Entanglements of Desert Water

Entanglements of Desert Water

New work in progress: A water-led storytelling in the driest bed of an ancient sea

This site, the the Atacama desert- once an ancient inland sea ringed by volcanos- now the driest desert in the world, where the salty crust and the underground brine water recalls its deep past as a sea, rich in lithium salts.

Installation view

Before Air There Was Water/ Antes del aire hubo agua

The first phase of this research for SACO Bienal, GOLPE/ COUP  Chile, June – Sept 19th 2023

4-channel video and sound installation,  Museo del Mar, University of Antofagasta

A site of watery contest, between mining and environment, where the salty residues of an ancient sea are increasingly extracted for a lithium-led path to a climate-neutral future. A collapse of time underneath a crust of dusty salt in the salare.

For background, science and emerging research see HERE

SACO Biennial is one of the most important cultural events in Chile,  with more than thirty thousand visits in the previous biennial, 2021, and beyond 80 thousand visits in this 2023 edition.
The theme for the 2023 biennial 1.1 is GOLPE / COUP, responding to international unrest and conflict between humans for power, resources and the planet, through the lens of Chile’s recent history, 50 years on from Pinochet’s bloody coup.
Curator, Dagmara Wyskiel states in the curatorial text:
‘We establish laws, we build norms, we sign treaties. We mark zones with rules borders of the court to tame the beast inside us, thinking that this time It won’t escape us. My freedom ends where yours begins, they say. 

We have proclaimed ourselves a species thinking, but from time to time the beast escapes, as happened in Chile ago half a century, or is happening in Ukraine. Now your power is not measured in the size of the stones you can throw, but in the number of followers and likes. No matter how far away we are physically of those who resist today, the universal experience of being a victim of the blow and the oppression, allows us to generate resonance and create for others. 

For the full curatorial text: HERE

For research background see : HERE

This work was made with the assistance of the Australia Council for the Arts, New Work grant

Project development was undertaken with the assistance of Stimuleringsfonds NL