• Forthcoming — Early Career Researcher, Uppsala University, Sweden

  • Current — Research Fellowship, University of Brighton, UK

  • 2022 — Group Exhibition, Martin Parr Foundation, Bristol, UK

  • 2022 — Exhibition, Tenerife Photography Bienale, Spain

  • 2021 — Conference, Contemporary Arts and the Anthropocene, Musée d’art moderne Saint-Étienne, France

  • 2021 — Seminar, Drone Ecologies, University of Bristol, UK

  • 2021 — Publication, StoneStatements Editions, Geneva, Switzerland

  • 2021 — Seminar, Landscape, Experience, Production, Universidad de Chile

  • 2021 — Exhibition, Trafficking the Earth, Bienal de Fotografia do Porto, Espaço SP620, Portugal

  • 2021 — Seminar, Cultural Ecology: Galvanising Climate Action Across the Arts, UCL Anthropocene Centre, England

  • 2021 — Symposium, Violence, Aesthetics, Anthropocenes: Colonialism, Racism, Extractivism, LSE, UK

  • 2020 — Review, Building a world after its end by Anna Staab, Burlington Contemporary

  • 2020 — Publication, Archaeology of Sacrifice, ZF Art Foundation and modo Verlag, Germany

  • 2020 — Review, Ignacio Acosta’s Archaeolgy of Sacrifice by Ellen Lapper, Artishock, Chile

  • 2020 — Online discussion with Ina Neddermeyer, Open-ended Encounters, Brazil

  • 2020 — Panel discussion, Archaeology of Sacrifice, Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen, Germany

  • 2020 — Exhibition, Archaeology of Sacrifice, Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen, Germany

  • 2020 — Publication, Game of Drones, Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen, Germany

  • 2020 — Scholarship, ZF Art Foundation, Friedrichshafen, Germany

  • 2020 — Workshop, The Violent Ecology of Photography, Kurdistan

  • 2020 — Exhibition, FotoBook Festival, Oslo, Norway

  • 2020 — Webinar, The Research Center for Material Culture (RCMC), The Netherlands

  • 2020 — Saami Requiem, Studio Acusticum Piteå, Sweden

  • 2020 — Symposium, The Climate Emergency in 50 Rounds, Norway

  • 2020 — Online discussion, Social Art Network, UK

  • 2020 — Exhibition, Västerbottens Museum, Umeå, Sweden

  • 2020 — Feature, De Correspondent, The Netherlands

  • 2020 — Keynote, Manchester School of Arts, England

  • 2020 — Review, Interactions Magazine, England

  • 2020 — Review, e-Lur

  • 2020 — Artist Residency, La Becque, Switzerland

  • 2019/20 — Bienal de Artes Mediales de Santiago, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo MAC, Santiago, Chile

  • 2019/20 — Litte ja goabddá, Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende, Santiago, Chile

  • 2019 — Review, Art Agenda

  • 2019 — Review, We Make Money not Art

  • 2019 — COP25 Social Summit for Climate, Madrid, Spain

  • 2019 — Review, Burlington Contemporary

  • 2019 — Tales from the Crust, Arts Catalyst, London, UK

  • 2019 — Assembly Extractable Matters, University of Westminster, London, UK

  • 2019 — London Metropolitan University, London, UK

  • 2019 — Decolonising the Nuclear workshop, Goldsmiths University, London, UK

  • 2019 — Conversatorio, Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende, Santiago, Chile

  • 2019 — Game of Drones, Zeppelin Museum, Germany

  • 2019 — Feature, Co-Curate Magazine

  • 2019 — Feature, Panorama, Spain

  • 2019 — Conference paper, NAISA 2019, Aotearoa/New Zealand

  • 2019 — Cité internationale des arts, Paris, France

  • 2019 — Exhibition, Ájtte Museum, Sweden

  • 2019 — Review, Transfer: Global Architecture Platform, Switzerland

  • 2019 — Feature, TANK Magazine, London

  • 2019 — Book Launch, The Photographers’ Gallery, London

  • 2019 — In Conversation, Sala de Maquinas, Santiago, Chile

  • 2018 — Seminar, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain

  • 2018 — Talk, The Copenhagen Landscape Lectures, Denmark

  • 2018 — Publication, Editorial RM (Barcelona/Mexico)

  • 2018 — Book launch, Paris Photo, France

  • 2018 — Artist talk and workshop, University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland

  • 2018 — Artist in Residency, Serlachius Museums, Mänttä, Finland

  • 2018 — Seminar and Panel Discussion, Gothenburg, Sweden

  • 2018 — Exhibition, Hasselblad Centre, Gothenburg, Sweden

  • 2018 — Exhibition review, Revista Atlas, Santiago, Chile

  • 2018 — Exhibition review, Artishock, Santiago, Chile

  • 2018 — Symposium, MACBA, Barcelona

  • 2018 — Exhibition, Photo50, London

  • 2017 — Artist Residency. Samernas, Jokkmokk, Swedish Sápmi

  • 2017 — Exhibition, Laznia, Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdánsk, Poland

  • 2017 — Publication, Trafficking the Earth, London-Santiago

  • 2017 — Project Realisation Award, Hasselblad Foundation / Valand Academy, Sweden

  • 2017 — Symposium, MAC Parque Forestal, Santiago, Chile

  • 2017 — Exhibition, MAC Parque Forestal, Santiago, Chile

  • 2017 — Research and Development Award, Hasselblad Foundation / Valand Academy, Sweden

  • 2017 — Solo exhibition, National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, Wales

  • 2017 — Conference paper, Vilnius Academy of Science, Lithuania

  • 2017 — Aritst residency, Serlachius-museot, Finland

  • 2017 — Artist residency, Fundación Camara Oscura, Barranquilla, Colombia

  • 2017 — Publication, Fototazo, Colombia

  • 2017 — Talk and roundtable , Birkbeck University, UCL, London

  • 2017 — Artist talk and roundtable, Arts Catalyst, London

  • 2017 — Visiting lecturer, University of Leeds, Leeds

  • 2017 — Review, Sociedad Fotográfica Alavesa, Vitoria, País Vasco, Spain

  • 2016 — Visiting lecturer, Slade School of Fine Arts, UCL, London

  • 2016 — PhD, University of Brighton, Brighton

  • 2016 — Review, MACBA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona

  • 2016 — Collection, Fundación FAVA, Santiago, Chile

  • 2016 — Group exhibition and publication, Museum Belvédère Heerenveen, The Netherlands

  • 2016 — Artist in residency, Academy of Fine Arts / Łaźnia, Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdańsk, Poland

  • 2016 — Review, University of Westminster, London

  • 2016 — New website, Traces of Nitrate, University of Brighton, Brighton

  • 2016 — Conference paper, Plymouth University, Plymouth

  • 2016 — Talk, 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, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), London

  • 2015 — Interview, Fototazo, Colombia

  • 2015 — Publication, Routledge, London

  • 2015 — Review, Unseen Photo festival magazine, Amsterdam

  • 2015 — Group exhibition and publication, Parque Cultural Cerro Carcel, Valparaíso 

  • 2015 — Conference paper, Durham University, Durham

  • 2015 — Network, Temporary School of Experimental Geography [TSOEG]

  • 2015 — Review, European Prospects

  • 2015 — Sympium, Visuality, Materiality and Mining, University of Brighton

  • 2015 — Exhibition, Wild Pansy Press Project Space, University of Leeds

  • 2015 — Publication, Research News, Centre for Research and Development, University of Brighton

  • 2015 — Performance lecture, PARC, London College of Communication, London

  • 2014 — Publication, 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, Biennial of the end of the world, Argentina

  • 2014 — Interview, Cien Ojos Latinos, Guatemala

  • 2014 — Conference paper, 3rd Conference of Photography and Theory, Cyprus

  • 2014 — Group Exhibition, Feria Ch.ACO, Galería AFA, Santiago de Chile

  • 2014 — Artist talk, Cultural Santa Inés, La Serena, Chile

  • 2014 — Publication, 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 paper, TrAIN: Re-Contested Sites/Sights, University of the Arts, London

  • 2013 — Network, Ph: The Photography Research Network, London

  • 2013 — Group exhibition, University of Brighton, UK

  • 2013 — Network, Arte Sur, France

  • 2013 — Week of events, Traces of Nitrate, 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, Blank Gallery, Brighton

  • 2010 — Individual Exhibition, Galeria Moro, Santiago, Chile

  • 2010 — Group Exhibition, This is Not a Getaway Festival, London

  • 2009 — Symposium, Universidad Uniacc, Santiago, Chile

  • 2009 — Artist residency, Haywood Hospital’, Stoke-on-Trent

  • 2009 — Group exhibition and publication, MA Photography, University of Brighton

  • 2008 — Group exhibition, Brighton Media Centre, Brighton Photo Fringe, Brighton

  • 2006 — Group exhibition. A to Z, Man museum, Liverpool Biennial of Independents, Liverpool

Early Career Researcher Award
Indigenous perspectives on forest fires, drought and climate change: Sápmi
Funded by Formas (Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development)
Based at Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism (CEMFOR) Uppsala University, Sweden

The overall aim of this inter- and supradisciplinary research project is to analyse, document and bring forward Indigenous – Sámi knowledge in regard to wildfires, extreme weather events and climate change through the integrated lenses of Artistic research/Visual documentation, History of technology and science, Feminist Technoscience/Gender research and Indigenous methodologies/Sámi knowledges.

Led by artist scholar Dr Acosta with Sámi journalist Ms Nilsen, Sámi scholar Dr Öhman, Sámi reindeer herder Ms Aira, Sámi and local communities, placed at Uppsala University, Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism (CEMFOR), in collaboration with Luleå University of Technology; Ájtte Museum; Arts Catalyst, Brighton University ; Hasselblad Foundation; HDK-Valand, Gothenburg University; and Zeppelin Museum, we work with filmed interviews, drones images, 3D maps, photographs, video clips, sounds, writing and workshops, to document, analyse and discuss: three forests in Norrbotten Country Sámi reindeer herding territories affected by drought and wildfires in 2018 experiences of Sámi/local stewardship of lands with regard to fire management, drought and other aspects of climate change how Sámi/local knowledges can be made use of to better understand and mitigate climate
change and extreme weather events

We benefit from Formas the project Living without oil?! Rethinking relations with lands and waters with Indigenous Land Based Expertise for a transition towards a fossil free welfare society led by Dr Öhman (Swedish National Research Program on Climate).

Download application
Download Final Statement from Review Panel, Formas
Link to CEMFOR, Uppsala University

Resaerch Fellowship
Solid Water, Frozen Time, Future Justice (Frozen Future)
Traces of Nitrate collective (Louise Purbrick, Xavier Ribas, Ignacio Acosta)
Brighton University

Louise Purbrick, Xavier Ribas and Ignacio Acosta have been awarded a new research funding Solid Water, Frozen Time, Future Justice (Frozen Future) by Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK.

Solid Water, Frozen Time, Future Justice (hereafter Frozen Future) is a collaborative visual research project that will document the effects of copper and lithium mining on glacier systems of the Chilean Andes. Extractive industries are encroaching upon these glaciers, and at times of water scarcity, diverting their ice for industrial purposes. The future of glaciers is contested. A water conflict between global mining and local livelihoods is already acute with water rights in Chile stacked in favour of mining interests that may increasingly, perhaps exclusively, depend on solid water supplies. Whilst mining is a global industry, Britain has a particular place in its networks of extraction; London is home to the head offices of the wealthiest corporations which trade in its stock markets. A future of accelerating extractivism is assumed to be inevitable and, most recently, asserted as essential to global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. But glacier systems are not simply subject to corporate agency: environmentalists, activists, indigenous and local communities imagine another future of environmental justice. Frozen Future will document how extractivism at glacial sites is contested in the present and projected into the future, prioritising the visibility and the voices of those most affected by mining operations. The research re-thinks the capacity of photography as a means of recording past events and re-directs the camera towards the future.

Visual research at sites of copper and lithium extraction in Andean glaciers will create new documentary photography, drone imagery, audiovisual projections, two and three-dimensional maps as well as written records and textual analysis. In place of the Romantic representations of glaciers as sublime objects of timeless isolation that have disconnected their stores of solid water from local ecologies and global economies, Frozen Future will record the contemporary glacial extractive zones of the Chilean Andes and demonstrate the entanglements of ice and the position of glaciers within global systems. Connections between local sites of mining and global sites of exchange of capitalised mined materials will be mapped and made visible.

The development of a collaborative arts practice will establish de-colonial perspectives from which indigenous ontologies of the life of landscapes as well as concepts of use of natural resources can be recorded. Collaborations with Chilean environmentalists, activists, local communities and museum curators will enable knowledge of the effects of extractivism upon a future stored in solid water, frozen in ice, to be shared with stakeholders, specialist audiences and wider publics, from arts and ecology researchers in universities to corporate shareholders.

Frozen Future research will generate a 'documentary dispositive' composed of a major photographic exhibition, edited into audiovisual screenings for wider distribution. Both forms of dissemination will increase understanding of the effects of extractivist economies upon glacial and global ecologies. Collaborations between researchers and activists at Chilean glacial extractive zones are extended to environmentalist stakeholder groups based in Europe through participation in the different forums accompanying exhibition and screenings facilitating open debate about redressing the material inequalities of mining and achieving forms of future justice. Frozen Future's collaborative documentary will contribute to a critical aesthetic of the Earth's landscapes. A critique of conventional representations of nature and the possibility of de-colonising landscape photography will form academic publications: a monograph, journal articles and conference papers. Thus, the splendid isolation of glacial systems from a global world filled with a myriad of electrical exchanges is re-examined in Frozen Future and landscapes ruptured by mining are are revealed as living spaces.

Group Exhibition
Intersectional Geographies
Martin Parr Foundation
Bristol, UK

In 2021 Martin Parr Foundation held an open call for a UK-based curator to present a photographic exhibition in the MPF gallery and Jacqueline Ennis-Cole has been selected for her proposed group show, Intersectional Geographies.

Intersectional Geographies brings together a diverse selection of photographers whose works address inclusion within society at a time of climate crisis, social distancing and human rights violations.⁣

Each photographer highlights a concern that resonates with them. The participating photographers confirmed are:⁣

Ignacio Acosta
Rhiannon Adam ⁣
Lisa Barnard ⁣
Jacqueline Ennis-Cole
Darek Fortas ⁣⁣
Roshini Kempadoo
Miranda Pennell
Judy Rabinowitz Price
Xavier Ribas ⁣ ⁣
David Severn
Aida Silvestri ⁣
Janine Wiedel ⁣

Link to exhibition

Trafficking the Earth
Traces of Nitrate collective (Louise Purbrick, Xavier Ribas, Ignacio Acosta)
Fotonoviembre 2021 Tenerife Photography Bienale
Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (TEA)
23.10.2021 – 09.01.2022

Exhibition view Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (TEA)

Trafficking the Earth is included in the exhibition Reassemblage, curated by Teresa Arozena.

The photographic practices that converge in this exhibition requires us to turn the image into a question of knowledge and not one of illusion. To ask ourselves about images, to wonder where they come from and why they came into being, and to understand them as montage and discourse, given that the best way of thinking and understanding is precisely to start out from the practice of storytelling.

The majority of photographic practices showcased here operate from the visualization of out-of-field zones: the invisible layers of history and the backstage behind dominant narratives where new encounters and chains of meanings are reassembled.

Artists include: Allan Sekula, Tacita Dean, Ana Mendieta, John Baldessari, Dornith Doherty, Emmet Gowin, Marine Hugonnier, Patricia Dauder, Traces of Nitrate collective, Axel Hütte, Fermín Jiménez Landa, Natalia Lassalle-Morillo, Manuel Martín González, Robert Adams, Edward Burtynsky, Gerhard Richter, Ansel Adams, Valentín Vallhonrat.

Link to exhibition

International Conference
Arts contemporains & anthropocène
Organised by Danièle Méaux, Université Jean-Monnet, Saint-Etienne
Musée d'art moderne Saint-Étienne
14-15 October 2021

Ce colloque international vise à examiner la façon dont les œuvres pensent aujourd’hui la notion d'"anthropocène". Signifiant étymologiquement "L’Âge de l’Homme", ce terme définit une nouvelle ère géologique dans laquelle l’Homme est devenu l’acteur central et laisse une empreinte décisive sur la planète. En lien avec les débats de notre époque, les interventions s’intéressent ainsi à des travaux artistiques qui problématisent les choix éthiques et politiques qui régissent nos modes d’existence.

Link to Conference

Drone Ecologies
Cabot Institute for the Environment
University of Bristol
5 - 6 July 2021
Panel: Drone Vision: Warfare, Surveillance, Protest
Chair: Sarah Tuck
Behjat Omer Abdulla, Ignacio Acosta and Mhairi Sutherland

Exploring the opportunities and risks of aerial monitoring for biodiversity conservation

On 5-6 July 2021, the University of Bristol hosted an interdisciplinary workshop that explored how drones and other monitoring technologies are being implemented as part of biodiversity conservation initiatives around the world. Bringing together social scientists, engineers, anthropologists, geographers, ecologists, technicians, political ecologists, practitioners and other experts, we explored the opportunities that such technologies offer -- for example, for democratising the way that knowledge about nature is produced, or yielding new insights into forest loss or habitat restoration. We also explored the potential risks of new monitoring technologies, and what we can do to ensure that they are not exploited to infringe on the rights of rural communities.

Link to seminar

Link to recording

Missing Words for Considering Stones, Rocks, Pebbles and Mountains: A Vocabulary of Proximity
StoneStatements Editions
Presented at the Biennale Architettura 2021, in Venice
Fictional text contribution to a collective book edited by artist Mabe Bethônico.

Link to Mabe Bethônico website
Download Publication

Landscape, Experience, Production
Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning
Universidad de Chile
23 - 24 June 2021

Presented with Xavier Ribas the project Traces of Nitrate in a seminar organised by José Ignacio Vielma and moderated by Andrea Jösch.

Link to seminar

Link to recording

Trafficking the Earth
Xavier Ribas, Louise Purbrick, Ignacio Acosta
Bienal de Fotografia do Porto
14 May 2021 – 26 June 2021.

The exhibition is organized together with the Bienal de Fotografia do Porto.

Trafficking the Earth is a collaboration between photographers Xavier Ribas and Ignacio Acosta and art historian Louise Purbrick. As the authors explain in the introductory text, this research documents “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”.

Each of the authors addresses the issue from a particular perspective that make up a fragment of a common story. Xavier Ribas examines the legacy of British investment in Chile's nitrate mines of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and its implication in global trafficking. Through an exploration of places, objects and images, Ribas considers the dynamic effects of Nitrate by examining the original scenes of the detonations and the traces of a history of violence and exploitation. On his part, Ignacio Acosta studies the global movement of copper, once extracted from the earth and absorbed by a capitalist economy. His photographs are an investigation into a global copper mining policy, making visible hidden connections between environmental pollution and capital accumulation. The historian Louise Purbrick reflects on the matter itself through her essay. Her texts attempt to capture mining waste with words, and thus make a recognition of the material loss of Chilean landscapes: Nitrate and copper became –and are becoming– mere values ​​of commercial exchange.

The project was previously presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art, in Santiago de Chile (2017) and at the Center for Art and Nature, in Huesca (2019). For the current presentation, which is part of the Porto 2021 Photography Biennial, the installation consists of a mural of 200 documents, images and texts, which collect "anachronisms, displacements, insights ...", in which the authors they reject the single image to favour multiple relationships, such as those that occur throughout the chain of extraction, handling, distribution and sale of minerals. The installation is completed with the presentation text and two maps that help to make these interconnections visible. The first, The Invisible Corporate Network, shows the different agents that operate in the London Metal Exchange while the second, Nitrate Companies listed in the London Stock Exchange, offers the records of the companies that traded with Nitrate in the British capital in the year 1908.

The book Trafficking The Earth, published coinciding with the exhibition in Santiago de Chile and presented in the framework of the Symposium "Causality, Materiality and Mining", organized as a complement to the exhibition, can be also consulted at the exhibition. Both monographs of the work of Xavier Ribas and Ignacio Acosta complete the exhibition.

Link to exhibition

Trafficking the Earth: Documents on Nitrate, Copper and Capitalism

Archaeology of Sacrifice: Mobilising Collaborative Artistic Practice Against Extractivist Violence
UCL Anthropocene Centre
10 May 2021

The Cultural Ecology seminar programme led by Edward Christie unites activist-academics working across the arts to interrogate the following question: ‘How might cultural researchers galvanise more urgent and effective responses to the climate crisis to remedy the severe inadequacy of the actions currently being set into motion by governments and corporations?'

The series of eight weekly events spotlight researchers who collectively represent the scope of the arts, including: art history, fine art, curating, architecture, dance, music, literature, poetry, film and photography.

My lecture contribution to the series explores the political ecology of mining across the globe. The excavation, extraction and exploitation of minerals – justified by the promise of immediate accelerated economic growth – means that spaces inhabited by communities become ravaged by desertification, contamination and expropriation, and sites of political and environmental dispute. It hones in on ways in which local and transnational acts of resistance are making use of technologies (such as drones) in order to monitor the impacts of extractive industries and develop micropolitical strategies. These interventions position geological and technological forms, as well as human and non-human relationships, in the same landscape. It focuses on collaborative working methodologies as an important, indeed essential, strategy in the investigation and representation of sites impacted by extractive violence.

Link to the seminar

Link to the recording

Violence, Aesthetics, Anthropocenes: Colonialism, Racism, Extractivism
European Institute
London School of Economics (LSE)
31 March - 1 April 2021

Convened and chaired by Dr Eray Çaylı, with Dr Christine Okoth, Dr Ignacio Acosta, Dr Helene Kazan, Dr Manca Bajec, and Dr Thandi Loewenson as discussants.

“Humanity is facing extinction.” “When will we realise we’re all in the same boat?” Such sweeping statements continue to feature in mainstream approaches to what has been termed the Anthropocene. This indicates a persistent denial of the historical, social and geographical differentiations characterising both the effects of and responsibilities for climate change and ecological disasters. A growing body of scholarship critical of this denial has highlighted the role of colonialism and racism in issues now debated under the rubric of the Anthropocene, and the practice of extractivism that has been central to that role. This workshop builds on relevant critical scholarship by approaching climate change and ecological disasters as grounded in and productive of extractivist colonialism and racism but also seeks to contribute to it by way of a specific methodological focus on aesthetics. It does so by considering aesthetics not as indexing a set of formal features or notions of taste, but rather as a medium through which sensibilities and insensibilities are produced through materiality and distributed across geography and the bodies inhabiting that geography. Working from this materialist and relational understanding of aesthetics as both ethics and politics, we ask, what are the aesthetic practices that feature in mainstream approaches to the Anthropocene and critical responses to it? How have these practices approached the role of extractivist colonialism and racism in climate change and ecological disasters? What are the various aesthetic registers and modes in which they have approached this role and how might these approaches be reproducing or contesting the Anthropocene’s extractivist colonialism and racism? What materially grounded notions of "humanity" and its variously prefixed cognates shape and are shaped by such approaches?

The workshop opens with a panel/roundtable on 31 March (6-8pm) where five workshop leaders will expand upon these questions through their own work. Workshop sessions will then run throughout the following day, 1 April (9.30am-6.30pm), where the previous evening's panellists will debate the work of doctoral candidates. We therefore invite proposals from any doctoral candidates exploring the above-mentioned questions through a focus on aesthetics-as-politics-and-ethics and across the fields of art, literature, geography, anthropology, architecture, urbanism, archaeology, international relations, political science, sociology, and other related ones. Possible empirical foci include but are not limited to the following: mega infrastructures, mapping, heritage, satellite imagery, surveillance, photography, spacecraft technologies, speculative development and the construction sector, gentrification, mining, eco-activism and protest, storytelling, writing, migration and displacement. Alongside the questions and topics raised above, we suggest the following verbs as thematic prompts through which to organise proposals into sessions: mediating, resisting, (ex)posing, projecting, and caring. While proposals as a whole do not necessarily have to be framed in these strict terms, it would be useful if each submission indicated which of the theme(s) might pertain to it more directly than others, even if by simply noting each relevant theme as a keyword at the bottom of the proposal.

Link to event

Building a world after its end
By Anna Staab
Burlington Contemporary

Link to review on Burlington Contemporary

Please download PDF here

Archaeology of Sacrifice
Kunststiftung der ZF Friedrichshafen AG and modo Verlag GmbH, Freiburg, Germany

Dec 2020


Photo: Hubert & Fischer, 2021

The catalogue of “Archaeology of Sacrifice” presented at the Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen published by ZF-Kunststiftung and modo Verlag, with text contributions by Ellen Lapper and Ina Neddermeyer.

The video was created with contributions by film editor Lara Garcia Reyne, artists Valle Medina and Benjamin Reynolds (Pa.LaC.E), writer Carlos Fonseca, sound designer and composer Udit Duseja, colourist Paul Wills, film director Stéphane Goël Climage actress Agate Houser, and translators Katherine Lewald, Jessica Sequeira, Anna Bleuer and Clement Ribes.

Supported by ZF Art Foundation Friedrichshafen Scholarhip.

Publication design by Hubert and Fisher

Ignacio Acosta's Archaeology of Sacrifice
By Ellen Lapper


Link to review on Artishock

Please download PDF here

Online discussion
Open-ended Encounters
Ignacio Acosta and Ina Neddermeyer
Sunday 6 Dec 2020


Open-ended Encounters offers a reflection on the nature of encounters and the current forms of human interaction which, in the past months, have migrated en masse to the internet. How does this change to the condition of collectiveness affect aesthetics and technology? Encounters are potential “triggers” for the unpredictable, and they allow our subjectivities to be affected and transformed; being open to the other means one’s imagination is potentially open to new realities and new worlds. Open-ended Encountersis series of encounters that aims to investigate radical notions of alterity or otherness relative to other organisms, technologies, species, knowledge etc, springing from the desire to create permeability and informed by the recent collective experience of drastic social distancing measures, as well as the reconfiguration of the many forms of encounter.

Curated by aarea, Open-ended Encounters presents live online sessions in which artists reflect on their subjects of study and on the virtual format itself, by means of presentations and performances. The event will be hosted on the online platform/meeting place/work created by O grupo inteiro. Open-ended Encounters is a project of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and aarea in the context of the South America programme «COINCIDENCIA».

Panel discussion
Archaeology of Sacrifice
Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen, Germany
2 December 2020


Panel discussion held by the Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen, with Ina Neddermeyer, head of the art department; Lionel Pernet, director of the Musée cantonal d'archéologie et d'histoire; and Anna Staab, Sociological Theory, Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen via livestream on Facebook and YouTube.

Link to panel discussion

Archaeology of Sacrifice
ZF Art Foundation Guest, Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen, Germany


Link to Press Release

Game of Drones. Of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen

Drones are unmanned flying objects, whose size is as different as their appearance and their use. They are employed for various civil purposes, such as enabling the access to places that would otherwise be difficult to access, for border control, surveillance, data collection as well as in agriculture and the service sector. They provide artists, photographers, and filmmakers with impressive footage and have revolutionized the aesthetics of contemporary imagery.

However, drones are also considered to be the most important war technology since the invention of the atom bomb. As of yet, drones are not autonomously operating systems, but combined with artificial intelligence, they could become errie weapons. Turning them into learning and autonomously acting machines also raises ethical questions.

This publication brings together the contents from the exhibition Game of Drones. Of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and a conference on the subject in the Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen, which analyzes different aspects of historical, current, and future drone technology in more depth. Socially relevant questions are dealt with based on historical technological exhibits and selected works by international artists, who critically reflect on drone technology in many different ways.

Today's drones are the further development of unmanned balloons, remotely guided weapons, and model airplanes. Taking this historical starting point, the publication concerns itself with the use of drones and their hybrid function as toys, war technology, and an economic factor. As a technology that unifies absolute oppositions, its contradictory nature is demonstrated in all its facets: from a surveillance device to an instrument for resistance and protest, from an animated object in the animistic sense to their use in strategic warfare. The publication also examines future developments, such as questions on transhuman consciousness and artificial intelligence.

Download interview

Link to publication

ZF Art Foundation Grant


Ignacio Acosta receives the 2020 grant from the ZF Art Foundation and opens the ZF Turmatelier at the 35th Art Friday in Friedrichshafen. Acosta is the 39th scholarship holder of the ZF Art Foundation and will live and work in 2020 at the tower of the Zeppelin Museum, Friedrichshafen. At the 35th Art Friday in Friedrichshafen on March 6, 2020, Acosta opens the ZF Turmatelier, shows current work and talks to visitors about his work, his research interests and project ideas.

The Scholarship comprises a comprehensive support program for the production of an exhibition at the Zeppelin Museum and the publishing of a catalogue.

Link to Press Release [German]
Download Press Release [German]
Download Poster [German]

The Violent Ecology of Photography
Zoom workshop
October 23 2020


Loading is a not-for-profit and artist-run space with charity status that contemporary artists Erkan Özgen and Cengiz Tekin co-founded in 2017 and continue to run in Diyarbakir, the unofficial capital of Turkey's Kurdistan, where their art practice has been based over the past two decades. It aims to offer a non-commercial and independent platform that fosters participatory, experimental, processual and dialogic initiatives, exchanges, events, and exhibitions on contemporary art. Loading is geared particularly towards Diyarbakir’s young and emerging artists. It is an open space for those who wish to produce, experience, exhibit and debate their artistic works.

The "Violence and the Ecology of Photography" moderated by Eray Çaylı, comprises a trilogy of workshops leading to an online group exhibition and a web archive. It focuses on the potentials and limitations of photography produced in the context of contemporary art for thinking the social and environmental impact of violence—in other words, violence's ecologies. The project seeks to reconsider the prominence that photography has gained over the recent years in the violence Diyarbakir and the surrounding region has witnessed. It aims to foster a critical and self-reflexive practice that attends to the techniques, gazes, perspectives and circulation mechanisms involved in photography and the ways in which these might be reproducing the very violent ecologies being photographed (rather than taking for granted the evidentiary potential of photography in documenting violence and its ecological impact) but also how they might be employed to challenge this reproduction. The workshops we are organizing as part of this series will be attended free-of-charge by young and emerging artists from the region, whom we have selected through an open call.

FotoBook Festival
September 2020

Fotobokfestival Oslo is a week-long event established by Forbundet Frie Fotografer in 2009, aiming to explore the photobook as an artistic medium and phenomenon.

The main exhibition for 2020 is curated by artist Ethan Rafal: The Climate Emergency in 50 Rounds. The exhibition will focus on photo book projects addressing the Climate Crisis. The chosen works have been created by artists working around the planet, and offer a comparative analysis of a global phenomenon that has now reached a state of emergency. Inspired by the Occupy Movement and contemporary intersectional, horizontal movements, the exhibition will be a space for learning, gathering as a community, and participating in concurrent direct action. The festival will be timed with global climate marches occurring in September, 2020. The focus is equally on artists and the participation of an activated audience. The artists included work across the photo book spectrum — from Artists Books to Zines — and the festival will include their related video, performance, and social practice projects.

The 2020 festival is organized with the support from Norwegian Photographic Fund, Arts Council Norway, Oslo municipality and Fritt Ord Foundation.

Link to event

Online discussion
The Extractive Zone
The Research Center for Material Culture (RCMC), The Netherlands
Online Conversation
22 September 2020, 15:00 - 16:30 CET


In this conversation, as part of the RCMC Thinking With series, Macarena Gómes-Barris will discuss her work notably in The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives (Duke UP, 2017) and Beyond the Pink Tide (UC Press, 2018).

This conversation is part of the Caring Matters conference, which is part of the international collaborative research project Taking Care - Ethnographic and World Cultures Museums as Spaces of Care.

Macarena will be in discussion with Ignacio Acosta and Wayne Modest.

Link to event

Saami Requiem
Studio Acusticum
Piteå, Sweden
September 2020


Saami Requiem is a pagan soul mass and a Sami spring sacrifice, which invites the audience to a musical and visual experience where boundaries between past and present have been blurred. Here we get to follow the Sami soul mourner Nåjden, on his journey to the other world. An underground world rich in knowledge and magic, belonging to the protective spirits Sájva. Only those who have met Death will come here and from here only those who have mastered it and thus the art will resurrect again.

Saami Requiem is a unique musical meeting between classical and progressive organ music, Sami yoik, electric guitar, percussion and modern Sami dance.
Gunnar Idenstam's organ music together with Ola Stinnerbom's yoik, Erik Weissglas' electric guitar and Rafael Sida Huizar's percussion. Dancer is Henrietta Wallgren.

Music: Gunnar Idenstam and Ola Stinnerbom
Choreography and direction: Ola Stinnerbom
Dancers: Henrietta Wallberg and Ola Stinnerbom
Musicians: Gunnar Idenstam, Ola Stinnerbom, Erik Weissglas, Rafael Sida Huizar
Visual Artist: Ignacio Acosta
Mask: Cais-Marie Björnlod
Artistic producer: Liz- Marie Nilsen

Organizer: Dance in the North

Saami Requiem is produced with the support of Studio Acusticum, Dance in the North, Norrbotten Region, Statens Musikverk, Statens Kulturråd and Studiefrämjandet in Luleå

The Climate Emergency in 50 Rounds Simposium
Fotobokfestival Oslo 2020
Zoom disussion
October 17th


The 10 artists included in the symposium represent a cross-section from The Climate Emergency in 50 Rounds. Their research is carried out in ecosystems across the planet, and they make photographs and photo books through a diverse set of means — from camera-less material process to lens-based photography.

Whether in pursuit of a deeper engagement with nature, evidence, or radical methods to confront the carbon extraction states and corporations responsible for the climate emergency, these artists join forces in Oslo for the purpose of public knowledge. The end goal is a survivable planet — these projects offer clues on how to get there.

October 10th
Ian Teh — Malaysia. 13-14
Ronny Sen — India. 14-15
Sayler-Morris (Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris) — USA. 15-16
Paula Pedrosa — Brazil. 16-17
Meghann Riepenhoff — USA. 17-18

October 17th
Małgorzata Stankiewicz — Poland. 13-14
Lena Dobrowolska & Teo-Ormond-Skeaping — UK. 14-15
Ignacio Acosta — Chile. 15-16
Yan Wang Preston — China. 16-17
Minny Lee — South Korea / Hawaii. 17-18

Online discussion
Social Art Network
Radical Imagination
16 September 2020


About the event

The Radical Imagination finds us as social practice artists at the nexus of activism and the art we make on the multiple platforms that we use; here we shall explore what this emerging practice feels like from the inside out.

In this SAN digital meetup, we throw the doors open to explore the diverse works of ten social practice artists in small decentralised workshops, and ask how our collective practices can inform and lead theory around the radical imagination, rather than the other way around.

The enforced ‘hiatus’ that we are experiencing during the Covid19 pandemic has led many of us out ‘on to the streets’ either physically or in digital real time, during the huge social and political upheaval and resistances taking place across the world; Critical responses to the inequalities thrown up by the violence of capitalism have created opportunities for us to foster collective resources to inform a symbiotic Social Art Network that values differences at the heart of The Radical Imagination. We know from Me Too, LGBT+ rights, Black Lives Matter, the fights for climate, housing and poverty justice, that intersectional struggles require us to decolonise ourselves as a part of developing new ways of working. So what mutual support structures do we need to develop as new, radical forms of collaborative practices come into being?

Link to event

Group Exhibition
Människans natur (Human Nature)
Västerbottens Museum
Umeå, Sweden
22 February — 30 August 2020


Photographers and artists explore how Norrland’s landscape is being reshaped by the intensive extraction of natural resources, and they look at the sometimes irrevocable traces left behind. The exhibition highlights human tendency primarily to view nature as a resource and source of raw materials, and shows how values, immeasurable in terms of money, are underestimated.
The landscapes depicted provide first-hand accounts of the relationships between humans and nature, and ask if we have finally entered the anthropocene: the geological epoch defined by how humans have irreversibly impacted the earth’s climate and ecosystems.

Human Nature shows how demands for social and ecological sustainability clash with the interests of global capitalism, and how colonial structures are expressed in the opinions of Norrland. It documents the antagonism between indigenous people and industry, as well as giving us a close up look at how the networks of local and global forestry and berry industries exploit cheap labour.

The exhibition raises questions about the values humans are prepared to sacrifice in the quest for material growth and highlights the complexity of the adaptation into a sustainable society.

Link to Människans natur, Västerbottens Museum [Swedish]

Copper Geographies
De Correspondent
By Jan van Poppel
The Netherlands
September 2020


Cities all over the world are growing fast, often with disastrous consequences for nature. Due to the use of finite raw materials, construction is by definition unsustainable at the moment. This can and must be done differently, for example by building "nature-inclusive" and circular.

If we continue in this way, we will soon not have a planet left. Jan van Poppel dives into the construction pit looking for solutions.

Link to review

With Anna Santomauro
Manchester School of Arts, England
July 22

With Anna Santomauro (Curator, Arts Catalyst) artist Ignacio Acosta screened and discuss his recent work in documentary film and photography, that explores the political ecology of mining across the globe. Introduced by Dave Griffiths, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Art & Performance, this event marked the launch of MA by Research in Art & Science Stories. This new postgraduate programme will work in partnership with Arts Catalyst, a leading international organisation that works across art, science and technology to produce ambitious new projects that critically engage with our changing world. https://www.artscatalyst.org

Link to event

Tales from the Crust
Interactions Magazine, England
Sept 2020

What is the global impact of accelerated economic growth? What is the environmental and social impact of intensified growth in the tech sector and the continued proliferation of technologies that are ubiquitous in contemporary life?

Tales from the Crust builds on the artist Ignacio Acosta's ongoing research into extractive activities in Chile and Swedish Sábme. In Chile, as in Sámi areas in northern Sweden, mining activities by multinational corporations are both visibly and invisibly shaping the landscape and toxifying water, soil, and air while displacing agricultural and indigenous communities. The excavation, extraction, and exploitation of minerals—justified by the promise of immediate accelerated economic growth—means that spaces inhabited by communities become ravaged by desertification, contamination, and expropriation, becoming sites of political and environmental dispute.

Tales from the Crust brings to light how activists and communities are making use of technologies in order to monitor the impacts of extractive industries and develop resistance strategies. Comprising documents, films, photographs, maps, and objects, Acosta's work homes in on the ways in which local and transnational acts of resistance are making use of technologies (such as drones) in order to monitor the impacts of extractive industries and develop micropolitical strategies.

Through in-depth visual and spatial exploration, the work represents a series of overlapping case studies of extractive violence. These include Parque Andino Juncal, an Andean conservation park currently fighting against mining exploration, and Caimanes, an agricultural town heavily affected by water contamination and scarcity courtesy of Latin America's largest toxic dam, El Mauro, from Los Pelambres copper mine.

In the film installation Litte ja Goabddá (Drones and Drums, 2018), Acosta explores how the Sámi indigenous communities are using drones as a way of resisting the mining exploration at Gállak in Jåhkåmåkke (Jokkmokk) in northern Sweden through an indigenous lens. Based on research visits and close collaboration with activists and Sámi families living and working in the area threatened by the mines, the project explores the link between drums and drones as navigation and communication tools.

This multifaceted spatial narrative is populated by the overlapping voices of activists, indigenous people, and archaeo-astronomers, bringing together a constellation of stances rooted in the distant to recent and present geographies of extraction, exploitation, and trauma. Here, filmed interviews, close-ups of resilient landscapes, and cartographies of global power expose forms of human and nonhuman resistance.

Tales from the Crust is a part of the Extractable Matters program curated by Arts Catalyst. The program considers both the mineralogical and corporeal. It seeks to encompass anything that produces profit and value through being dug, removed, displaced, contaminated, and exploited. Extractable Matters is Arts Catalyst's ongoing inquiry into the politics of extractive practices, of their infrastructures and effects on a planetary scale.

Tales from the Crust brings to light how activists are making use of technologies to monitor the impacts of extractive industries.

Issues of translation run through Tales of the Crust and Extractable Matters at numerous levels. The artwork and program invite questions around how the molecular violence that mining companies are inflicting on land, minerals, cultures, and communities are translated for those immediately affected. They also seek to translate the micro- and macropolitical strategies of resistance enacted at the sites of material extraction, seeking to draw out the commonalities and specificities. Finally, both aim to engage a broader public, translating geographically situated projects of extraction and resistance for globally dispersed audiences often inured to the environmental and cultural damage their technologies inflict.

Link to event

Copper Geographies
May 2020


Copper Geographies has been reviewed by platform e-Lur.

Review by Chiara Sgaramella [Spanish]
Review by Rubén Angel Arias [Spanish]

Artist Residency
La Becque
Jan-June 2019


For La Becque residency I will expand and extend my ongoing investigation into how drone technologies can help detect and monitor negative extractivist industrial impact on valuable natural environments in the indigenous lands of the Sámi people, which are difficult to access and make visible without such drone technologies. It builds on already established international alliances rooted in struggles of indigenous and non-indigenous activists that interact with natural processes through the use of technology in Sápmi. Addressing issues related to the ecology of the Anthropocene, I will use the residency at La Becque as a platform to foster new collaborations and dialogues within Switzerland.

Link to La Becque

Group exhibition
Bienal de Artes Mediales de Santiago
Los límites de la Tierra (The Limits of the Earth)
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo MAC
Santiago, Chile
October 2019


Installation view, Los límites de la Tierra, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo MAC, Santiago

Developed in collaboration with Swiss curator Jean-Paul Felley, this exhibition warns about the reconfiguring of Earth’s ecosystems in the 21ts century. Under such a sign of emergency, the works of five artists from Switzerland -Roman Signer, Ursula Biemann, Silvie Defraoui, Julian Charrière and Pauline Julier- and four works from Chilean creators -Ignacio Acosta, Mauricio Lacrampette, Sebastián Maquieira, and Cosmopolítica collective-, rehearse strategies of nature reconnaissance in different spots of our planet, composing their works as instruments of understanding mutating landscapes. These artists gather to communicate the results of their investigations, which emerged from dialoguing with scientific research. By sharing its methods of exploration, surveying, sampling, measuring and representation, this exhibition aims at recognizing the limits of our vital space and draw a path back to Earth.

Link to The Limits of the Earth, Bienal de Artes Mediales de Santiago
Exhibition Guide [Es]
View The Limits of the Earth instalation video

Solo exhibition
Litte ja goabddá
Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende (MSSA)
Santiago, Chile
Opening 31 August 12pm
Sept 2019 - Feb 2020


Installation view, Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende (MSSA)

Film installation Litte ja goabddá and photographic series Giesse [Summer], 2018 and Dálvve [Winter], 2018 presented at MSSA.

Part of Bienal de Artes Mediales de Santiago.

Exhibition supported by The British Council.

Link to Litte ja Goabddá [Drones y tambores]
Link to Exhibition Catalogue
Link to Bienal de Artes Mediales de Santiago

Exhibition Review
Ignacio Acosta’s “Tales from the Crust”
by Tom Jeffreys
Art Agenda


What do the gray-white, snow-laden forests of Scandinavia have in common with the dry red sands of the Atacama Desert in Chile? Both, in the words of Silvia Federici, are “sacrifice zones” of capitalism: places that contain riches extracted by multinational mining corporations with little care to the destruction they cause—to water, soil, air; to human and nonhuman communities.

Ignacio Acosta’s “Tales from the Crust” connects these places in a solo exhibition divided quite neatly into three parts. Covering the gallery’s street-level windows and visible to passers-by are three large-scale photographs of landscapes that have been radically altered by mining: a looming slag heap, a drone shot of a distance marker, and a eucalyptus forest planted to absorb contaminated water. To the right as you enter the gallery is a room of archival materials, filmed interviews, documents, photographs, and rock samples, presented on and around a freestanding metal structure. Here, Acosta not only makes visible his own research process but also acknowledges that struggles against multinational companies are diverse, collective, and ongoing: there are many tales from the crust.

One focus in this room is the corporate group Antofagasta PLC in Chile: a video interview with researcher Patricio Bustamante reveals the exhausting struggles of activists, lawyers, and local communities against the devastating effects of the company’s El Mauro desert waste dump; a photograph shows a demonstration against them in London in 2013; pages from the UN’s damning 2014 statement on El Mauro are laid out in a vitrine. All apparently to little avail. Also in the same room is a looped time-lapse video, produced by Nexus (a research group at Imperial College London), in which satellite images demonstrate the dramatic reshaping of landscapes by mines such as Anglo-American’s in Chile or Rio Tinto’s in Brazil. On a nearby screen is a video interview with a Swedish man in a baseball cap bearing the logo of Finnish forestry company Stora Enso. He recalls battling a forest fire alongside Sami villagers in 1959 and laments the loss of fire-management skills that were once commonplace. On the window ledge are copies of Acosta’s handsomely designed photography book, Copper Geographies (2019), which ranges from epic desert landscapes to architectural typologies to details of mined rocks or electrical wiring.

In the left-hand room is the artist’s recent work Litte ja Goabddá [Drones and Drums] (2018). The 18-minute, two-screen video installation juxtaposes the lives of northern Sweden’s Sami reindeer herders against the impenetrable, fortress-like industrial structures that now dominate parts of the landscape. Acosta’s focus is less on probing historic and ongoing oppression of the Sami and more on the possibilities for a collective fight back. A starting point was the use of drones to make visible the impacts of extractive industries. The video is predominantly shot with a drone, which, combined with the sounds of chainsaws and ominous drumming, reminds me at times of Julian Rosefeldt’s portentous and overblown In the Land of the Drought (2015/17). Drones themselves appear almost like accompanying familiars, hovering above a lone Sami drummer or held in the hands of a blue-haired activist. The video closes with scenes of collective struggle—temporary allegiances forged in the face of a common enemy. Protesters climb tree-felling machinery, a wooden model of a digger is set alight, and an activist gyrates to Swedish rap on a remote forest road.

Litte ja Goabddá opens up a number of complicated ethical, strategic, and artistic problems. For example, Acosta refuses to present the Sami people as a pristine, idealized exemplar of harmonious relations between the human and the nonhuman. They use petrol-powered vehicles and corral reindeer by force. The activists dance to “Tänd alla Ljus” [Light all the Lights] (2015), a song by Silvana Imam that for all the rapper’s avowed anti-racist and anti-homophobic agenda, is ultimately a celebration of exactly the kind of mindless consumption opposed by those who dance so rapturously to it. Drones could not exist without the extractive industries they make visible. It remains unclear how alive Acosta is to these ironies. Many of the questions that the exhibition raises remain unanswered; the most interesting are perhaps ultimately unanswerable.

Acosta navigates difficult terrain. To draw connections between diverse people and places risks effacing important differences: between drums and drones; forestry and mining; people in Sweden, Chile, and so many other places. And to lose sight of these local, historical, living differences might be to echo the brutal blindness of the very transnational corporations against whom so many communities are uniting in struggle. Fortunately, Acosta’s sensitivity to these concerns is evident in the structure of the exhibition: the separation of different tales into different mediums and rooms is not simply convenient (the darkness required to watch a video versus the light needed to read texts); it speaks of a deep understanding of solidarity as a standing-alongside that never seeks to speak over or above.

About the Author
Tom Jeffreys is a writer and editor based in Edinburgh. He is working on a new book about birch trees in Russian art, landscape, and identity.

Link to Review

We Make Money Not Art


Ignacio Acosta: Tales from the Crust at the Arts Catalyst on Cromer Street near King’s Cross St. Pancras is part of a programme of events investigating the politics of extraction across the planet.

Acosta‘s work is the perfect introduction to the topic. The Chilean artist and researcher exposes mining practices through extensive fieldwork, collaborations with both experts and local actors, visual documentation and critical writing. His show at the Arts Catalyst focuses on the social and ecological impact of the extraction of a mineral that is crucial to modernity: copper. Copper is essential to the production of wiring, motors, domestic appliances, plumbing, electronics and of course renewable energy systems and green technologies. Yet, its extraction, refining and production have a detrimental impact on both ecologies and communities.

The artist travelled to places such as Chile and Swedish Sápmi where social cohesion and the environment are threatened by copper mining. His images and texts focus not only on the damage made to communities and ecosystems but also on the local resistance to ruthless extractivist practices.

This multifaceted spatial narrative is populated by the overlapping voices of activists, indigenous people and archaeo-astronomers – bringing together a constellation of stances rooted in the distant to recent and present geographies of extraction, exploitation and trauma. Here, filmed interviews, close-ups of resilient landscapes and cartographies of global power expose forms of human and non-human resistance.

Each of these individual cases studies encapsulates what happens on the global scale when ecosystems and traditional ways of life “get in the way” of corporate greed and the hunt for resources.

I started the visit with the exhibition room that brings to light mining practices in Chile. The mining sector is one of the pillars of the national economy. The country provides the rest of the world with gold, copper, silver, molybdenum, iron and coal. Copper exports are particularly lucrative for Chile. Unfortunately, the water-hungry industry is concentrated in the arid north of the nation where it is threatening local ecosystems.

Acosta’s research zooms in on one of the communities affected by mining: Los Caimanes, a small agricultural town in northern Chile fighting against mining giant Antofagasta Minerals which operates the Los Pelambres open pit copper mine. The mine piles up its tailings in water contained by the colossal El Mauro dam. It is the largest toxic site in Latin America with an estimated 3,500 million tonnes of waste expected to be stored behind its high walls.

El Mauro dam is located above Los Caimanes where residents claim that the dam has dried up a local stream, contaminated underground water and thus deprived them of the fresh water necessary for agriculture. They now rely on trucks transporting water for sanitation and consumption.

There is also a human cost to the mining activity: the division of the rural mountain community. People whose livelihood depend on farming are (rightfully) irritated by the appropriation and pollution of water. Others, who have benefited from new jobs and investment, accuse the farmers of standing in the way of economic growth and progress.

The exhibition features a gripping interview with Patricio Bustamente. The researcher and activist was drawn to the issue because the mining activities were threatening archaeological sites. He was particularly concerned about the fate of the El Mauro site. Before the construction of the dam, the place was an oasis with a rich archeological heritage.

He also commented on the complicity between the mining company and the Chilean authorities, highlighting in particular how people having close connections with the company are given positions of influence in the government.

I particularly liked the translucent prints of Acosta’s photos that were covering the large windows of the Arts Catalyst gallery. I’ll only comment on two of them:

One of the windows was covered with a photo of eucalyptus trees. They are not native from Chile but have been planted near Los Palambres for phytoremediation, a process that involves covering the surface of contaminated sites with plants in order to remove, degrade or isolate toxic substances from the environment. Which looks like a great solution to the degradation of soils caused by mining activities. However, (according to wikipedia and several other sources i consulted), Eucalyptus trees show allelopathic effects; they release compounds which inhibit other plant species from growing nearby. Outside their natural ranges, eucalypts are also criticised for sucking more water from the ground than some native tree species.

Slag heap from the now closed Panulcillo copper mine in the Coquimbo region, north of Chile, occupy another window of the gallery. Copper extraction in the area dates back to the 19th century. The ore extracted in the region was shipped mainly to Wales and smelted in the Lower Swansea Valley. As curator Tehmina Goskar wrote “the Lower Swansea Vallery was a truly transoceanic phenomenon, involving mining/processing complexes on different continents and mobilisation of capital, labour and technology across immense distances.

Speaking of immense distances, let’s follow the artist to the north of Sweden….

Sweden’s failure to ratify the ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention No. 169 considerably weakens any right the Sami would have over the land they live on.

That is one of the reasons why they are deeply worried about the project to exploit the Gállak North iron ore deposit. Mining exploration company Beowulf Mining PLC has submitted an application for a 25 year exploitation concession for the site. The area they covet, however, is located on the ancestral lands of the indigenous Sami people and forms part of the reindeer winter grazing lands.

A mining permit would have a detrimental impact on the fragile ecosystems, disrupt the reindeer migration paths and threaten the Sámi way of life.

Unsurprisingly, the plans to establish a mine at the site has met with resistance from the Saami people and other local communities. It has raised concerns in regard to the proposed plan to combine hydro power with tailing dam which, a safety research concluded, could jeopardize the provision of drinking water downstream.

Thanks to local resistance, the request to start the exploitation has still not been approved by the Swedish government.

Acosta’s film installation Litte ja Goabddá (Drones and Drums) explores how the Sami are using drones as a way of resisting mining exploration in northern Sweden. Based on research visits and close collaboration with local activists and Sami families, the project explores the link between drums and drones as navigation and communication tools.

Sámi, like many other indigenous communities, live in close connection with with natural forces and have a lifestyle rooted in traditions. The video demonstrates that this doesn’t stop them from using technologies such as drones in their fight against extractive violence on their territory. Diverted from their usual association with vertical control, surveillance and warfare, the drones become as counter-surveillance tools in the protests against the Gállak mining venture.

As for the drums, they are an essential element of Sámi ritualistic activities, and are used to communicate and travel between worlds and have a strong connection to Mother Earth.

Don’t miss Tales from the Crust if you’re in London, it’s a small exhibition but it offers a powerful reminder of the high price other communities are paying for the progress we enjoy.

Link to Press Release [German]

COP25 Social Summit for Climat
Universidad Complutense
7-9 Dec 2019


Extractable Matters, a video contribution emerging from a two-day assembly at the University of Westminster (London) bringing together artists, academics, activists and human rights experts to collectively explore the politics of extraction across the globe and the role that its operations play on environmental, ecopolitical and societal levels.

The video selection is a collaboration between Ecologistas en Accion and Arts Catalyst.

Artists: Ignacio Acosta, Rachel O'Reilly, Inhabitants, Lise Autogena

Link to Programme
Link to Press Release

Exhibition Review
Ignacio Acosta
by Diego Chocano
Art Agenda


Tales from the Crust is an exhibition of new and existing work by Ignacio Acosta that examines three cases of extractive violence in Andean Chile and Swedish Sábme. Across two galleries at Arts Catalyst, London, multimedia installations comprising interviews, films, maps and texts outline a series of strategies undertaken by local activists to counter the adverse social and ecological effects of mining. These acts of resistance confront those who value territory as commodity and see nature as an obstacle to be overcome in the perennial pursuit of progress.

The artist’s book Copper Geographies (2018) serves as an excellent starting point to the show, not only because it is one of Acosta’s oldest works but also because it serves as an introduction to the paradoxical conditions of modernity. The book outlines the role of copper in shaping the modern world, from its use in sheathing for imperial warships to the wiring within our computers and mobile phones. Acosta tracks the movement of mined copper from Chile to the United Kingdom, exposing the asymmetrical power dynamics that exist between these respectively peripheral and core centres of trade.

A visual essay that is punctuated by poetry and text, Copper Geographies illustrates the two very different consequences of this trading partnership. The second half of the book depicts the promise of progress fulfilled in the United Kingdom, with photographs of leafy post-industrial landscapes, the lavish mansions of copper traders and trading floors, where natural resources are turned into abstract commodities. The first section, however, depicts the world from which the raw material is mined. Photographs of dissected landscapes coupled with dilapidated and abandoned towns reveal the social and environmental costs paid by the Atacama Desert and the little monetary reward that the Chilean people have received in return.

Acosta’s latest film, Drones and Drums (2018), outlines how the communities living with this destruction are responding. The double-channel installation FIG. 1 follows Northern Sweden’s indigenous Sámi people and their struggle to save their ancestral lands from multinational mining exploration. Swedish Sábme, like many other areas of extraction, has become a digital colony: corporations utilise military technology such as drones to survey land and control dissenters, tools rooted in our colonial past. In Drones and Drums Acosta depicts how Sámi people have co-opted this technology to track the ecological degradation caused by iron mining.

Using drone footage shot by Sámi activists, the film depicts how a harmonious way of relating to nature has been suppressed to accommodate an extractive view. Forest landscapes are overpowered by a cacophony of chainsaws and falling trees; the sounds of a creek transform into the unsettling gurgling of man-made reservoirs and shots of pristine snow are abruptly juxtaposed with images of colossal concrete structures FIG. 2. Rather than ‘condemning technology to its hegemonic use as surveillance’,1 Drones and Drums demonstrates how the Sámi people have appropriated and subverted it, shifting authority’s gaze back on itself and reclaiming what Nicholas Mirzoeff describes as ‘the right to look’,“ through which a disenfranchised subject becomes an active agent by looking where they were told not to.

In their struggle, Sámi drums have also become an important symbol of protest. These instruments – traditionally used as a way of achieving trance in ceremonies and rituals, allowing the spirit to ascend and travel – were prohibited throughout the Christian colonial project in Swedish Sábme. The film begins with the beating of a drum and a person in Sámi dress enveloped by snow and forest. As the drumming intensifies, the camera ascends from the ground, transforming the viewer’s perspective into the aerial view of a flying drone. By using colonial technology to mirror Sámi ritual, the film presents an act of defiance against suppression and erasure. The drone therefore serves not only as a tool for counter-surveillance, but as a symbolic reclamation of ancestral rites.

These are perhaps the only two works in the exhibition that benefit from individual analysis. Acosta employs a constellatory model for the display, where the works, arranged across a long metallic structure serve as fragments best read in relation to one another. This encourages the viewer to posit a series of networked connections that ultimately provide a broader picture of the whole. One may question the impact of a time-lapse video that utilises satellite technology to track desertification caused by mines, displayed as it is on a small, low-hanging screen. However, read in relation to works such as Drones and Drums, it becomes part of a larger strategy of resistance.

Similarly, the adhesive vinyl depicting a Eucalyptus forest (a tree not native to Chile that inhibits the growth of other plants) planted by mining companies to absorb the toxins emitted during extraction, becomes a metaphor for the loss of indigenous epistemologies when examined in relation to Forest&Fires. The latter video interview with a forester from Swedish Sábme outlines how local, effective ways of fighting forest fires are being forgotten and lost in favour of modern techniques that prove inadequate in the environment of Northern Sweden. The porous nature of Acosta’s installation allows for viewers to make connections between cases of extractive violence in seemingly disparate parts of the world, revealing an underlying logic.

As the global climate crisis becomes increasingly urgent and dissatisfaction over inequality bubbles into protest in Chile, Acosta has provided a space where a constellation of voices can converse and converge. This dialogue, made up of activists, indigenous groups, scientists and researchers, are the tales from the crust. Perhaps we should listen.

1 M. Gómez-Barris: The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives, Durham NC 2017, p.86.
2 N. Mirzoeff: The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality, Durham NC 2011.

About the Author
Diego Chocano is the Assistant Curator for the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America and the University Art Collections at the University of Essex.

Link to Review

Solo exhibition
Tales from the Crust
Arts Catalyst
26 September - 14 December 2019


Installation view, Tales from the Crust, Arts Catalyst
Arts Catalyst announces a new exhibition and programme investigating the politics of extraction across the planet.

The ecology of extractive practices is a poisonous one. In Chile as in Sámi areas in northern Sweden, mining activities by multinational corporations are both visibly and invisibly shaping the landscape, intoxicating water, soil and air while displacing agricultural and indigenous communities. The excavation, extraction and exploitation of minerals – justified by the promise of immediate accelerated economic growth – means that spaces inhabited by communities become ravaged by desertification, contamination and expropriation, and sites of political and environmental dispute.

Building on ongoing research into extractive activities in Chile and Swedish Sábme, Tales from the Crust presents existing and new work by Chilean artist Ignacio Acosta, comprising documents, films, photographs, maps and objects. The programme will hone in on ways in which local and transnational acts of resistance are making use of technologies (such as drones) in order to monitor the impacts of extractive industries and develop micropolitical strategies. Resistance Labs is a series of discursive events, workshops and broadcasts that will bring to the fore existing forms of solidarity between various anti-mining movements, and address the role that counter-actions can play on a planetary scale. The full programme will be announced soon.

Through an in-depth visual and spatial exploration, the works presented in the exhibition are articulated as a series of overlapping case studies of extractive violence. These include Parque Andino Juncal, an Andean conservation park currently fighting against mining exploration; and Caimanes, an agricultural town heavily affected by water contamination and scarcity by Latin America’s largest toxic dam El Mauro from Los Pelambres copper mine.

Installation view, Tales from the Crust, Arts Catalyst

In the film installation Litte ja Goabddá (Drones and Drums) Ignacio Acosta explores how the Sami indigenous communities are using drones as a way of resisting the mining exploration at Gállak in Jåhkåmåkke (Jokkmokk) in northern Sweden through an indigenous lens. Based on research visits and close collaboration with activists and Sami families living and working in the area threatened by the mines, the project explores the link between drums and drones as navigation and communication tools.

This multifaceted spatial narrative is populated by the overlapping voices of activists, indigenous people and archaeo-astronomers – bringing together a constellation of stances rooted in the distant to recent and present geographies of extraction, exploitation and trauma. Here, filmed interviews, close-ups of resilient landscapes and cartographies of global power expose forms of human and non-human resistance.

Installation view, Tales from the Crust, Arts Catalyst

As part of the exhibition, Nexus, an environmental project exploring global challenges connected to water, food and energy based at Imperial College, have contributed a series of digital resources mapping sites of extraction.

Tales from the Crust forms part of Extractable Matters, Arts Catalyst’s new thematic strand exploring extractive capitalism and the politics that underlie its spatial infrastructure and logistics. Starting with an exhibition in autumn 2019 by artist Ignacio Acosta the programme reflects on ways in which capitalism extracts and exploits both material and immaterial resources, such as minerals, labour, data, affects, cultures and resistance. Through exhibitions, artist residencies and public programmes, over six months Extractable Matters provides a polyfunctional context for discussions inquiring how extractive infrastructures – as well as borders, conflicts and trades attached to them – impose uneven maps of power. Other participants in the programme include FRAUD (artist-researchers Audrey Samson and Francisco Gallardo) and the Alternative School of Economics, a collaboration between artists Ruth Beale and Amy Feneck.

The works presented in Tales from the Crust have emerged from Traces of Nitrate, 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 the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC); and Drone Vision, a research project based at the Hasselblad Foundation / Valand Academy, Gothenburg University led by Dr Sarah Tuck.

Tales from the Crust is supported by funding from Arts Council England, Pluriversal Radio and the CREAM (University of Westminster)


Link to Tales from the Crust
Link to Assembly Extractable Matters
Artist talk: Extractive Violence Between Europe and Latin America, Ignacio Acosta in conversation with Elena Solis and Godofredo Pereira


List of works


Art Agenda: Ignacio Acosta’s Tales from the Crust by Tom Jeffreys
Burlinton Contemporaries: Ignacio Acosta’s Tales from the Crust by Diego Chocano
We make money not art: Tales from the Crust Portraits of extractive violence and resistance

University of Westminster
Fri 29 November 2019 - Sat 30 November 2019


Assembly: Extractable Matters is a two-day gathering at the University of Westminster that brings together artists, academics, activists and human rights experts to collectively explore the politics of extraction across the globe and the role that its operations play on environmental, ecopolitical and societal levels.

How can we understand the infrastructure of mining beyond its materiality and geography? What are the new frontiers of mining and what neocolonial patterns do they reveal?

Together, we will collectively explore the molecular effects of mining and extractive practices on a planetary scale. We will try to disentangle these complex interdependencies – for instance, between the demand for forms of renewable energy that require the extraction of scarce resources and the disruption of ecosystems and communities – and reflect on how we might build alliances and solidarity between artists, activists, and those affected by mining industries.

Through talks, workshops and roundtable discussions, over two days we will delve into multiple case studies that expose the entanglements between extractive violence, financial networks and poisonous infrastructures. Together we will explore different forms of resistance, particularly those that seek to carve out spaces of autonomy and solidarity where the structural violence enacted through the exploitation of natural resources – of minerals, labour and cultures – can be countered.

Participants include Ignacio Acosta, Lise Autogena, Bobby Banerjee, Suzanne Dhaliwal, FRAUD (Audrey Samson and Francisco Gallardo), Gaia Foundation, Que Kenny, London Mining Network, Margarida Mendes, Ainhoa Montoya, Rachel O’Reilly, Pluriversal Radio, Louise Purbrick, Xavier Ribas, Sim Chi Yin, Elena Solis (Ecologistas en Acción), Jol Thomson and Neal White.

Assembly: Extractable Matters is organised by Arts Catalyst in partnership with CREAM, University of Westminster. It is part of Resistance Labs, a series of discursive events, workshops and broadcasts that bring to the fore existing forms of solidarity between various anti-mining movements in the context of Ignacio Acosta’s exhibition Tales from the Crust at Arts Catalyst.

Extractable Matters

Artist Talk
Practice Declares: Presenting attitudes from professional and cultural practice to the Climate & Ecology Emergency
Cass Projects, Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture & Design
London Metropolitan University
26 November


Artists, designers, visualisers and material specialists present how their work engages with the risk of social and ecological collapse emerging from a climate crisis.

Invited speakers
Adele Orcajada – MaterialDriven
Ignacio Acosta
Clive Russell – This Ain’t Rock’n’Roll
Fernando Laposse
Adam Nieman – Real World Visuals

Part of Making a Living week, series of workshops held for students to introduce them to discussions taking place in practice and society.

Link to Cass Projects, London Metropolitan University

Tales from the Crust
Decolonising the Nuclear
MFA Seminar Room: Goldsmiths Art Department
London, UK
22 October 2019


The nuclear cannot be undone but it can be rethought

Nuclear technology has been developed through colonial practices of resource extraction, atomic testing on indigenous lands, exporting nuclear installations, paying off communities, deployment of nuclear weapons and radioactive waste storage. Many communities are already living through the slow violence of atomic tests, radioactive accidents and contaminated landscapes. Nuclear technology is at the heart of the military industrial complex, often outside democratic decision-making processes, yet it is often neglected in contemporary discourse around decoloniality, climate crisis and the Anthropocene.

The Nuclear Culture Research Group is considering what it means to decolonise our creative and academic research practices within nuclear culture. In an academic context this starts with tracing our own stories, expanding our networks and literature, working with and alongside communities, and leads to rethinking forms of knowledge and creative practices from new, or perhaps very old, perspectives. In the humanities, decoloniality starts with an attempt to re-couple the nuclear with colonial trajectories that have been neglected in order to isolate research into discreet work-packages for spurious reasons of security or in-depth scientific research. The very rationale of nuclearity is based on Western concepts of science, knowledge, and history. So what does it mean to rethink the nuclear creatively and holistically?

The concept of ‘Nuclear Power’ conflates atomic energy with nuclear weaponised state power; where nuclear policy is an instrument of the colonial and post-colonial state. How can we consider nuclear decoloniality and the techno-scientific determinism of post-colonial national identities?

Link to Decolonising the Nuclear

Workshop programme

Ritos de Tambores: Resistencias en el mundo Sámi y Mapuche
Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende
Santiago, Chile
05 September 2019, 19hrs


Group exhibition
Game of Drones. About unmanned flying objects
Zeppelin Museum
Friedrichshafen, Germany
June-November, 2019


Installation view Game of Drones. About unmanned flying objects, Zeppelin Museum

Film installation Litte ja goabddá presented as part of Game of Drones. About unmanned flying objects, Zeppelin Museum

Summer exhibition in the Zeppelin Museum, both the technical development and the various utilisations are examined. Eleven internationally renowned artists occupy themselves with ethical questions that need to be addressed especially against the background of economic and military interests.

Participating artists: Ignacio Acosta, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Anohni, Frédérick A. Belzile, James Bridle, Gonçalo F. Cardoso & Ruben Pater, Omer Fast, Adam Harvey, Lawrence Lek, Martha Rosler, Raphaela Vogel

Link to Exhibition

Co-Curate Magazine
Issue#04 - with Federica Chiocchetti


Featured artists
Sarah Piegay Espenon
Yan Wang Preston
Yann Haeberlin
Julia Pontes
Ignacio Acosta
Shen Wen Lo
Christoph Oeschger
Matthew Genitempo
Henk Wildschut
Hannah Collins

Co-Curate Magazine

Copper Geographies


Panorama website

Copper Geographies featured on Panorama, a platform to help create and reinforce a global consciousness regarding the different challenges we as society face in terms of landscape and territory.

Link to Panorama

Conference paper
Fighting Climate Change and Forest Fires – From a Sámi Perspective
In collaboration with co-researcher Sámi journalist Liz-Marie Nilsen
Aotearoa/New Zealand
June 2019


NAISA is the premiere international & interdisciplinary professional organization for scholars, graduate students, independent researchers, and community members interested in all aspects of Indigenous Studies.

Fighting Climate Change and Forest Fires – From a Sámi Perspective as part of the panel Sámi Perspectives on Climate Change, Green Colonialism, Forest Fires, Industrial Exploitations, and Food Sovereignty . Chair: May-Britt Öhman, Uppsala University and Luleå University of Technology.

In the summer of 1959 there was a large forest fire at Turberget, Jåhkåmåhkke. Palle Erixon from Kilkok, 14 years old at the time, was one of the fire fighters. In the summer of 2018, we interviewed him at the same site. He shared with how they fought the wildfire.

Supported by Indigenous Climate Change Studies FORMAS Dnr 2017-01923, lett av Fil.Dr May-Britt Öhman, Uppsala universitet.

Link to conference Booklet
Link to Panel abstracts
Link to Dálkke - Indigenous Climate Change Studies

Artist Residency
Cité internationale des arts
April 2019


Residency to work my ongoing research Intuitive Projects. The project is developed in collaboration with curator and writer Federica Chiocchetti, founding director of the photo-literary platform Photocaptionist.

Intuitive Project is a platform dedicated to exploring the work and life of my great-grand uncle, Chilean-born, painter, poet, playboy and boxer, Álvaro Guevara Reimers (1894-1951). The project began with a gift from my grand-mother, the photographic album Sun&Shadow, which depicts Guevara’s eccentric upbringing in Chile. The photographs follow his family passage from Valparaíso to Harrogate, England in 1906, after a devastating earthquake had left their home in ruins. The photographs follow the life on the Guevara’s in Harrogate and their Grand European Tour until 1915, when the family returned to Chile threatened by the shadow of World War I – except for Alvaro who stayed in London to pursue his artistic career.

From and beyond the album, since 2013, I have built a substantial archive composed of found images, documents and new photographs works in Britain, Chile and France.

Link to Intuitive Projects
Link to La Cité
Link to publication by Photocaptionist. Unseen Magazine, issue 2, 2015

Solo exhibition
Little ja goabddá [Drones and Drums]
Ájtte Museum
Jåhkåmåkke, Swedish Sábme
March-May 2019


Installation View, Ájtte Museum

The film installation Litte ja Goabddá [Drones and Drums] and the photographic series Giesse [Summer] at Ájtte, the principal museum of Sami culture, a museum for the mountain region.

I have donated the film installation and the photographic series to the Ájtte Museum archive.

Link to Ájtte Museum

Transfer: Global Architecture Platform


Transfer: Global Architecture Platform

Review of Copper Geographies at Transfer: Global Architecture Platform.

Link to Review by Transfer

TANK Magazine


TANK Magazine webiste

A selection of images from Copper Geographies has been featured by TANK Magazine.


Launch Book
Copper Geographies
The Bookshop at The Photographer's Gallery
21 February


The Photographer's Gallery website

Copper Geographies presented in conversation with the architect and researcher Godofredo Enes Pereira.

Godofredo Enes Pereira is an architect and researcher whose work is centred on environments, ecologies and collective politics. His doctoral research titled The Underground Frontier: Technoscience and Collective Politics investigated political and territorial conflicts within the planetary race for underground resources, focusing on Venezuelan petropolitics and environmental conflicts in the Atacama Desert in Chile. He is a member of Forensic Architecture where he lead the Atacama Desert project and was part of Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s Anthropocene curriculum & campus, a pedagogical and research project that brings together experts from natural sciences, humanities and the arts to discuss the consequences of climate change to planetary architecture. Pereira is currently a Senior Tutor and Course Leader on MA Environmental Architecture and ADS7 Ecologies of Existence in the School of Architecture at the Royal College of Art.

Instagram takeover by TPG. Link The Photographer's Gallery instagram
Link The Photographer's Gallery event
Link Bookshop at The Photographer's Gallery

In conversation
The Photocaptionist + Copper Geographies = Ignacio Acosta & Federica Chiocchetti
Sala de Maquinas
Santiago Chile
January 2019


Invitation Sala de Maquinas

Presented publication Copper Geographies (2018) in conversation with Federica Chiocchetti, the Founding Director of the platform The Photocaptionist.

Link to the event
Link to The Photocaptionist

Master en Producció i Recerca artística
Universitat de Barcelona
30 November 2018


Universitat de Barcelona event invitation

Invited by Àngels Viladomiu to present recent research work to MA students of the University of Barcelona.

Download Abstract – Spansh English version

The Copenhagen Landscape Lectures Fall 2018
University of Copenhagen
27 November 2018


Integrated Futures, Urban Imaginaries. A film, two lectures and a discussion regarding the role of data, drones, ground experiences and ownership of land are featuring:

Ignacio Acosta, Artist and researcher (UK).
Pia Fricker, Researcher, Department of Architecture, Aalto University (FIN).

The artistic exploration and effects of data and media mediation, and humans impact on urban landscape changes, opens up new perspectives on what digitization can mean physically, socially and politically for new urban imaginaries, landscape practice and education. Hence we seek to discuss artistic work approaches in relation to natural science approaches needed for future perceptions and actions.

Link The Copenhagen Landscape Lectures

Copper Geographies
Editorial RM
188 pages, insert and map

Copper Geographies, Editorial RM (2018)

Copper Geographies invites the viewer on a journey of copper from raw material through stock market exchange value, smelted commodity, capital wealth and recycled material. From the transformed landscapes of the Atacama Desert through a re-imagined voyage to Wales and the City of London, the project documents spaces of circulation, environmental disruption, protest and trade, and makes visible the return of the copper hidden within technological devices to its geographical origins.

The publication presents documentary research in the form of maps, photographs and texts, and offers a critical spatial imaginary for re-thinking the geographies of copper. It includes six written contributions by curators, historians and poets; Andrés Anwandter, Marta Dahó, Tehmina Goskar, Tony Lopez, Louise Purbrick and Frank Vicencio López.

Copper Geographies stems from the practice-based PhD thesis The Copper Geographies of Chile and Britain: A photographic study of mining, carried out as part of Traces of Nitrate, 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 the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Launched during Paris Photo in November 2018.


Book signing
Copper Geographies
Paris Photo, Paris
Saturday 10 November 2018


Copper Geographies launched at Paris Photo

Link to event

Artist talk and workshop
Time and Space Programme
University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland
8 October 2018


Presented Copper and Iron: Mining and Visuality: two recent research projects that explore the impact of the copper and iron extractive industries in Chile and Swedish Sápmi: Copper Geographies (2010-2016) and Litte ja Goabddá [Drones and Drums] (2017-2018).


Strollogy workshop
Time and Space Programme
University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland
9, 11 October 2018

Led a two-day strollogy workshop with students to Sillböle mine, a former iron ore mine in Kaivoksela, Western part of Vantaa, Helsinki which operated between 1744-1866.

Link to Time and Space programm

Currenly — Artist in Residency
Serlachius Museums
Mänttä, Finland
August – October 2018


Aerial view of GA Serlachius. From the collection of Serlachius Museums

Research residency at Serlachius to work on-ongoing investigation into the impact of extractive industries in the Nordic Countries.

Link to Exhibition

Seminar and Panel Discussion
Hasselblad Centre and Gothenburg City Library
Gothenburg, Sweden
14-15 September, 2018


Drone Vision Seminar. Gothenburg City Library, Gothenburg

On the occasion of the exhibition Drone Vision: Warfare, Surveillance, Protest exhibition at Hasselblad Center, the Hasselblad Foundation and Valand Academy, Gothenburg University organised a Seminar and Panel Disussion forum with artists, researchers and activists to explore the effects of drone technologies on political protest and war. With support from the Swedish Art Council, Gothenburg city and The Olof Palme Memorial Fund.

Link Seminar
Link Panel Discussion

Drone Vision: Surveillance, Warfare, Protest
Hasselblad Centre
Gothenburg, Sweden
May 19–September 16, 2018


Installation View, Drone Vision, Hasselblad Centre/span>

Drone Vision: Warfare, Surveillance, Protest addresses questions of visibility and verticality are intrinsic to drone technology and its meanings for artistic and political praxis.

The exhibition is based on the two-year research project Drone Vision. Surveillance, Warfare, Protest – a collaborative initiative of Valand Academy, Gothenburg University and the Hasselblad Foundation. Led by Dr. Sarah Tuck the research project explores the affective meanings of drone technologies on photography and human rights.

For the exhibition at the Hasselblad Center the commissioned artists Ignacio Acosta, Mhairi Sutherland and Behjat Omer Abdulla have produced new works that respond to the visual and material consequences of drone technologies in the context of Sweden.

Link Drone Vision
Download exhibition guide
Apple Store exhibition App

Mapping Domeyko
Revista Atlas


Revista Atlas wesbite

Mapping Domeyko: On Intertwining Affections, Memories And Histories exhibition review by Mane Adaro.

Link to article [EN]

Mapping Domeyko


Artishock website

Mapping Domeyko: Sobre artefactos, memorias e historias entrelazadas exhibition review by Mane Adaro.

Link to review [CA}

Mutating Ecologies In Contemporary Art
MACBA, Barcelona
21 February 2018


The Mutating Ecologies In Contemporary Art symposium questions what role could philosophy play to the challenges posed by climate change, resource depletion and the diverse political and cultural crises our societies face in the 21st Century? How to identify the toxic effects of the logic of advance capitalism and neoliberal globalization in a cognitive, social and structural level? What kind of narratives, cartographies and figurations account for the fractures and contradictions of our times? How to reinvent subjectivity when trying to make it compatible with mutating universes of value? How can art, cultural becomings and institutional practice be thought in terms of environmental sustainability in the postnatural and posthuman, technologically-mediated era of the Anthropocene.

Organised by Art, Globalization, Interculturality research group of the Universitat de Barcelona.

Link to symposium

Resolution is not the Point
Curated by Hemera collective
Photo50, London Art Fair
January 2018


Installation view. Photo50, London Art Fair

Traces of Nitrate team exhibited the publication Trafficking the Earth.

Resolution is not the point considers photographic practices and images as a catalyst for interdisciplinary exchange and collective action. Photography, since the 19th century, has existed in and between traditionally defined boundaries of practice, from its use as a scientific apparatus to art – and back again, and it is this shifting landscape of contexts and definitions that the exhibition brings to the fore. The works are linked by this desire to draw upon the metamorphic nature of the photographic image. As practitioners continue to push the conceptual and technical boundaries of the many forms of photography and image-making; they are drawn to other specialisms and ways of working in order to communicate personal, social, and political ideas. From collaboratively produced research projects to artists that draw on the circulation of images, knowledge, and capital; Photo50 2018 examines vital directions in contemporary photographic practice.

Link to Traces of Nitrate
Link to Photo50

Artist Residency
Samernas, Swedish Sábme
December 2017 – January 2018


Artist residency to conduct research on Litte ja Goabddá [Drones and Drums], a research project developed as part of the Drone Vision Research and Development Award.

Link to Samernas

Mapping Domeyko
In collaboration with Jakub Bojzcuk
Laznia, Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdánsk, Poland
8 December 2017 – 28 January 2018


Installation view. Laznia, Centre for Contemporary Art, 2017

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.

Link to Laznia

Trafficking the Earth
Ignacio Acosta, Louise Purbrick and Xavier Ribas
ISBN: 978-0-9932245-3-9
Intuitive Editions, London – Editorial Gronefot, Santiago
Spanish and English
25.5 x 20.2 cm
96 pages, unbound


Trafficking the Earth publication

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Trafficking the Earth at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo [MAC], Santiago, Chile [08.09.2017 – 12.11.2017] and the symposium Visuality, Materiality and Mining held at MAC on the 08th of September 2017.

This publication is a 'folded exhibition' specially produced to distribute free among environmental activists, pressure groups, lawyers and school teachers in mining communities in Chile and the UK.

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.

Link to Traces of Nitrate website
Download PDF

Project Realisation Award
Hasselblad Foundation / Valand Academy
Gothenburg, Sweden


Commissioned to create work for the exhibition Drone Vision. Warfare, Surveillance, and Protest to be shown at The Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg, from May 19 to September 16, 2018.

Drone Vision is a collaborative initiative of Valand Academy, Gothenburg University and the Hasselblad Foundation. It is part of a two-year research project, led by Dr. Sarah Tuck, exploring the affective meanings of drone technologies on photography and human rights.

The project has been developed through a partnership between Hasselblad Foundation and Valand Academy, in Gothenburg, Sweden; NiMAC (The Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre, Associated with the Pierides Foundation) Nicosia, Cyprus and Zahoor Ul Akhlaq Gallery, at the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan. Simultaneous exhibitions will open on May 18 with three commissioned photo based art works in each gallery exploring drones as a new camera consciousness within each city and region. The three exhibitions will also be brought together as a stand-alone ‘pop-up’ exhibition hosted as a permanent learning resource in each of the three galleries, with all arts works captioned in Swedish, English, Greek and Urdu.

As a first stage in the exhibition project at Hasselblad Center, a research and development award was granted to five artists. Based on the resulting research, three of these artists, Ignacio Acosta, Behjat Omer Abdulla, and Mhairi Sutherland, have now been granted a project realization award.

Link to Drone Vision Research

Visuality, Materiality and Mining
Museo Arte Contemporáneo (MAC), Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile
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.

Download Symposium Abstracts
See video documentation of the Symposium [No.1]
See video documentation of Symposium [No.2]

Trafficking the Earth [El tráfico de la Tierra]
Museo Arte Contemporáneo (MAC), Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile
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).

Link to Museo de Arte Contemporáneo MAC, Santiago

Research and Development Award
Valand Academy, Gothenburg University and Hasselblad Foundation
Gothenburg, Sweden


Research and development award granted to develop research on the the use of drone technologies as an infrastructure of protest by Sámi against the Gállak mining project in Norrbotten Country, Swedish Sábme

Link to Award

Solo Exhibition
Coquimbo & Swansea
National Waterfront Museum
July-November 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.

Robert Protheroe-Jones, Principal Curator of Industry at the Museum 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'.


Artist talk
Saturday, 1 July, 11.30am at the National Waterfront Museum

Supported by National Waterfront Museum, Wales and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

Download catalogue with written contributions by historians Dr Tehmina Goskar and minerologist Frank Vicencio Lopez published in conjunction with the exhibition – Welsh and English versions
Link to Exhibition, National Waterfront Museum

Conference paper
Mapping Domeyko
In collaboration with Jakub Bojczuk
215 Anniversary of Ignacio Domeyko
Lithuania Academy of Sciences
Vilnius, Lithuania
August 2017


Mapping Domeyko: A visual arts project inspired by the expeditions of Ignacy Domeyko 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.

Download paper published in conjunction with the exhibition

Artis Resideny
July 2017


Research residency to explore the impact of non-renewable resources in the Nordic Countries.

Link to residency

Artist residency
Casa Feliza, Fundación Camara Oscura, Barranquilla, Colombia
29 April — 12 May 2017


Artist residency to work on ongoing series Intuitive Projects. The project was 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.

Link to Fundación Camara Oscura

Artist residency Online publication
20 April 2017


Fototazo 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 selected by 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.

Link to online publication

Talk and roundtable
Landscapes of Abandonment
Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CILAVS), Birkbeck University, UCL, London
6 April 2017


Talk to accompany exhibition El Encanto by artist Freddy Dewe Mathews 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.

Link to round table

Artist talk and roundtable
Conflicted minerals and artistic practices
Artist talk and roundtable
Arts Catalyst, London
5 April 2017


Invited to present Copper Geographies at 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 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?

Link to workshop
Link to audio recording of the Conflict Minerals Workshop

Visiting lecturer
University of Leeds
15 February 2017


University of Leeds

Invited by Andrea Thorma and Judith Tucker to discuss recent projects. Andrea and Judith are part of Land2, a research network focusing on the possibilities of landscape/place research based at the University of Leeds.

The lecture was accompanied by a workshop for students on research methodologies.

Link to Land2

Los Paisajes de la Globalización
by Marta Dahó
Sociedad Fotográfica Alavesa, Vitoria, País Vasco, Spain
3 April 2017


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).

Link to Sociedad Fotográfica activity
Link to Marta Dahó profile

Visiting lecturer
Intuitive Projects
Guest performers mmmmm collective, Luna Montenegro and Adrian Fisher
Slade School of Fine Arts, UCL, London
December 2016


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.

Link to mmmmm collective
Link to Slade School of Fine Arts

Ph.D thesis
The Copper Geographies of Chile and Britain: A Photographic Study of Mining
University of Brighton
December 2016


The Copper Geographies of Chile and Britain: A Photographic Study of Mining is a practice-based thesis is a study of the uneven geographical development of Chilean copper mining industry and the circulation of copper in Britain.

Supervisors Dr. Louise Pubrick and Xavier Ribas

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 support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Download PhD thesis
Link to researcher profile

Link to Traces of Nitrate website
Link to Dr. Louise Purbrick profile
Link to Xavier Ribas website

Ecologías Mutantes symposium
by Marta Dahó
MACBA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona
1 December 2016


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.

Download abstract
Link to symposium

Link to Marta Dahó profile

Miss Chuquicamata, the Slag
Fundación FAVA, Santiago, Chile
September 2016


Donation of artowork Miss Chuquicamata, the Slag to collection of contemporary art for educational purposes. Selected by Pablo León de la Barra, curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

The 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.

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 work was exhibited and published during Feria Ch.ACHO, Santiago's leading contemporary art fair alongside other pieces from the collection of FAVA.

Download essay accompanying this piece – English version
Descargar texto que acompaña la pieza – versión en Castellano
Link to FAVA collection

Group exhibition and publication
Noorderlicht Photofestival
Museum Belvédère Heerenveen, The Netherlands
22 May - 3 July 2016


Sites-specific installation at photography festival that 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.

Link to exhibition 'Arena', Noorderlicht Photofestival

Artist in residency
Mapping Domeyko
With artist Livia Marín and Jakub Bojczuk
Academy of Fine Arts / Łaźnia, Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdańsk, Poland
July 2016


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.

Link to Łaźnia website
Link to Academy of Fine Arts website
Link to artist Livia Marin website

Veronica Posada MA thesis
A visual Economy of London — South America
University of Westminster, London
May 2016


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.

Download thesis

New website
Traces of Nitrate
University of Brighton


Traces of Nitrate website

Traces of Nitrate team launches new website.

Link to Traces of Nitrate website

Conference paper
Traffic: movement / place / flow / mobility
Plymouth University
15 April 2016


Presented Copper Geographies at a conference that 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.

Download conference programme
Conference abstract
Link to conference

Artists in the Field – Ephemeral Landscapes and Experimental Geographies symposium
Parasol unit, foundation for contemporary art, London
16 January 2016


Organised by the Temporary School of Experimental Geography (TSOEG).

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.

Link to TSOEG events

Galería AFA, Santiago Chile
Artist talk
'Intuitive Projects'
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.

Link to Galería AFA

MA Photography, Universidad Finis Terrae, Santiago, Chile
Artist talk
'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

Link to university website

Artist talk
Mapping Domeyko
In collaboration with Jakub Bojczuk
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
15 November 2015


Invited by present the project Mapping Domeyko to Explore2015: Expedition and Fieldwork by The Temporary School of Experimental Geography (TSOEG) at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) annual fieldwork and expedition planning weekend.

Link to TSOEG events

October 2015


An interview by Latin American photography journal on the series Copper Geographies.

Link to interview

Beyond Gated Communities
Edited by Samer Bagaeen, Ola Uduku
Routledge, London


Beyond Gated Communities publication

4,000 words essay titled Urban Gating in Chile – Chuquicamata: a corporate mining town: bounded territory within a territory with photographs and texts was published in Beyond Gated Communities 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.

Link to publication

A love affair between photographs and words
by Federica Chiocchetti's (The Photocaptionist)
Unseen Magazine, Amsterdam
September 2015


Unseen Magazine

Curator and writer Federica Chiocchetti features Intuitive projects on Unseen Magazine.

Download PDF
Link to The Photocaptionist website

Group exhibition and publication
Depresiones Intermedias
Parque Cultural Cerro Carcel, Valparaíso 
September-November 2015


Installation view. Depresiones Intermedias

Site-specific installation Antofagasta Plc., Stop Abuses!. consisting of: a 1x2m wooden table; five photographs; a four-page document 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.

Link to exhibition

Conference paper
The mobile mineral collections of Ignacy Domeyko
Conference paper
in collaboration with Jakub Bojczuk
Portable Landscapes: Environments on the Move
Durham University
9-10 June 2015


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.

Download conference abstracts

Temporary School of Experimental Geography (TSOEG)


TSOEG website

Temporal School of Experimental Geography is an itinerant network of artists sharing ideas and responses to landscape through fieldwork, founded and coordinated by artist Luce Choules, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

The multimedia platform considers the geographic potential of artist-led fieldwork, and the experience and meaning of these practices to contribute to our collective understanding of the notion of place. TSOEG brings 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.

Link to TSOEG

European Prospects


Review on a plarform exploring questions of European identity and experience through contemporary photography.

Link to European Prospects

University of Brighton
Visuality, Materiality and Mining
University of Brighton
25 June 2015


Visuality, Materiality and Mining Symposium

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

Link to symposium

Intuitive Projects
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.

Link to Wild Pansy Press Project Space

Research News
Centre for Research and Development (CRD)
University of Brighton


Research News

A selection of texts and photographs from the series 'Copper Geographies' was highlighted on the CRD's magazine.

Link to CRD

Performance lecture
Looking for Alvaro Guevara (1894-1951), a Chilean-born painter, poet, playboy and boxer
London College of Communication, London
Performance lecture with poetic intervention of mmmmm collective
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).

Press release

Observatorio Cultural
Consejo de la Cultura, Santiago, Chile
December 2014


Observatorio Cultural, Ministerio de la Cultura, Chile

Insert from the series Copper Geographies on a monthly publication from the Chilean Ministry of Culture.

Download publication

Paisajes Tarapaqueños
Rodolfo Andaur
Metales Pesados, Chile


Publication of photograph from the series High-rise.

Link to Rodolfo Andaur website

Radical walking tour
in collaboration with Louise Purbrick
The Bluecoat, Liverpool
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.

Link to the event

with Louise Purbrick
The Bluecoat, Liverpool
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


Artist in Residency
LOOK/15 International Festival
March-May 2015


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:

Link to review of 'Miss Chuquicamata, the Slag'
Link to review of Coquimbo & Swansea
Link to review of Antofagasta Plc., Stop Abuses!
Link to festival blog

Funded by LOOK Festival, Traces of Nitrate project and the Chilean Ministry of Culture through FONDART.

Group exhibition and publication
Copper Geographies
Biennial of the end of the world, Argentina
December 2014 — January 2015


Installation view.Biennial of the end of the world, Argentina, 2015

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.

Link to Biennial

Mapping the Zone
Cien Ojos Latinos, Guatemala


Cien Ojos Latinos webiste

Interview by Alejandro Media for Cien Ojos Latinos, Latin American platform for photography.
Link to website

Conference paper
Photography and Politics and the Politics of Photography
Conference of Photography and Theory, Cyprus
5 December 2014


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.

Download programme
Link to conference

Mining Drawings
Feria Ch.ACO, Galería AFA, Santiago de Chile
October 2014


Mining Drawing, 2014

3 drawings from the series Mining Drawings exhibited at AFA gallery, during Ch.ACO, contemporary Art Fair based in Santiago.

Artist talk
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]
Cultural Santa Inés, La Serena, Chile
29 June 2014


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.

Toxic Forest
Quadern de les arts i les lletres, No195, Barcelona


Photography insert on Spanish magazine 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].

Link to publication

Artist Residency
Dispositivo 2/Plataforma Editable
17-25 June 2014


Dispositivo 2/Plataforma Editable flyer

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.

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.

Link to Rodolfo Andaur website

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.

Conderence programme

Conference paper
Miss Chuquicamata: disputed mining settlement between foreign capital and national identity
TrAIN: Re-Contested Sites/Sights Conference University of the Arts, London
’Re-Contested Sites/Sights
8 May 2013


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.


Professional network
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.


Group exhibition
Surface Exposure
Brighton Gallery, University of Brighton
16-24 July 2013


Installation Surface Exposure, University of Brighton by artist Ignacio Acosta

Installation view. Surface Exposure, 2013

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.

Link to exhibition

Arte Sur


Invited to join Arte Sur, an artists and professional contemporary art network of Latin America based in Paris.

Link to Arte Sur

Week of events
Traces of Nitrate
Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies
History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, Birkbeck, University of London
March 2013


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.

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.

Link to events

Critical Urban Ecology: Urban Territories symposium
University of Brighton


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.

Link to symposium
Link to DLR

Doctoral Award
Copper Geographies as part of Traces of Nitrate research project
Arts and Humanities Research Council


Doctoral Award as part of the research project Traces of Nitrate Research to develop an practice-based PhD about copper.

Link to Award
Link to Student Profile, University of Brighton

Bi-personal exhibition
On the Verge: Epiphanies on the Commute
in collaboration with writer John Millar
Blank Gallery, Brighton


Individual Exhibition
Mapping the Zone
Galeria Moro, Santiago, Chile
December 2010



Group Exhibition
Mapping the Zone
This is Not a Getaway Festival


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
Universidad Uniacc
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.

Link to Traces of Nitrate website

Artist residency
Portraits Now
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.

Group exhibition and publication
Between the Hallucinatory and the Real
MA Photography photography show, University of Brighton


Displayed sites-specific installation of Mapping the Zone: Reflections on Global Capital for MA photography degree show.

Group exhibition
Brighton Photo Fringe, Brighton


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.

Download exhibition leaflet

Group Exhibition
A to Z
Curated by Alexia Tala
Museum Man, Liverpool Biennial of Independents


Collaborative video art piece and photograph developed with Alejandro Moreno Jashés and Giuliano Cavalli for an exhibition at Museum Man. Curated by Alexia Tala.

Link to Man museum