All posts by “Ignacio_Admin

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From Mars to Venus: Activism of the Future (2023)

Kiruna – Sweden’s northernmost town, 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle – is located in Sápmi, home of the Sámi people. Chile’s Atacama Desert – one of the most arid places in the world – has been inhabited by the Licanantay people for thousands of years. In both regions, Indigenous activists resist the “slow violence” of the extractive industries by maintaining their cultural practices and traditional knowledges in an increasingly fragmented territory.

As the two sites become key players in the transition to a “green economy”, industrial colonisation has fragmented their territories and the profits of state-owned mining companies and multinational corporations are prioritised over the rights of native inhabitants. In the video, Kiruna – home to the world’s largest underground iron ore mine and where substantial deposits of rare earth elements have recently been found – converses with the Atacama, where the world’s richest reserves of copper and lithium are being exploited. The expansion of mining projects in these extreme regions has led to a rise in social, environmental, and economic injustices.

The video installation draws upon the scale of these operations by connecting territorial struggles concerning water, biodiversity, and identity loss with space observation. In Kiruna, where unjust state policies reiterate colonial patterns, the iron mining industry has historically occupied the traditional lands of the Sámi and affected reindeer herding patterns. In the Atacama, the natural environment is ‘sacrificed’ in the name of the progress and historically copper and more recently lithium extraction activities – both key to the energy transition and the active materials in rechargeable batteries – are drying up subterranean aquifers and preventing access to fresh water for the Likanantay communities – and they see none of the benefits of the extraction.


Lara Garcia Reyne

Sound Design & Music
Udit Duseja

Paul Willis

Karen Luza, Maj-Doris Rimpi, Carola Aguilar Cruz, Veronica Moreno, Åsa Andersson, Janne Sirniö

In collboration with Ellen Lapper

Translations to German
Katherine Leward

On the occasion of
Into the Deep: Mines of the Future
Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen, Germany
26.05.2023 – 05.11.2023

Curated by
Claudia Emmertand Ina Neddermeyer

Production supported by
Zero programme of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultral Foundation)
Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien (Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media)

Fieldwork supported by
AHRC project Frozen Future (Traces of Nitrate) Royal College of Arts (RCA) / Univerisity of Brighton, UK
FORMAS project Indigenous perspectives on forest fires, drought and climate change: Sápmi, Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism (CEMFOR), Uppsala University, Sweden


Link to exhibition


Download exhibition booklet [German]
Download exhibition text [English]
Download conversartion with Ina Neddermeyer

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Hygeia Watches Over Us (2022)

Forty photographs, arranged in a four-row grid, contribute to Ignacio Acosta’s multimedia installation Hyiegia Watches Over Us, 2022 at the Mining Photography exhibition at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MK&G), Hamburg.

Combined, they aesthetically and metaphorically link three motifs into an associative network which comment upon the contradictions at play in copper production and water consumption. In the upper row, a chimney of the Hamburg copper producer Aurubis AG rises up into the air, paralleled by the city’s sculpture of Hygieia – the Greek goddess of health. Recalling our current period of contagion, the bronze figure was created by Joseph von Kramer at the end of the nineteenth century after Hamburg’s devastating cholera epidemic of 1892. Erected in celebration of the outbreak’s defeat and clean water, Hygieia stands upon a fountain with her back turned on Hamburg’s City Hall, looking towards the Chamber of Commerce in a nod towards industry and trade.

In the lower rows, detailed close-ups of the fountain are ambiguously interlaced with stained rubber suits worn by Aurubis AG’s workers to protect themselves from sulphuric acid. Acosta’s arrangement juxtaposes the persistent contradictions: the resource- and water-intensive copper industry, and its pollutive impact on the Elbe, with the politically charged statue and tainted labour. Analogies arise between the copper parts of the bronze sculpture, oxidised to a green patina, and the traces of dirty work in the copper plant, thus thematising the relationships of industry, politics, and society in relation to water and resource consumption.

The artist expands on these themes in a video interview with Klaus Baumgart from the Hamburg environmental protection initiative Save the Elbe .
The installation is completed with Inverted Pyramid, 2022, a table with images, documents and objects from the series Copper Geographies, an investigation into the global mobility of mined copper that began in 2010 with his involvement in the Traces of Nitrate research project at the University of Brighton, UK.


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Inverting the Monolith (2019-2022)

Inverting the Monolith is a multi-channel video installation by Ignacio Acosta, which expands on the artist’s research into extractive capitalism and ecological exploitation. It focuses on the mining exploration happening in close proximity to Chile’s Parque Andino Juncal, centring the voices of local activists who are working to expose the adverse impacts these activities are having in this area of global ecological significance.

Parque Andino Juncal is a privately owned, protected area in Chile’s central zone, located in the Andean Mountains, where altitudes reach 5,000 metres above sea level. Embedded within this staggering landscape is a vital hydric network of glaciers, rivers, streams, Andean vegas, and underground springs. Unique in South America, the area has been recognised as a site of international importance by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and is regarded as an endangered ecosystem.

Under the military dictatorship of Pinochet (1973-1990), a mining law was passed which separated land ownership from the mineral resources beneath the Earth’s surface. The ‘Codigo Minero’ thus enables concession owners to mine or ‘explore’, while bypassing the wishes of the surface property owners. The sites of these ecological violations are marked with mining monoliths or survey monuments — pyramidal structures made of concrete and stone that define the territory.

Inverting the Monolith aims to draw attention to the chasms this kind of exploration the U.S.-financed mining exploration company Nutrex US leaves behind, and its adverse effects on the glacial ecology of the park – such as the creation of dams that pose a major threat to the water network. It aims to ‘excavate’ and highlight the unseen – both the covert mining activities that violate local land laws, and the surveillance work conducted by activists aiming to expose these illegal pursuits, using drones and camera traps.

Images from the camera traps are intermingled with material recorded by activists, such as phone footage, which together creates a visual dialogue and multimedia narrative chronicling the progress of mining exploration in the area. The monitoring and documentation of fauna forms part of a wider strategy to contest the mining threat and show the value of conservation within this high-value ecosystem.

Inverting the Monolith was commissioned as part of the exhibition Ewiges Eis (Eternal Ice), Museum Sinclair-Haus in Bad-Homburg, Germany 25.09.2022– 12.02.2023. A French version of the piece was commissioned by Musée des beaux-arts (MBAL) in Le Locle, Switzerland 22.10.22 – 26.02.23.

The project was developed in collaboration with video editor Lara Garcia Reyne, environmentalist Tomás Dinges, and sound designers Gregorio Fontén and Udit Duseja. It includes contributions from local activists Martín Sapaj-Aguilera, Guillermo Sapaj-Aguilera, Denisse Contreras, Felipe Ignacio Maldonado, Rodrigo Aguilera.

Inverting the Monolith is part of Solid Water, Frozen Time, Future Justice , a UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) collaborative project with Louise Purbrick and Xavier Ribas, based at the Royal College of Arts and the University of Brighton; in partnership with Parque Andino Juncal, and in copperation with Alianza Gato Andino, Big Andes and Guardianxs del Akunkawa.


Link to Museun Sinclair Haus
Link to MBAL


Link to Teaser


Link to Parque Andino Juncal
Link to Guardinxs del Akunkawa
Link to Big Andes
Link to Alianza Gato Andino


Link to Frozen Future


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Archaeology of Sacrifice (2020)

Through the discovery of a Celtic sacrificial site at Mormont Hill – a limestone and marl quarry located in the Swiss canton of Vaud – the two-channel video installation with surround sound design Archaeology of Sacrifice unveils how the notion of sacrifice has transitioned from ancient sacred rituals to its contemporary meaning within extractive capitalism. Evidence suggests the Celts living there during the second century BCE were experiencing a moment of crisis, perhaps linked to Germanic invasion. Thus, they buried offerings in the form of several human and animal bodies, tools and bronze vessels to the Earth in exchange for guidance through the catastrophe.

Today, sacrifice is mediated by market exchange –the well-being of humans, nonhumans and the environment has been betrayed in favour of economic growth. Sacrifice zones are proliferating in areas deemed most extractable, most exploitable – usually regions under pressure from neoliberal policies. Here, humanity and nature are believed to be expendable and replaceable.

Mormont Hill’s excavated objects help archaeologists fiction a past, though almost certainly, the Celts did not intend for these remains to be uncovered. In archaeology, formulating past beliefs involves a delicate navigation between fiction and reality in which the lines are always blurred; the reconstruction will always be a representation. The project builds on this grey area in our own moment of current crisis, pushing for a more earthly understanding of prospective cohabitation whilst offering a reflective space for an unknown future.

In a continuous interplay between fact, fiction and scale, meditative landscapes of typically inaccessible areas are juxtaposed with archival footage, drone views, investigative close-ups and photogrammetry-based 3D modelling. Whilst acknowledging the Anthropocene is built on an erasure of its racial origins, Archaeology of Sacrifice reflects on the precariousness of our planet and its unsolicited submission to humanity.

Text by Ellen Lapper and Ignacio Acosta

Archaeology of Sacrifice was created in collaboration with film editor Lara Garcia Reyne, artists Valle Medina and Benjamin Reynolds (Pa.LaC.E), writer Carlos Fonseca, sound designer and composer Udit Duseja, and colourist Paul Wills. The film includes archival footage from the documentary Crépuscule des Celtes (2007) by Stéphane Goël, Climage. It was produced as result of the Scholarship 2020 of the ZF Kunststiftung, Friedrichshafen, Germany, filmed during Principal Residency Program, La Becque Résidence d’artistes, La-Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland and with the collaboration of the Musée cantonal d'archéologie et d'histoire/Lausanne, Switzerland. It is presented first by ZF Art Foundation at the Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen, 18.9.–6.12.2020


Link to ZF Art Foundation
Link to La Becque, artist residency


Link to Teaser


Link to panel discussion
Burlington Contemporary: Building a world after its end by Anna Staab
Artishock: Ignacio Acosta's Archaeology of Sacrifice by Ellen Lapper


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Mining Monument (2019)

Borders, fences and walls are constructions that mediate the relationship between humans and the natural environment. They are boundary markers that give form to rationalising logics, to appropriation and exploitation; demarcation is the action that transforms the landscape into a territory. Survey monuments of concrete and stones mark the sites of mining exploration and exploitation concessions at Parque Andino Juncal, located in the Valparaíso Region of Chile, where the Aconcagua River is born. These monoliths have transformed a protected area into a territory in dispute, torn between conservation and exploitation, wild nature and extractivism.

Pedimento Minero [Mining Monument] (2019) is a site-specific installation composed of a video piece, two sculptural objects and a table display of documents and photographs.

In the video piece Bitacora Mineros, a vertical and divided territory symbolises the legal framework imposed in Chile through the Codigo Minero (Mining Code), a law written during the dictatorship that separates land ownership from the mineral resources below ground level. The flora and fauna of Juncal, which has adapted to survive the extreme conditions of the high Andes, is now at threat from the exploitation of copper and gold deposits. The Juncal Mountain, which to our eyes appears an integral part of the scenery, is re-framed by the socioeconomic system as a container of exploitable resources, separate and unconnected to the surrounding ecosystem. Seen through the watchful eye of a drone, the artist builds a tale of vertical views, which is brought together with entries collected from the logbooks Avistamientos de Flora y Fauna and Bitacora Mineros, in which the park rangers recorded all movements of both animals and miners over January and February of 2019 on this protected portion of the mountain.

Projecto Caliente presents a collection of archival materials put together in collaboration with activist Tomás Dinges. The display is composed of images and documents that evidence the threat of mining exploitation, revealing the violent division of the expanse of the mountain range.

One Mining Monument complete the installation, replicating to scale the stone markers set up in Juncal in January 2019.

Erected in the high mountains these survey monuments modify nature, marking the point of submission of a landscape to its eventual exploitation. In the museum each is, instead, a ritual body that seeks to restore the connection between the above and below of ground level.

Produced in collaboration with Parque Andino Juncal for the Bienal de Artes Mediales de Santiago 2019: The limits of the Earth. Co-curated by Catalina Valdes and Jean-Paul Felley, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (MAC) Parque Forestal, Santiago, Chile.

Original text in Spanish by Catalina Valdez.

Co-produced by Arts Catalyst, Bienal de Artes Mediales de Santiago y Museo de la Solidaridad de Salvador Allende (MSSA).

Supported by Arts Council England and the British Council.


Link to The Limits of the Earth, Bienal de Artes Mediales de Santiago
View The Limits of the Earth instalation video
Download Projecto Caliente
Download Mining Lookbook and other things


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Tales from the Crust (2019)

Building on ongoing research into extractive activities in Chile and Swedish Sábme, Tales from the Crust presents existing and new work, comprising documents, films, photographs, maps and objects. The programme 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.

The exhibition is accompanied by Resistance Labs, a series of discursive events, workshops and broadcasts that 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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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Copper Geographies

Copper is a miraculous and paradoxical metal that is characterized by high electrical and thermal conductivity. It is hidden in plastic, carried as loose change and found behind walls, inside air conditioners, cars, computers, electronics, ‘green energy’ generators, airplanes, mobile phones: copper is everywhere but rarely seen. Copper plays a key role in communication and information technologies; yet little attention has been paid to resource scarcity, over consumption and environmental disruption caused by the extractive industries.

'Copper Geographies' explores the global flow of mined copper. It presents a series of fieldwork explorations of geographically disparate landscapes historically connected by copper. It maps sites of transformation along the production network and commodity chain, documenting the mutation and transformation of copper from raw material to capital; through ore, smelted commodity, stock market exchanged value, assembled material and waste. It discloses the uneven spatial conditions in which the material circulates by connecting the ecologies of resource exploitation in the Atacama Desert with the global centres of consumption and trade in Britain, and by making visible its return, hidden in manufactured goods, to the territories it originated from.

'Copper Geographies' is composed of eight series, which are organised along three axes: 'Global mobility of copper'; 'Post-industrial landscapes'; and 'Contemporary mining industry and its relation to London'. The project presents documentary research in the form of maps, photographs and analytical texts and offers a critical spatial imaginary for re-thinking the geographies of copper.

'Copper Geographies' is 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, photographer Xavier Ribas, based at the University of Brighton and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

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Litte ja Goabddá [Drones and Drums] (2016–2018)

Litte ja Goabddá [Drones and Drums] (2018) is a video installation with surround sound that explores the use of drone technologies as a tool of minority indigenous resistance to the proposed Gállak mining operations in Jåhkåmåhkke [Jokkmokk], Norrbotten County, Sweden. The project was developed in close collaboration with activists and Sámi families living and working in the area, combining extensive fieldwork and visual documentation.

The Sámi are an indigenous minority whose traditional ancestral land of Sápmi crosses the modern nation states of Finland, Norway, Sweden and Russia. The systematic subdivision, expropriation and industrialisation of Sápmi has resulted in the dispossession of historical indigenous land rights, and in the fragmentation of Sámi cultural belonging and identities.

Sámi reindeer herders are increasingly dependent on the fossil fuel industries to supplement the economy of reindeer herding. Large areas of reindeer grazing land in Sápmi have been lost to hydropower development, and land-based reindeer migration is now primarily conducted by lorry transportation. With the increase in global temperatures the weather dynamics of the arctic region have radically changed, with rain replacing snow in the winter months. This forms a layer of ice above the ground that prevents the natural grazing of the reindeer, putting further economic pressure on the local Sámi herders by forcing them to purchase pellet feed.

Gállak North is one of the largest unexploited iron ore deposits in Europe. The UK-based Beowulf Mining PLC, through its Swedish subsidiary Jokkmokk Iron Mines AB, has submitted an application for a twenty-five-year exploitation concession to establish a mine at the site. Their application is currently under review by the Swedish Government. If a mining permit were granted it would have a massive impact on the area’s fragile ecology, and would cause further disruption to the reindeer migration paths. If the mine goes ahead, Sámi cultural life in the area would experience irreversible decline and with it the loss of valuable indigenous knowledge.

Drone technologies have, for the most part, been associated with ideas of vertical control, surveillance and warfare, and have been perceived as a technology that extends corporate and military power. At the same time, because of the drone’s capacity to generate accurate image-based mapping and analytics, drones are also used by the mining industry to increase efficiency and profitability. By artistically appropriating this technology, I attempt to offer new ways of seeing how the geographies of ecological social movements are connected across time and place.

In Litte ja Goabddá, Acosta interest was in understanding how the drone view and the drum make manifest and reconcile the technological and the spiritual in the counter-protest against a settler colonialism of deforestation and extractive industries.

During several research trips, he met with activists and Sámi families living and working in the area threatened by mining activities. From the beginning of the project, he became interested in finding ways to collaborate with these communities. His initial idea was to bring drones to Gállak so as to monitor Beowulf Mining. On his first visit, he met with the activists Mose Agestam and Henrik Blind who were already using drones as a tool to make visible from above what is happening at ground level. Communicating across social media platforms, their drone films make evident the disruption of Sápmi land, mapping not only its scale but also the commodification and financialisation of the land as private property and source of capital.

Litte ja Goabddá was commissioned for the Drone Vision: Warfare, Surveillance, Protest project and was first exhibited at the Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg (May-Sept 2018), then at the Ájtte Museum, Jåhkåmåhkke, Sweden (March-May 2019). The video, series of photographs and interviews produced during the research process have been donated to the Ájtte Museum archive in an effort to return the work back to the community it originates from. During 2019 it was further shown at the Zeppelin Museum, Friedrichshafen, Germany, on the occasion of the Game of Drones exhibition (Jun-Nov 2019), then at Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende, Santiago, Chile (Aug 2019-Feb 2020) in a solo exhibition that activated discussion with local Indigenous Mapuche representative Pascual Levi Curriao, at Tales from the Crusts, a solo exhibition at Arts Catalysts, London (Sep-Nov 2019) that was accompanied by Assembly: Extractable Matters, a two-day gathering at the University of Westminster that collectively explored the politics of extraction across the globe which brought together artists, academics, activists and human rights experts, and Västerbottens Museum, Umeå, Sweden as part of the Människans natur group exhibition (Feb-June 2020). It has been presented at several international conferences and symposia, including the Native American Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) Conference held at The University of Waikato in New Zealand/Athorea in June 2019 alongside a new video piece titled Forest Fires, that was developed in collaboration with Liz-Marie Nilsen and supported by Indigenous Climate Change Studies, a research project based at Uppsala University, led by Dr May-Britt Öhman and funded by Formas.


Link to Drone Vision, Hasselblad Foundation
Link to publication, Art&Theory Publishing


Link to Teaser


Link to Human Nature, Västerbottens Museum
Link to Drones y Tambores, Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende
Link to Game of Drones: Of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafer


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Green Gold

Green Gold – Work in progress

Archival postcard. Forest Punkaharju, Finland, 1934

The looming forest - another world, and doubtless our wild origin - touches us, surrounds us, permeates us, and doesn't leave us. Michel Serres


'Green Gold' is new body of research on Finish wood production, which stems from my previous work on copper. It focuses on the intersection between capitalism forms of production and forest ecology, drawing upon notions of man’s control over and mastery of nature.

Forest is Finland’s foundation stone. However, forest social ecology is facing increasing challenges. On one hand, global warming has produced substantial changes in forest behaviour. On the other, cellulose and pulp production have moved abroad, raising unemployment and economic slow-down.

'Green Gold' aims to make visible Finnish timber production, its place in the global world economy and impact of the industry on the earth.

Working methodology

The project develops a site-specific working methodology through extensive archival research and sustained fieldwork. Firstly, archival research will be conducted in Helsinki to collecting visual/ written material on history of the Finish timber trade from the Forestry Ministry's archive at the National Archives of Finland. These images will be re-created in the studio with graphite pencil drawings. Secondly, a documentation of sites of timber production will take place using an analogue large-formal view camera. These include; forests, sites of scientific research and industrial facilities, as well as material products made with Finish wood, amongst others.


We have entered the ‘Antropocene’, a term coined down by chemist Paul Crutzen and biologist Eugene Stoermer in 2000. This is a new age in which humans are the main drivers of geological change. The product of intense environmental degradation and intense resource exploitation. This new chapter in the history of the Earth is marked by the devastating impacts of global warming, including high levels of carbon dioxide, desertification, deforestation, melting ice, a rising sea level and a massive extinction of species. As a product of global warming, some species, such as foxes, butterflies and alpine pines have moved further north in the search for cooler areas. Due to increased temperature levels in the south of Finland, the growth of Norway spruce has been reduced, and that of Scots pine and birch is increasing. For Michel Serres, humankind is more conscious of the devastating effects of Western modernity over nature and today, more than ever, there is a pressing need for a new “natural contract” in our ‘relation to material objects and nonhuman life forms’.

Forest is Finland’s foundation stone. However, forest social ecology is facing increasing challenges. Based on a capitalist mode of production, which maximises economic profit, the market-driven industry uses a model of reforestation followed by harvesting. Although the Finnish model been traditionally based upon substantial forest research, it currently faces increasing challenges as result of climate change and the weakening competitiveness of the Finnish production in relation to other major competitive countries. On one hand, global warming has produced substantial changes in forest behaviour. On the other, cellulose and pulp production have moved abroad, raising unemployment and economic slow-down.

A workshop will be conducted at Serlachius Museum for local residents exploring the relationship between the timber industry, climate change and role of artistic practices addressing these issues. These activities will be followed by a talk at the Finnish Institute in London to non-arts audience, to stimulate discussion and awareness of the timber industry and my artistic role.

Participants and partners
Serlachius artists in residency and local community

The Finnish Institute in London

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The Cliff’s Gaze

'Archipiélago Juan Fernandez', nineteenth century oil paining, unknown artist

"Now as the waves were not so high as at first, being near land I held my hold till the wave abated, and then fetched another run, which brought me so near the shore, that the next wave, though it went over me, yet did not so swallow me up as to carry me away; and the next run I tool I got to the mainland, where, to my great comfort, I clambered up the cliffs of the shore and sat me down upon the grass, free from danger, and quite out of the reach of the water". Daniel Defoe

The Cliff’s Gaze departs from a nineteenth century painting by an unknown artist, which hung in my great-grand father’s desk in Valparaiso, Chile. The painting depicts a romantic view of a cliff in Robinson Crusoe, an island that belongs to Archipelago Juan Fernandez, 670km west of San Antonio, Chile in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago was formed by ancient lava built though seismic episodes, with steep, rugged mountain ranges with deep peaks and practically no flat areas. The islands are sixty-one times richer in endemic plant species per square kilometer and thirteen times greater in endemic bird richness than the Galápagos. However, is one of most ecologically vulnerable ecosystems in the world due to invasive species that are destroying native plant and animal populations.

William Defoe 'The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who lived eight and twenty years alone in an uninhabited island, on the coast of America, near the mouth of the great river Oroonoque; having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With An Account how he was at last as strangely delivered by Pirates' London, Printed for J. F. and C. Rivington, 1791

The Cliff’s Gaze draws upon a series of historical narratives witnessed from and beyond the cliff: The adventures of scot sailor Alexander Selkirk who was marooned between 1704-1709; the fictional character of Crusoe and his handsome aboriginal subordinate Friday; the tales of seventeenth century pirates and eighteenth century buccaneers; the sinking of German cruiser SMS Dresden on 14 March 1915 by British forces; and the three tsunamis that have devastated the island.

Travel Postcard, circa 1920

The Cliff’s Gaze is a quest for finding other visual representations of the cliff through archival research, such as drawings from nineteenth century botanists and travel postcards. These images will be juxtaposed with an eclectic collection of photographs of sites and objects taken with large format cameras in Britain, including: Llandoger Trow pub, Bristol where Defore supposedly met Selkik; the National Museums of Scotland where Selkik objects are displayed; and Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh where endemic plants of the island are kept.

I ultimately seek to visit the island to find the cliff and create a create a unique photographic body of work.