Salar: Evaporation


Premiering a new installation work created together with Rodrigo Ríos Zunino: Salar: Evaporation is a multi-channel video and sound work based on recent fieldwork in the Atacama desert.

On view this weekend during the opening festivities of the Graz Kulturjahr, at esc medien kunst labor here in Graz, Austria; the installation continues from February 4-21, 2020 Tues-Fri 14h-19h.

esc medien kunst labor, Bürgergasse 5, 8010 Graz Austria

A significant portion of the world’s lithium is mined in the Salar de Atacama, the salt flats of the high altitude desert in northern Chile. This desert was once the bottom of a sea and still consists of rare geologic and organic systems, though now it is aggressively mined for the ingredients for batteries used in smart phones and electric cars. Salar: Evaporation seeks to de-totalize industrial extractivism in favour of manifesting many worlds from the perspective of temporality, land, and space. This multi-channel video and sound installation takes an experimental rather than purely documentary approach, challenging the deadly hubris of human exploitation in the desert by working with the forces characteristic of the desert itself, such as mirage, perceptual distortion, and the long duration of the geologic present.

The work reflects on landscape, infrastructure, and environmental change, exploring the micro and macro scales of human intervention and activity in relatively remote areas which occupy the space between urban sprawl and wilderness, and investigates the role of people (and artists) as agents in the myth-making and storytelling process which bring critique and create counter-narratives to those of progress and growth that propel unsustainable extractivist corporate and state-sponsored industries. Particularly at this contemporary moment, where the people of Chile are engaged in widespread national resistance and protest to business as usual by the state and corporate forces that have ravaged the country and environment while propagating gross economic and social inequities, such areas of resource extraction like the Atacama desert can hardly be understood as peripheral or as neutral sites of industry. Instead, they are centers of power, exploited to feed the forces of global capital to the benefit of a global elite. The future technological ‘smart’ cities will actually function as the peripheral expressions of this power which is being pillaged from the desert. Instead, we consider how the desert produces power in the form of unique and fragile ecosystems and geological expressions of time, from which we may learn and imagine alternative worlds.

This project is part of a larger series of works based on my research and fieldwork in the Atacama desert in Chile entitled We Build Ruins, and was made possible with funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Hellman Fellowship, the Arts Research Institute of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the Committee on Research at the University of California, Santa Cruz.



Radiation Day goes to Quito


Open pit copper mining in northern Chile, photo Rodrigo Ríos Zunino

This week, I’m traveling to Quito, Ecuador to perform at the XIV Festival Ecuatoriano de Música Contemporánea.

I’ll  be performing Radiation Day on September 14, 2018, at the Teatro Variedades “Ernesto Albán”, and giving a workshop entitled “Embodied Listening” at the Academia Ecuatoriana de la lengua (AEL) Calle Cuenca N4-77 y Chile (Plazoleta de la Merced) Quito on September 13 (11-13h, 14-16h).

More info here.

Radiation Day is the first of a series of works generated from fieldwork in the northern Chilean deserts, created with collaboration from Rodrigo Ríos Zunino.

More about our fieldwork and Radiation Day in a special feature on Earlid.

Funding for my participation in the XIV Festival Ecuatoriano de Música Contemporánea provided by the Arts Research Institute of the University of California, Santa Cruz.



Radiation Day featured on Earlid


The winter 2018 edition of Joan Schuman‘s ever-earful font of sound art Earlid is up online, featuring interview, thoughts and sounds related to my field work in Chile last summer.

My sojourn in the deserts and the altiplano regions of northern Chile resulted in the performance Radiation Day and as well as two free-form radio shows under the moniker XRRB on Radio Tsonami, both created with Rodrigo Ríos Zunino.

Tune in here.

 



Radiation Day at Ars Electronica


Performing Radiation Day at Ars Electronica, Big Concert Night 08.10.2017

I had a world premiere of new work at the Big Concert Night of Ars Electronica Festival at PostCity in Linz Austria this past weekend on 10 September 2017. Radiation Day was created during my research residency in Chile this summer, in collaboration with artist Rodrigo Ríos Zunino. This is the first of what will be a series of audio/visual works for performance and installation. Many thanks to Canada Council for the Arts for supporting the work, and for the Arts Research Institute of the University of California Santa Cruz for flying me over to perform!
The live concert was curated by Elisabeth Zimmermann for the 30th Anniversary of ORF Kunstradio, and broadcast live to national public radio Ö1 in Austria the same evening as part of a special program entitled Different Places.
Radiation Day

This is the metamorphosis of Earth being: in the desert, around open-cast mines loom massively heaped and compacted slagheaps; evaporation ponds spread across the salt flats, and pipelines and power lines run alongside roads punctuated by truck transports and blowing dust. Copper, lithium, rare earths; mining the ingredients for wireless communication devices. Ancient geoglyphic inscriptions on the desert are dwarfed by deep industrial scars visible from satellites. But environments are also media, and bodies are recording devices. For days under the sun at high altitudes in northern Chile, we sought elemental media amidst the industrial continuum. A performance devised of infrastructural sounds, atmospheric signals and live electronics.

Video by Rodrigo Rios Zunino (CL/EC)


XRRB: Radio Tsonami edition


This week, tune in to Radio Tsonami for three live radio mixes of audible materials gathered on a recent trip to the altiplano and salt flats of northern Chile. XRRB returns July 12, 14, and 16, at 21:30-23:00 GMT -4; live from CASAPLAN‘s artist residency space, where I’m staying here in Valparaíso, Chile. Tune in here.

XRRB
Nocturnal outpost, distance monitoring, and experimental radio beacon. Night time respirations after days spent staring into the sun. Featuring journeys over the Flatlands of Patience and through the Ruins of the Future. Live radio by Anna Friz with special guest Rodrigo Ríos Zunino for Radio Tsonami.

Anna is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and University of California, Santa Cruz.