview by a Latin American photography journal on the series 'Copper Geographies'.
'Beyond Gated Communities'
Samer Bagaeen, Ola Uduku (eds.)
A 4,000 word paper and a visual essay ‘Urban Gating in Chile – Chuquicamata: a corporate mining town: “bounded territory within a territory' with photographs and texts was published in this academic publication. Amongst the international contributors addressing notions of bounded communities, modern communications and networks of influence, is Sasskia Sassen, who wrote the book’s preface.
Unseen Photo festival magazine
Federica Chiocchetti's (The Photocaptionist) essay
'A love affair between photographs and words'
Unseen Magazine, Amsterdam
Unseen Magazine, 2015.
Curator and writer Federica Chiocchetti features 'Intuitive projects' on Unseen Magazine.
Parque Cultural Cerro Carcel, Valparaíso
Group exhibition and publication
Installation view 'Depresiones Intermedias'. Image courtesy of mmmmm collective.
The installation presented for this occasion was centred around the series 'Antofagasta Plc., Stop Abuses!'. The installation consisted of: a 1x2m wooden table; five photographs; a four-page document available in the public domain published by United Nations explaining the violations of the water rights and security of the communities of Caimanes by the mining company of Los Pelambres; and lastly, a 60 page bound book consisting of a report on the 603 tailings in Chile, published by Sernageomin. These factual materials were presented at the same height as the photographs so as to be examined by the viewers.
This group exhibition was curated by Rodolfo Andaur, and was centred around the notion of ‘Depresión Intermedia,’ an expression which denominates the Chilean transverse valleys, a group of valleys in the semi-arid north of Chile, which ‘transverse’ the country from the Andres Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The exhibition theme explored different artists’ approaches to this geographical configuration, with an emphasis on works that address political, social and environmental issues.
'Portable Landscapes: Environments on the Move'
9-10 June 2015
Emplecitite. From the series 'Mapping Domeyko', Mines ParisTech, 2014 © Ignacio Acosta
Presented paper in collaboration with Jakub Bojczuk 'The mobile mineral collections of Ignacy Domeyko' at a conference exploring the notion of portable landscapes.
'Landscapes are ways of framing and shaping the environment for aesthetic, social, political and economic purposes. In their ambivalent configuration, they stand for both an actual tract of land, crafted by nature or human intervention, and its visual or verbal representation. Within this framework, recent scholarship has turned the attention toward the production of material landscape objects that make environments physically move through time and space. The mimetic gesture that transforms a given environment into a ‘landscape object’ dovetails with a multifaceted range of emotional attachments, mnemonic associations and symbolic attributions that allows us to possess a place imaginatively and creatively. In their radical reduction and vernacular configuration, these objects provide us with worlds in miniature, able to exercise their own agency – objects that we can put in our bags, stick in our pockets or hold in our hands. In crafting, collecting, displaying and sharing landscape objects, we create landscape communities figuratively pinned on a physical or mental map'.
Temporary School of Experimental Geography (TSOEG)
Joins Temporal School of Experimental Geograph, an itinerant network of artists sharing ideas and responses to landscape through fieldwork, founded and coodinated by artist Luce Choules, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).
The intention is to explore and consider the geographic potential of artist-led fieldwork, and the experience and meaning of these practices to contribute to our collective understanding of place. The aim of TSOEG is to bring together artists working across a range of disciplines and geographic environments, to discuss fieldwork as methodology, parallel activity, art form, and research. The activities of the TSOEG network will be shared through presentations, publications, and exhibitions.
Member of network exploring questions of European identity and experience through contemporary photography.
University of Brighton
'Visuality, Materiality and Mining'
25 June 2015
Presented 'Copper Geographies' at a multidisciplinary symposium hosted by the Traces of Nitrate Project. The symposium explores the visual and material culture of mining industries. Hosted by the Traces of Nitrate project at the University of Brighton, in conjunction with The Centre for World Environmental History, University of Sussex.
Speakers: Ignacio Acosta, Mabe Bethonico, Ursula Biemann, Vinita Damodaran, Gareth Hoskins, Carlos Larrea, David Paton, Godofredo Pereira, James Ryan, Tim Strangleman
Wild Pansy Press Project Space, University of Leeds
Exhibition in collaboration with Luna Montenegro & Adrian Fisher
10 March - 10 April 2015
The exhibition proposes an audio-visual installation as a fictional encounter with the artist Álvaro Guevara (1894-1951). Reflecting on notions of migration, memory and time, the exhibition invites the viewer to examine the artist through a collection of his personal photographs and some of his writings.
The photographic album titled 'Sun&Shadow', depicts the artist’s family life in Valparaíso, Harrogate and around Europe between 1900 and 1915. One of his texts The Intuitive Dictionary (1951) has been used as a score to create a publication and sound work especially for this exhibition by Luna Montenegro and Adrian Fisher.
Álvaro Guevara was a Chilean-born, painter, poet, playboy and boxer who studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and was associated with the Bloomsbury set. Most of his painted work was exhibited with some acclaim in the Twenties and Thirties was destroyed in the bombing of London during World War II. Some of his surviving paintings are held in the collection of the Tate Britain Museum.
'Dictionnaire Intuitif' was written in French by Guevara in 1951 Aix-En-Provence, France and published in 1954 by his wife Meraud Guinness. The Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda intended to translate the text into Spanish but died before he was able to realise the work.
'Intuitive Projects' is a visual arts platform directed by artist Ignacio Acosta, who is the great grand nephew of Álvaro Guevara, devoted to commission contemporary artists and curators to respond to the work of Guevara.
Centre for Research and Development (CRD), University of Brighton
A selection of texts and photographs from the series 'Copper Geographies' was highlighted on the CRD's magazine.
Underway series, PARCspace, London College of Communication, London
Performance lecture with poetic intervention of mmmmm collective.
'Looking for Alvaro Guevara (1894-1951), a Chilean-born painter, poet, playboy and boxer'
Programmed by PARC Research Fellow Corinne Silva.
3o January 2015
Performance lecture to present a slide projection of Alvaro Guevara’s unseen photographic family album 'Sun&Shadow' and a performance-reading by mmmmm collective, Adrian Fisher and Luna Montenegro based on a small edition of unfinished poems, 'Dictionanaire Intituif' (1954).
Consejo de la Cultura, Santiago, Chile
'Observatorio Cultural' No.25
Observatorio Cultural, Ministerio de la Cultura, Chile
Insert from the series 'Copper Geographies' on a monthly publication from the Chilean Ministry of Culture.
Metales Pesados, Chile
From the series 'High Rise' (from 'Copper Geographies'). Iquique, Chile, 2012 © Ignacio Acosta
Publication of photograph from the series 'High-rise'.
The Bluecoat, Liverpool
Radical walking tour in collaboration with Louise Purbrick
17 May 2015
A walking tour around the former banking sector of Liverpool was conducted in collaboration with Louise Purbrick The walking tour followed the points of interest highlighted on a map created during the time at the Bluecoat. The tour stopped at Derby Square, Albion House, Martins Bank, and finally, the Royal Exchange, to reveal the forgotten links between Liverpool and Latin America in the nineteenth century. One particular highlight of this tour was the mosaic on the floor of the entrance to Albion House, laid by the Pacific Steam Navigation Co., which provided crucial commercial links between Europe and South America in the late 19th century.
The Bluecoat, Liverpool
Conversation with Louise Purbrick
17 May 2015
A conversation with Louise Purbrick as culmination of the research residency at LOOK Festival held at The Bluecoat. An hour-long talk was given to a local audience about the photographic work and research developed during this PhD as well as the outcomes of the research conducted about nineteenth-century trading routes of copper in Liverpool and their connections to Chilean extractions sites.
Link to actitity
LOOK/15 International Festival, Liverpool
Artist in Residency
The artist residency was part of the activities of Traces of Nitrate project in collaboration with LOOK Festival and the Bluecoat, Liverpool. It was set up to research and map forgotten relationships between Liverpool and Chile in the copper mining industry. For the first two weeks of the residency, archival research was conducted at Liverpool Central Library and Maritime Museum. From this research, I obtained a list of companies involved in Liverpool’s copper trade at the time of the opening of the London Metal Exchange in 1877, which formed the basis for the construction of an open source electronic map which was later translated into a printed map.
An interactive version of the map can be found on this Link
During the second and third weeks, photographic works were taken in Liverpool’s former banking centre, looking for elements containing copper, such as banking doors or electric cables, the North Docks outside Henry Bath industrial warehouse, and in Sudley House, built with the fortune of merchant magnate George Holt. I searched for elements containing copper in the city and within the building, such as electric plugs, or within bronze decorative elements of the architecture. The outcomes of the residency were compiled on the blog of the festival as well as a series of reviews by Cameron Proctor on the series:
Funded by LOOK Festival, Traces of Nitrate project and the Chilean Ministry of Culture through FONDART.
Biennial of the end of the world, Argentina
Group exhibition and publication
'Contrasts and Utopias'
December 2014 — January 2015
Installation view 'Biennial of the end of the world'.
Site-specific installation consisting of 40 photographs from the series 'Copper Geographies'. The overall installation highlighted the polarisation between the remote extraction sites and the sites of consumption in Britain, which fit into the overall title of the biennial Contrasts and Utopias. Four other artists working political subjects in the same room were Juan Delgado, Omar Castañeda, Regina José Galindo and Rafael Gomezbarros.
Conference of Photography and Theory, Cyprus
'Photography and Politics and the Politics of Photography'
5 December 2014
From 'Antofagasta Plc. Stop Abuses! (from 'Copper Geographies'), Westminster, London, 2013 © Ignacio Acosta
The paper 'Copper Geography: Photography and the politics of representation of the mining industries' examines the dynamic relationship between photographic representation and the extractive industries. It utilised the series 'Antofangasta Plc., Stop Abuses!' as point of departure for a series of questions. How can environmental and political struggles arising from natural resource industries be mediated through photographic representation? In the context of the series of images presented on this occasion, how can photography be used to re-articulate the relation between the local and the global, the national and the transnational?
These questions were raised in the context of the 3rd Conference of Photography organised by The International Association and Photography and Theory (IAPT) on the island of Cyprus and centred on the relationship between Photography-Theory. I was part of ‘Post-colonial Perspectives: Photography and the “Global” Economies’ panel.
Feria Ch.ACO, Galería AFA, Santiago de Chile
From the series 'Mining Drawing', 2014 © Ignacio Acosta
3 drawings exhibited at AFA gallery, during Ch.ACO, contemporary Art Fair based in Santiago.
Cultural Santa Inés, La Serena, Chile
'Fotografía y Patrimonio Minero: Los antiguos circuitos mundiales del cobre, Chile-Inglaterra en el siglo diecinueve' [Photography and mining heritage: Global circuits of copper exchange: Chile, Britain in the nineteenth century]
29 June 2014
From 'Mapping Domeyko', Coquimbo, Chile, 2014 © Ignacio Acosta
The talk in the former mining region of Coquimbo. The focus of my presentation was centered on the series 'Coquimbo&Swansea' and aimed to open discussions around the role of photography as a medium for re-reading mining histories. The talk was organised by ‘Corpatrimonio,’ an institution devoted to the conservation of nineteenth century mining heritage in the region of Coquimbo.
Quadern de les arts i les lletres, No195, Barcelona
This is an intervention of photography and text in the central spread of a Spanish magazine with a photograph from the series 'Antofantagasta Plc. Stop Abuses!. The text aims to unsettle the aesthetic experience of the photograph. It reads as 'Aquest es un bosc toxic' (This is a Toxic Forest).
Dispositivo 2/Plataforma Editable
17-25 June 2014
The yearly residency is conceived as point of cultural and artistic exchange between artists and curators and local Chilean Audiences. I was invited because of my PhD investigation of the transformation of the Atacama Desert by the copper mining industry. It is organised by the curator, Rodolfo Andaur, who works from Iquique, at the heart of the Atacama Desert and is funded by Chilean Ministry of Culture. For the 2014 residency, the participants were: the curators, Soledad García and Lorenzo Sandoval, as well as the artists Benjamin Ossa and I. The project was structured as an artists’ residency. It involved a series of fieldwork investigations and workshops/lectures with local artists. The work had a strong impact as the regions where the activities took place are major mining zones. In addition to the activities, during this residency I conducted a photographic work, Chanavaya, of a former guano extraction zone in the Tarapacá Region, a work which has been featured in the TSOEG website.
Chanavaya, Región de Tarapacá, Chile 2013
Guano provides a rich source of fertilizer. For centuries, guano and the birds that produce it played a crucial role in the cultural activities of indigenous communities of Latin America, who were concerned with the fertility of the land and sea. During the industrial revolution, guano helped the increasing farming intensive needs in many parts of the earth as well as the imperial aspirations of European power. The appropriation of guano deposits was the main reason of the first international conflict of the industrial age fought almost entirely over a natural resource, the War of Pacific (1879-84).
These remote extractive geographies witnessed the suicides committed by hundreds of Cantonese slaves because of harsh working conditions of the working environment. Today, instead of guano, workers from Peru and Bolivia collect ‘huiros’, an algae which is exported mainly to Asian Markets, such as China and Japan for the cosmetic and food industries.
University of Brighton
‘Beyond Gated Communities Research Conference'
26-28 May 2013
From the series 'Miss Chuquicamata, the Slag' (from 'Copper Geographies'), Chuquicamata, 2012.
An international and interdisciplinary research network on "gated housing estates as an international phenomenon" was established in 1999 in order to facilitate the exchange of information between academics working in this field. Beyond Gated communities seeks to contribute to the ongoing discourse on the Gated Community as a ubiquitious addition to urban life across the globe.
The paper 'Miss Chuquicamata, the slag: disputed mining settlement between foreign capital and national identity' discusses the material legacy of the Chilean copper mining industry in the gated corporate mining town of Chuquicamata. Through photographs and an analysis of urban structure, the presentation suggested a parallel between modular architecture and ideas of modernisation, and the ruins as a symbol of their disintegration. This Research Conference was organised around the notion of the ‘gated’ as a contemporary condition of urban life across the globe.
TrAIN: Re-Contested Sites/Sights Conference University of the Arts, London
8 May 2013
Satellite view of Chuquicamata mine
Second Doctoral student-led research conference sponsored by the Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity, and Nation (TrAIN). The theme revolved around sites of conflict and the politics raised by their visual representation. The keynote speech was given by the art historian and cultural critic T.J. Demos, who has been a major source of knowledge for this thesis.
The paper 'Miss Chuquicamata: disputed mining settlement between foreign capital and national identity' explores the contested history of Chuquicamata, once the world’s largest known deposit of copper. Through archival photographs and new visual documentations, it opens an imaginary space to make visible the repercussions of denationalisation of natural resources on the Chilean the social and environmental fabric of the country.
'Ph: The Photography Research Network', London
Ph: The Photography Research Network was established in 2010 as a research forum for early career scholars working in the field of photography. Since its establishment, the Ph network has gathered scholars from many institutions across the UK. The diverse interests of the group’s members are reflected in the heterogeneous character of the discussions in monthly meetings held at The Photographers’ Gallery in London, where participants have an opportunity to present their research and current projects in an atmosphere of intellectual rigour and peer support.
The significance of this initiative was acknowledged with the award of the AHRC Student-led Initiatives Grant under the auspices of the Beyond Text Programme (2010-2011). This grant allowed us to establish a dedicated website as a means of extending the group’s activities by opening the discussion to a wider community of researchers, specialists and members of the public. A selection of papers published online is available in the Work in Progress section of this website.
Brighton Gallery, University of Brighton
16-24 July 2013
Installation view 'Surface Exposure'. University of Brighton.
Together with other four researchers exploring the medium of photography, takes part in a group exhibition curated by Johanna Lowry, a site-specific installation of the series 'Copper Geographies' was presented.
'Each of the works bodies of work has at its heart a concern with the way in which the surface of the photograph mediates and communicates information about the world. Nothing is certain here; the photograph is never fixed. It is always in the process of being formed, given shape by a complex dialogue between operations of desire and the technologies of production'. Johanna Lowry.
Joins Arte Sur, an artists and professional contemporary art network of Latin America.
Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies with the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, Birkbeck, University of London
Week of events
'Traces of Nitrate'
Installation view 'Traces of Nitrate', Peltz Gallery.
As part of Traces of Nitrate team, Louise Purbrick, Xavier Ribas and I took part in a week of events at the School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London, including a seminar, a workshop, an exhibition of work in progress, and a gallery talk, 11th -15th March 2013.
'Traces of Nitrate'
Monday 11th March 2013
This one day symposium, organised by the Traces of Nitrate team, brought together artists, photographers, geographers and historians. The academics engaged in investigations of the material and visual culture of mining, with a particular focus on global inequalities and how it affects to peoples and the environment
Chilean nitrate, once highly prized mineral, was at the centre of the relationship between Britain and Chile from the middle of the nineteenth century to the early twentieth. This paper, an outcome of a collaboration between an art historian and photographers, intends to open a debate about the neglect and importance of the history of nitrate. The ‘trace’ of the paper’s title refers to our process of delineating the circuit of nitrate wealth from mines in Atacama desert to City of London merchant houses and global corporations. ‘Trace’ also refers to nitrate’s physical remains: the trace as material form, fragile and fragmented. We examine traces in archives of a British academic, in surfaces of abandoned nitrate mines and in the structures of copper mining.
My 20 minute paper discussed the work developed for this PhD with an specific focus on the relationship between the series 'Antofagasta Plc., Stop Abuses!' and 'LME Invisible Corporate Network'.
'Traces of Nitrate: Some documents'
11th - 15th March 2013
An exhibition of film and photographic work that examines the past and present economic relationships constituted through mining in Chile.
Gallery talk and workshop
Friday 15th March 2013
This postgraduate workshop discussed the role of photography in the process of research, documentation and story telling of contested sites and histories.
University of Brighton
'Critical Urban Ecology: Urban Territories symposium'
Image copyright © German Aerospace Center (DLR)
'Miss Chuquicamata, the Slag' explores the photographic work developed in Chuiquicamata mining town, alongside the political history of the site. The Symposium examined the notion of urban ecology, with speakers exploring different approaches to political, cultural and ecological matters.
Arts and Humanities Research Council
'Copper Geographies' as part of 'Traces of Nitrate' research project
From Sutulov, A. and Zauschquevich, A. 'El cobre chileno', Corporación del Cobre: Santiago Chile, 1975.
Doctoral Award as part of the research project 'Traces of Nitrate Research' to develop an practice-based PhD about copper.
Galeria Moro, Santiago, Chile
'Mapping the Zone'
This is Not a Getaway Festival, London
'Mapping the Zone' was presented at the 2010 edition of This is Not a Getaway Festival, which focused on business districts. The event posed a contemporary interrogation of spaces, by a spectrum of disciplines and approaches, is vital as the current crisis of capitalism can be traced throughout these ‘financial service centres'.
'Santa María de Iquique: Una Arqueología de la Violencia'
9 June 2009
Introduction of album of photographs 'Salitreras de Tarapacá' by Louis Boudat (1889) during a symposium organised by Traces of Nitrate team at UNIACC University, Santiago.
Speakers: Andrea Jösch, Claudia Robles, Ignacio Acosta, Manuela Badilla, Pablo Artaza and Xavier Ribas. Organized by University of Brighton and UNIACC University.
Facilitar una discusión multidisciplinaria sobre los vínculos entre fotografía y memoria en el marco de la representación de la violencia y debatir sobre los mecanismos de representación, significación, sedimentación y transmisión de la memoria histórica a través del patrimonio fotográfico, son algunos de los temas de discusión en el marco del foro / debate Santa María de Iquique: Arqueología de la Violencia.
Organizado por University of Brighton y la Universidad de Las Comunicaciones UNIACC, el debate será moderado por la socióloga Claudia Robles, y el panel estará conformado por: Andrea Jösch, fotógrafa y directora de la Escuela de Artes Visuales & Fotografía de UNIACC; Ignacio Acosta, artista-investigaor de la Universidad de Brighton, Manuela Badilla, psicóloga Flacso; Pablo Artaza, historiador de Universidad de Chile; Xavier Ribas, fotógrafo y profesor de la Universidad de Brighton.
El foro que tendrá una duración aproximada de una hora, tendrá como temas principales la historia de la fotografía Chilena como imagen de colonización y encargo de la República, elementos analíticos para la comprensión de los procesos de memoria colectiva de pasados violentos, además de los principales acontecimientos históricos y sociales vinculados a la matanza de la Escuela Santa María de Iquique entre otros.
Haywood Hospital, Stoke-on-Trent
Commissioned by artist Emily Campbell to create a series portrait of NHS staff at Haywood Hospital, Stoke-on-Trent, at times when the institution was going through a major redevelopment.
Brighton Media Centre, Brighton Photo Fringe, Brighton
Installation view 'Coded'. Brighton Media Centre, 2008
Presented an installation of 'White City' at a group exhibition exploring coded landscapes that form a backdrop for abandonment, migration and war. All five artists (Ignacio Acosta, Clive Egginton, John Angerson, Corinne Silva and Casey Orr) use their work to ask questions but refuse to accept the banner-headline answers we're surrounded by. Some of the images in Coded are peopled, somes are not; all try to offer a response to the myths, dreams and lies of this shiny new world.
Museum Man, Liverpool Biennial of Independents
'A to Z'
Curated by Alexia Tala
Collaborative video art piece and photograph developed with Alejandro Moreno Jashés and Giuliano Cavalli for an exhibition at Museum Man. Curated by Alexia Tala.