Traces of Nitrate: History and Photography Between Britain and Chile, 1879-1914

Lead Research Organisation: University of Brighton
Department Name: School of Art, Design and Media

Abstract

This research project explores the histories and legacies of British investment in Chilean nitrate mines and involvement in its global trafficking. Through an examination of sites, artefacts and images, the project will trace nitrate's route from natural mineral state processed in the oficinas (works) of the Atacama desert through transported commodity and stock market exchange value to become, ultimately, part of the material and symbolic inheritances of London mansions and of estates in the capital's surrounding countryside. It undertakes new audio and visual documentation of geographically disparate but historically connected landscapes, remote nitrate fields and metropolitan financial districts, accompanied by an analysis of nitrate's material and visual culture.

As a basic ingredient of both fertilizers and explosives, nitrate was intimately connected with the industrialization of life and death, yet an account of its production and trade, including the pivotal role played by British merchant houses and adventure capitalists, is quite unfamiliar beyond specific research communities devoted to Latin America economic development. Thus, the project entitled Traces of Nitrate, directly addresses a lack of historical understanding and cultural awareness of the significance of the nitrate industry by disseminating its research through a photographic exhibition, video installation, programme of public events as well as scholarly publications aimed at interest groups in and outside the university sector. Seeking to uncover the extent to which a once highly prized mineral was at the centre of the relationship between Britain and Chile between 1879 and 1914 and how, in this period between the beginning of the Pacific War and the outbreak of the First World War, it was connected to fortunes of City of London, ports of Liverpool, Pisagua and Iquique, the research will also locate nitrate within a process of globalization shaped not only by the expansion of consumer culture but also by the extraction and depletion of non-renewable resources.

The 'trace' of the project's title thus refers to a process of delineation as well as to the objects of inquiry: the physical remains. Their transformation over time will be carefully mapped to create 'biographies' of nitrate artefacts, paying close attention to how mineral wealth has been collected or allowed to disappear and to the preservation or regeneration of twentieth century landscapes of finance. Sustained archival research will enable the identification of particular places and objects but these records of nitrate industry (for example, photographs within the Fondo Fotográfico Fundación Universidad de Navarra or papers of Antony Gibbs and Son, Guildhall Library) will be also scrutinized as representations that deploy categories of the 'foreign' or 'familiar', define land as a commodity or as a nation and cast the character of the financial investor or identity of nitrate miner. Assembling and analyzing these spatial, visual and material records will indicate where British and Chilean histories converge and separate allowing insights into the selective process of remembering and forgetting the past.
Traces of Nitrate engages with three fields of current academic inquiry: visual cultures of colonialism; contemporary photographic practice; the material culture and heritage of conflict. Its scope is dependent upon the different expertise of Ribas (PI) and Purbrick (Co-I) in documentary photography and the interpretation of visual and material culture, respectively, and their overlapping interest in the investigation of contested spaces and unequally shared legacies. As part of the project, they will jointly supervise a doctoral student. Traces of Nitrate is conducted in collaboration with partners in Chile, Spain and Britain: Universidad UNIACC, Santiago, Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Virreina Centre de la Imatge, Barcelona, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool.

Planned Impact

International exchange and cultural understanding
A long term aim of the Traces of Nitrate project is to increase understanding of international interconnections across Britain and Chile; it is thus appropriate that the development of the research and its dissemination is based on cultivation of relationships between educational and cultural institutions based in the European and American continents. That four partners (Universidad UNIACC, Universidad de Navarra, Virreina Centre de la Imatge, Open Eye Gallery) have agreed to participate in and support the project is evidence of confidence that it will bring economic, educational and cultural benefits to their institutions and the communities they serve in Chile, Spain and Britain. Our partnership will develop through sharing local, subject specialist knowledge and professional expertise; it is characterised by an international reciprocity that will ensure that benefits are spread across the project. Knowledge transfer is embedded in the research process: the documentation in Chile will develop a working relationship with UNIACC; the curating of the touring exhibition will be a collaborative effort with Virreina Centre de Imatge. The planning of conferences and public events at Universidad de Navarra and the Open Eye Gallery will place local collections and regional images within in global histories creating a dialogue between institutions that will extend to their audiences.
Cultural engagement: addressing different publics
Touring exhibition
Public exhibitions are cultural events that provide a space in which people can explore histories and identities. They are key tools for making research available without precondition, such as enrolment in an educational programme. Traces of Nitrate will address a general audience at each of its tour venues (Barcelona, Brighton, Santiago, Liverpool) and a series of related events will involve a wide range of specific interest groups in each location, including, for example, local historians and archaeologists, photographers, artists, art critics, heritage professionals, families of former nitrate miners and Latin American communities in Britain. English-Spanish and Spanish-English translation will facilitate both public and interest group participation. Furthermore, as well as providing access to new research in arts and humanities and enabling participation in educational forums, Traces of Nitrate will contribute to creative economies and community development in the manner typical of public exhibitions.
Website communities
A project website is an integral part of the process making research widely available and fulfils the responsibility for openness expected of any publicly funded project. An important function of the Traces of Nitrate website will be to facilitate contact between university researchers and practitioners and those outside the university sector encouraging the participation of English and Spanish speaking on-line communities devoted to advancing discussion about the interpretation of contemporary heritage and development of sites of conflict, the use of photography. The website will also be used to house a digital archive of the touring exhibition and its related events, extending their impact beyond their immediate local audience.
Developing Heritage Policies and Practices
Heritage is an important point of popular access to history. Participants in the field of heritage are diverse, encompassing tourists, local activists seeking conservation or re-development, heritage managers and policy-makers. All play a part in the stewardship of the historic environment and their ability to learn, explain, record or protect it will be enhanced through the creation of new visual documentation and historical information relating to the heritage of the nitrate trade in Britain and Chile and its specific sites in the Atacama

Publications

10 25 50
publication icon
Ribas X (2014) Nitrato

 
Title 1989: After the Conversations of Algiers: Delirium and Truce 
Description A case study exhibition as pasrt of Pedro G. Romero's ambitious curatorial project 'Peace Treaty', organised for the Donosti 2016 European Capital of Culture. The exhibition was hosted by Artium in Vitoria-Gasteiz (11.08.2016 - 01.11.2016) and by Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona (12.11.2016 - 15.01.2017). The exhibition includes works of Ibon Aranberri, Luis Claramunt, Jon Mikel Euba, Iñaki Garmendia, Jeff Koons, Asier Mendizábal, Jorge Oteiza, Asier Pérez González, Xavier Ribas, Allan Sekula and Antoni Tàpies, among others, along with archive documents. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Large number of people visited the exhibition in its two venues and received great coverage in the media. As a result of the inclusion of my work in the exhibition, the Fundació Antoni Tàpies agreed to publish the artist book 'It Would Never Be Quite The Same Again'. Artium: http://www.artium.org/en/explore/exhibitions/item/60353-1989-tras-las-conversaciones-de-argel Fundació Antoni Tàpies: http://files.cargocollective.com/654797/1989_Tapies.pdf 
URL http://files.cargocollective.com/654797/1989_Tapies.pdf
 
Title 4,543 Billion: The Matter of Matter 
Description An exhibition curated by Mariana Cánepa and Max Andrews [Latitudes] at the Musée d'Art Contemporain de Bordeaux. 29.06.2017 - 07.01.2018 What is at stake when art and museums take on greater temporal and material awareness? How might they move beyond a spatial framework of "think globally, act locally", to "think historically, act geologically"? With contributions from more than 30 artists, 4,543 Billion:The Matter of Matter is an exhibition that addresses works of art, collections and cultural histories in relation to ecological processes and a geological scale of time. It presents a continuum of materials and temporal landscapes - films, works on paper, photographs, sculptures, documents, and other meaningful things - and springs from the CAPC building's former life as a warehouse for colonial commodities whose limestone walls were once deep in the ground and whose wooden beams were once part of a forest. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact This is the second time Traces of Nitrate research has been exhibited in France, this time alongside work by Lara Almarcegui, Ângela Ferreira, Rodney Graham, Jannis Kounellis, Nicholas Mangan, Lucy Skaer and Alfred Smith, among many others. Dissemination and contextualisation of the Traces of Nitrate research to wider international audiences. 
URL http://www.capc-bordeaux.fr/en/program/4543-billion
 
Title A History of Detonations 
Description 12 Digital offset prints on Cyclus Offset paper (100g), 42 x 29.7 cm. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact A History of Detonations is a set of 12 posters that folded become pages of the Nitrate exhibition catalogue. They contain location photographs made as research material during visits to sites and archives related to the project, as well as relevant old photographs, postcards, and discarded original press prints bought on the internet. With the folding of the posters into double sided book pages, the juxtaposition of images of dispersed sites, events, and objects creates a sequence of anachronisms and geographical discontinuities that suggest lines of enquiry and the fragmented character of the project's narrative and dispositive. 
URL http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Nitrate-Geographies/2014-A-History-of-Detonations
 
Title ACCROCHAGE # 3: FOOTNOTE No. 10. 
Description Exhibition of works by artists PATRICIA DAUDER, KOENRAAD DEDOBBELEER, HANS-PETER FELDMANN, DORA GARCÍA, ANA JOTTA, GILDA MANTILLA & RAIMOND CHAVES, PETER PILLER, and XAVIER RIBAS at Galeria ProjecteSD, Barcelona, Spain. The work exhibited by Xavier Ribas in this exhibition is 'And the Far Silence of Brooding Star Time' (http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Nitrate-Geographies/2012-And-the-Far-Silence-of-Brooding-Star-Time), about the archive of writer Mabel Loomis Todd's journey to the Nitrate Desert in Chile in 1907. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact Further dissemination to a wider audience of the Traces of Nitrate research work. 
URL http://projectesd.com
 
Title And the Far Silence of Brooding Star Time 
Description And the Far Silence of Brooding Star Time. 21 Pigment prints on Harman Baryta paper 33 x 43 cm. Negatives and lantern slides by Mabel Loomis Todd, taken at Oficina Alianza during June and July 1907. Photographed at Yale University Library, New Haven. David Peck Todd Papers, Yale University Library, New Haven, Connecticut. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact This material brings new light to the history of nitrate extraction in the Atacama Desert with previously unpublished documents and photographic plates from the 1907 Lowell Expedition to the Andes. David Peck Todd Papers, Yale University Library, New Haven, Connecticut. 
URL http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Nitrate-Geographies/2012-And-the-Far-Silence-of-Brooding-Star-Time
 
Title Caliche 
Description 22 Pigment prints on Harman Baryta paper 33 x 50 cm 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact Eleven diptychs composed by landscapes of the caliche fields (calicheras) around Oficina Alianza and rejected nitrate ore stones. 
URL http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Nitrate-Geographies/2010-Caliche-Fields
 
Title Desert Trails 
Description 34 Pigment prints on Harman Baryta paper 49 x 63 cm 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact Desert Trails (2012) is a grid of 33 photographs of the Atacama Desert taken mostly from the vantage points of slag heaps of abandoned nitrate works. The photographs show the disrupted surfaces of the desert around abandoned industrial sites, towns and ore fields. Technically and aesthetically, these images emulate late 19th and early 20th century landscape photographs of nitrate works, produced as record of investment by the nitrate producers themselves, or for propaganda purposes. Those historical photographs and photographic albums are now held in national libraries, archives and museums. They have become the official visual record of the nitrate industry. One such albums is Salitreras de Tarapacá (1889), by Louis Boudat, made on the occasion of the first "combination" of nitrate producers, a syndicate organized to regulate production and maintain the price of Chilean nitrate on world markets. Salitreras de Tarapacá documents the most important nitrate works of the time, providing information about their directors, traders and managers, as well as details of their production, machinery and work force. The album is a family portrait of the nitrate producers. It was put together at a time of maifested clash of interests with the Chilean state. Salitreras de Tarapacá is, therefor, a portrait of ownership embedded with the rhetorics of colonial capitalism: large open views of industrial production and investment, a consolidated force of foreign producers, and a wasted, desolate landscape put to work. The ruins, the slag heaps and the mounds of rejected stone pilled up in the desert are the most distinctive elements in the landscape today. "The industrial structures of mining - writes Louise Purbrick - will always be abandoned. Dereliction cannot be avoided. When the mined material runs low, is too costly to extract or is no longer considered of value, the architecture of mining begins to empty of activity and soon stands as a monument of disuse. The ruins of the future are ever present." The slag heaps of mining are topographic accidents that offer a blunt image of disappeared labour and of capitalist accumulation. They were made by the movement and the energy of the body of the worker, with the help of simple tools, like a pick and a shovel, shifting stone and refuse from one place to another. The mounds themselves, as Michael Taussig writes in My Cocaine Museum, "are bodies made by hand [...] a miraculous glimpse into the shaping of nature by the human hand, a monument to man's domination over nature through his domination over others, an archive of national history." The mounds of stone and refuse visible in this landscape today, may provide a restitution of the absent body of the worker, barely visible in the old photographs. The Atacama desert was the foundational landscape of the modern Chilean labour movement, and the site of the traumatic events of 1907 in Iquique, where the Chilean army, at the time protecting foreign interests, killed hundreds of striking workers in the School of Santa María. Salvador Allende's government (1970-1973), put in place a policy to commemorate the history of struggle and resistance against foreign capitalists held in this landscape by the nitrate workers. After the military coup of Augusto Pinochet, however, this policy was reversed and the abandoned nitrate towns, cemeteries and slag heaps became targets for firing practice for the Chilean Air Force. It was an act of premeditated violence against a landscape associated with the memory of the labour movement and Allende's attempt to recover that memory, for example, in the abandoned nitrate town of Chacabuco, declared a heritage site in 1971, but used by Pinochet as a detention camp for political prisoners. The photograph outside the grid operates as a visual caption. It represents the former site of the Unión de Trabajadores Ferroviarios Consejo de Santiago, more than a thousand miles south of Atacama, where on the 21st of December 1924 a large crowd paid last tributes to the body of Luis Emilio Recabarren, the founding figure of the Chilean labour movement, and founder of the Socialist Workers Party (POS) in the nitrate town of Cholita, Atacama, in 1912. 
URL http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Nitrate-Geographies/2012-Desert-Trails
 
Title From The High-Rises Like Rain 
Description From The High-Rises Like Rain 12 Pigment prints on Harman Baryta paper 110 x 133 cm. Photographs of the streets around St Mary Axe and Bishopsgate in the City of London. Text: Nitrate companies listed in the London Stock Exchange Year-Book of 1908. Text fragments extracted from IRA manifestos, and from the Metropolitan Police and the Museum of London Archaeological Service (MOLAS) reports on the 1992 and 1993 IRA explosions at the Baltic Exchange and Bishopsgate, London. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact From The High-Rises Like Rain looks at the geography of nitrate in the City of London. The starting point of these photographs are the nitrate companies listed in the London Stock Exchange Year-Book of 1908, the year after the killing of hundreds of striking nitrate workers in Iquique by the Chilean army. The Year-Book lists 45 nitrate companies, sharing 18 postal addresses located in 9 streets in the City of London and 3 streets in Liverpool. This alone gives an indication that Chilean nitrate was run and managed by a small number of people. But, above all, it is an indication of the different geographical dimensions of this industry on each side of the Atlantic. On 10 April 1992, the Baltic Exchange, located in the City of London since the mid 18th century, was demolished by a fertiliser bomb planted by the IRA inside a white van. Three people were killed by the explosion. The following year, on 24 April 1993, the IRA planted another bomb inside a blue tipper truck parked opposite the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in Bishopsgate. As a result of the blast, which killed one person, the medieval church of St. Ethelburga was completely destroyed, but was rebuilt ten years later to house the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation. Inside the new church, the 19th century font rescued from the debris displays an engraved circular palindrome in ancient Greek that reads: 'Cleanse my transgressions, not only my appearance'. From the High Rises Like Rain, therefore, brings together two geographies superimposed onto each other. With the explosions on the streets of London's financial district, the transformative qualities of nitrate as mineral, commodity and capital come full circle. 
URL http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Nitrate-Geographies/2013-From-The-High-Rises-Like-Rain
 
Title Gibbsiana 
Description 4 Pigment prints on Harman Baryta paper 48 x 33 cm 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact 1. Specimen of Araucaria Araucana planted in the gardens of Tyntesfield, the country house and estate near the city of Bristol which belonged to the Gibbs family until 2002, when it was purchased by the National Trust. The tree died in 2014 and was felled a few months after. From the ring count it was established that the tree was 140 years old, and must have been planted in Tyntesfield in the 1870s. Araucaria Araucana, or monkey puzzle, is the national tree of Chile. 2. Quotation for use of the word 'Overcharge' submitted by Henry Hucks Gibbs to the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary sometime in the late nineteenth century. Henry Hucks Gibbs (1819 - 1907) was a British banker, businessman and conservative politician. He was head of his family firm Antony Gibbs & Sons (owners of Oficina Alianza) from 1875 to his death in 1907, and director of the Bank of England from 1853 to 1901. Made 1st Baron Aldenham in 1896, Gibbs was also a historian, a writer of works on currency and bimetallism, and an avid collector of medieval religious manuscripts. The original handwritten quotation slip is kept in the Oxford University Press Archives, Oxford. 3. The last painting in the sale by auction at Sotheby's, London, 24 February 1937, as it appears in the 'Catalogue of an important collection of paintings, the property of the Rt. Hon. Lord Aldenham, removed from 37 Portland Place, W1'. 4. Report describing historical remains revealed by the IRA bomb planted in Bishopsgate, City of London, 24 April 1993. Museum of London Archaeological Service (MOLAS). 
URL http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Nitrate-Geographies/2011-Gibbsiana
 
Title I Write Your Names On My City Walls 
Description I Write Your Names On My City Walls Double channel video installation, 35'22 minutes (loop), sound, text (2010). 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact I write Your Names on my City Walls is a video installation that looks at the School of Santa María in Iquique, where on the 21st of December 1907 more than 300 nitrate workers were killed by the Chilean army. This is arguably one of the most symbolically charged events and contested sites in the history of the Chilean labour movement. Two video cameras record the everyday life on both sides of the street around the abandoned school building where the event took place more than a hundred years ago. The original building burned down in the 1930s, but was replaced by the present concrete structure, which at the time of filming in December 2010 was due for imminent demolition. For decades, the school had been a site of memory for the Chilean left, where local workers and students demonstrated and held meetings, and even occupied the school on many occasions. The cameras record the last political graffiti written on the external walls of the school building and the banners of recent demonstrations, both bearing witness to the continuing political significance of this site. This video is arguably the last record of this site of memory. 
URL http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Nitrate-Geographies/2010-I-Write-Your-Names-On-My-City-Walls
 
Title It Would Never Be Quite The Same Again 
Description 5 images and 5 texts. Variable dimensions 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact Developed as three large, detailed photographs and two found images, alongside artist's texts and copies of original documentation, It Would Never Be Quite The Same Again weaves together a series of contested sites and acts of dissent. The works interrogate a number of events and documents construed as distant echoes in the recent history of Chile, Great Britain and Spain of the detonations in the late 19th and early 20th century nitrate fields of the Atacama Desert. The series is an appendix to my long term project Nitrate, presented in 2014 at the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona [MACBA], and conjures up a wide network of interconnected geographies and histories, of personal and collective memories on the distinctive political contexts of Spain and Chile around 1973, and on historical relationships between Chile and Great Britain - my country of residence since 2000 - which are at the heart of the Nitrate project. For both bodies of work, the Atacama Desert operates as a vanishing point. The title It Would Never Be Quite The Same Again refers to the words uttered in court by a British judge to support his verdict on the defacement in 2002 of a statue of Margaret Thatcher, a renowned supporter of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. The same judge that brought a guilty verdict against the London activist's defacement of the statue of the former British Prime Minister reappears in another piece, Now You Have To Look At The Evidence Coldly And Dispassionately, hearing the case of a group of activists who in 2009 smashed up an ITT owned weapons factory in Brighton while Israel was attacking Gaza. This time, however, and interestingly, the activists were acquitted on the grounds of acting 'out of necessity' to prevent Israel unlawfully destroying Palestinian property with weapons produced in Brighton, and the judge was accused of anti-Semitism. The 1991 ground-breaking detention and house arrest of Augusto Pinochet in London on charges of torture, state repression, disappearance and homicide, is the subject of another work, Thus The Dream Of My Youth And The Love Of My Life Passed Away And Left Me Desolate, where Pinochet's fate overlaps with that of a 19th century Spanish warlord, the Count of Morella, and that of stones from the ancient Roman city of Leptis Magna, in present day Libya, brought to England in 1816 as a gift to the Prince Regent, later stitched together as a folly in the grounds of Windsor Palace and given the name of Temple of Augustus, to then fall into a state of disrepair by the time Pinochet lived under house arrest less than three hundred yards away. A Unique and Inevitable Voice recalls a lost film interview with Salvador Allende from a handful of photocopies kept in the Museum of Contemporary Art Vicente Aguilera Cerni in Vilafamés, Castelló. The interview was recorded on 16 mm film in 1972 by an Italian journalist to be broadcast on US television channel CBS, but it was censored and put away until eventually shown for the first time at the Venice Biennale in 1974, Allende already dead and Chile plunged deep in Pinochet's violent regime folowing the military coup supported through covert action by the CIA and US corporations with interests in Chile like ITT. Finally, Everyone Casts their Own Shadow traces a number of events surrounding ETA's assassination in 1973 of Admiral Carrero Blanco in Madrid, which disrupted the succession plans of the elderly Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco, little over 5 months after he had handed over the government of the country to his right-hand man. A painting by Antoni Tàpies, L'esperit català (1971), purchased in Paris in the summer of 1973 by a wealthy collector from Pamplona, whose brother had earlier the same year been kidnapped by ETA, acts as a premonition of the detonation that send Carreo Blanco's car flying through the air. The fact that the painting is now in the collection of the Museo Universidad de Navarra, as is the 19th century album of photographs of the Alianza nitrate mine in the Atacama Desert, allows me to close the circle and put an end to his work on Chilean nitrate. 
URL http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Nitrate-Geographies/2015-It-Would-Never-Be-Quite-The-Same-Again
 
Title It Would Never Be Quite The Same Again (Galeria Espai Visor) 
Description Developed as three large, detailed photographs and two found images, alongside artist's texts and copies of original documentation, It Would Never Be Quite The Same Again weaves together histories associated with contested sites and acts of dissent. The works interrogate a number of events and documents construed as distant echoes, in the recent history of Chile, Great Britain and Spain, of the detonations in the late 19th and early 20th century nitrate fields of the Atacama Desert. The series is an appendix to Ribas' long term project Nitrate, presented in 2014 at the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona [MACBA], and conjures up a wide network of interconnected geographies and histories, of personal and collective memories on the distinctive political contexts of Spain and Chile around 1973, and on historical relationships between Chile and Great Britain - Ribas' country of residence since 2000 - which are at the heart of the Nitrate project. For both bodies of work, the Atacama Desert operates as a vanishing point. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact On the occasion of the exhibition I was invited to do a talk about the work at the Universitat Politècnica de València: http://cargocollective.com/tracesofnitrate/filter/Events/2015-Universitat-Politecnica-de-Valencia Exhibition review in El Cultural: http://www.elcultural.com/revista/arte/Xavier-Ribas-otras-formas-de-ver/37384 
URL http://espaivisor.com/exposicion/it-would-never-be-quite-the-same-again/
 
Title It Would Never Be Quite The Same Again (Galeria ProjecteSD) 
Description Developed as three large, detailed photographs and two found images, alongside artist's texts and copies of original documentation, It Would Never Be Quite The Same Again weaves together histories associated with contested sites and acts of dissent. The works interrogate a number of events and documents construed as distant echoes, in the recent history of Chile, Great Britain and Spain, of the detonations in the late 19th and early 20th century nitrate fields of the Atacama Desert. The series is an appendix to Ribas' long term project Nitrate, presented in 2014 at the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona [MACBA], and conjures up a wide network of interconnected geographies and histories, of personal and collective memories on the distinctive political contexts of Spain and Chile around 1973, and on historical relationships between Chile and Great Britain - Ribas' country of residence since 2000 - which are at the heart of the Nitrate project. For both bodies of work, the Atacama Desert operates as a vanishing point. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact Exhibition review in Frieze: http://www.frieze.com/issue/review/xavier-ribas/ Exhibition review in Atlas Imaginarios Visuales (Chile): http://www.atlasiv.cl/post/la-libertad-y-lo-espectral-en-el-trabajo-de Exhibition eeview in El País: http://cultura.elpais.com/cultura/2015/04/30/babelia/1430386066_705582.html As a result of the exhibition the work was taken to Madrid Art Fair ARCO in Feb 2016 where it was exposed to a wider national and international audience. One of the pieces in the exhibition has been sellected to be part of a group exhibition to be presented later this year in San Sebastián during the main events of the European City of Culture. 
URL http://www.projectesd.com/index.php/exhibitions/detail/2015_xr
 
Title Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende 
Description The photographic installation 'Trafficking the Earth', comprised of 336 photographs and texts, which was exhibited at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Universidad de Chile in Sept-Nov 2017 was donated to the Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende and now it is part of the museum's contemporary art collection. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact The Traces of Nitrate research work is now housed in an important national contemporary art collection in Chile. It's presence in South America makes the work more available for exhibition and study, promoting the debate about the relationship between extractive industries, environmental issues and democracy. 
URL http://mssa.cl
 
Title National Waterfront Museum Swansea 
Description Coquimbo & Swansea. Ignacio Acosta presents 'Coquimbo & Swansea' at the National Waterfront Museum, Wales. Site-specific installation of photographs and texts from series 'Coquimbo & Swansea', part of 'Copper Geographies'. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact Reaching wider audiences, further collaboration with academic institutions in South Wales, possibility of creating new research in the region. 
URL http://www.tracesofnitrate.org/2017-Coquimbo-Swansea
 
Title Nitrate (at MACBA) 
Description Solo exhibition of Xavier Ribas' photographs produced within the research project 'Traces of Nitrate. Mining History and Photography Between Britain and Chile', held at the Museo d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), curated by Carles Guerra. For more information see here: http://www.macba.cat/en/expo-ribas-nitrate Since 2009, Xavier Ribas has devoted his photographic practice to looking into the natural history of Chilean nitrate in response to the 19 Century photographic album Oficina Alianza and Port of Iquique 1900 held in the collection of the Museo Universidad de Navarra (MUA), in Pamplona. The result of this investigation is a large body of work researched and photographed in Chile, Great Britain, Spain and the United States. For installation photographs see here: http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Exhibitions/2014-Nitrate-Museu-d-Art-Contemporani-de-Barcelona-MACBA-June-October The exhibition catalogue NITRATE was published to accompany the exhibition. For more information see here: http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Publications/2014-Nitrate 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact Invitation to deliver the keynote at the Urban Encounters symposium 'Movements, Mobilities, Migrations', held at Tate Britain in October 2014. For more information see here: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/conference/urban-encounters-2014-movementsmobilitiesmigrations http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Events/2014-Urban-Encounters-2014-Movements-Mobilities-Migrations As a result of the exhibition Louise Purbrick and Myself were invited to present the project in the course 'Monstrous Constructions: The Documentary Dispositive in Action', at the Centro de Arte Dos de mayo (CA2M). For more information see here: http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Conference-Papers/2014-Monstrous-Constructions-The-Documentary-Dispositive-in-Action Both our presentations are available online here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYjqs00M8lI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjL7IRUcGrA Exhibition review in Revista Concreta (Nov 2014): http://editorialconcreta.org/Nitrate Exhibition review in Apollo Art Magazine: http://www.apollo-magazine.com/review-xavier-ribas-nitrate-macba-barcelona/ Exhibition review in El Cultural: http://www.elcultural.com/revista/arte/Xabier-Ribas-geografia-concreta/35088 Exhibition review in la Vanguardia: http://www.xavierribas.com/Contents/Texts/Texts/NHERNANDEZ_Culturas%20LV_17Sept2014.pdf 
URL http://www.tate.org.uk/download/file/fid/43259
 
Title Nitrate (at the Bluecoat, Liverpool) 
Description Solo exhibition of Xavier Ribas' photographs produced within the research project 'Traces of Nitrate. Mining History and Photography Between Britain and Chile', held at the Bluecoat, Liverpool, curated by Carles Guerra. Click here for more information: http://www.thebluecoat.org.uk/events/view/exhibitions/2722 Since 2009, Xavier Ribas has devoted his photographic practice to looking into the natural history of Chilean nitrate in response to the 19 Century photographic album Oficina Alianza and Port of Iquique 1900 held in the collection of the Museo Universidad de Navarra (MUA), in Pamplona. The result of this investigation is a large body of work researched and photographed in Chile, Great Britain, Spain and the United States. For installation photographs of the exhibition see here: http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Exhibitions/2015-Nitrate-The-Bluecoat-Liverpool-April-June-2015 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact As part of the exhibition's related programme of activities Louise Purbrick (CI), Ignacio Acosta (PhD candidate) and myself conducted a series of events consisting of a talk, a gallery visit, a conversation, and a city walk visiting sites relative to the nitrate and copper trades. Traces of Nitrate PhD candidate Ignacio Acosta was invited to develop a research-lead artist residency in Liverpool between March and April 2015. The exhibition and the events connected us with local historians and researchers interested in global trade and labour history opening up the prospects of future collaborations. The exhibition was named one of the ighlights of the Look Photography Festival (http://lookphotofestival.com) and was included in the Guardian's exhibtions of the week: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/apr/11/this-weeks-new-exhibitions Exhibition review by Simon Denison here: http://www.simondenison.co.uk/writing/35.html Exhibition review SMBH Magazine: http://smbhmag.com/5-standout-shows-at-look15/ 
URL http://www.thebluecoat.org.uk/events/view/exhibitions/2722
 
Title Nitrate (at the Museo Universidad de Navarra) 
Description Solo exhibition of Xavier Ribas' photographs produced within the research project 'Traces of Nitrate. Mining History and Photography Between Britain and Chile', held at the Museo Universidad de Navarra (MUN), curated by Carles Guerra. Click here for more information: http://museo.unav.edu/en/programacion/exposiciones/detalle-exposiciones?eventId=7652977 Since 2009, Xavier Ribas has devoted his photographic practice to looking into the natural history of Chilean nitrate in response to the 19 Century photographic album Oficina Alianza and Port of Iquique 1900 held in the collection of the Museo Universidad de Navarra (MUA), in Pamplona. The result of this investigation is a large body of work researched and photographed in Chile, Great Britain, Spain and the United States. For installation photographs of the exhibition see here: http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Exhibitions/2015-Nitrate-Museo-Universidad-de-Navarra-October-2015-March-2016 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact As part of the exhibition's programme of events I have conducted a number of gallery visits, a seminar, an interview, and a round table discussion Exhibition review: http://files.cargocollective.com/654797/Noticias-de-Navarra_29.10.2015.pdf Exhibition review: http://files.cargocollective.com/654797/Diario-de-Navarra_29102015.pdf 
URL http://museo.unav.edu/en/programacion/exposiciones/detalle-exposiciones?eventId=7652977
 
Title Northiana 
Description Pigment prints, vinyl text. Varaible dimensions 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact Northiana [Odds and Ends]. Jar containing a sample of Chilean nitrate (c.1880s), owned by nitrate investor and monopolist John Thomas North (1842-1896), known as the 'Nitrate King', photographed in the ballroom of his house at Avery Hill, now part of the Library of the University of Greenwich. Proctor Collection, University of Greenwich Archive, London. The seven text elements are society news published in the London newspaper The Express during 1889, the year John Thomas North visited Chile to lobby against Chilean president José Manuel Balmaceda's intentions to nationalise the nitrate industry. Congressional opposition led to the civil war in 1891 and Balmaceda's suicide. Northiana [Fancy Dress Ball]. List of characters attending John Thomas North's fancy dress ball at the Hôtel Métropole in London on Friday 4 January 1889, a few days before his voyage to Chile to meet Chilean President José Manuel Balmaceda. Balmaceda wanted to nationalise nitrate to take control of the natural resources and fund a massive plan to modernise Chile. John Thomas North visited Chile to oppose this plans and gain support of members of Congres. This lead to the Civil War in 1891 which resulted in the deposition of Balmaceda and his suicide in 1893. 
URL http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Nitrate-Geographies/2011-Northiana
 
Title O Chair O Flesh group exhibitin at Treignac Project 
Description Group exhibition of works curated by Matt Packer at the Treignac Project in France (http://treignacprojet.tumblr.com/post/84122572895/o-chair-o-flesh-25-may-29-september-2013). Click here for a brief statement: http://www.e-artnow.org/announcement/article/ACTION/8880/ 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2013 
Impact Review in Frieze magazine: https://www.frieze.com/issue/review/o-chair-o-flesh/ 
URL http://treignacprojet.tumblr.com/post/84122572895/o-chair-o-flesh-25-may-29-september-2013
 
Title Resolution is not the Point, Photo 50 exhibition, The London Art Fair, January 2018 Curated by Hemera Collective. 
Description Trafficking the Earth is included in the exhibition 'Resolution is not the point'. The exhibition 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. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Distribution of the publication 'trafficking the Earth', proposals to participate in seminars and conferences in the UK. 
URL https://www.londonartfair.co.uk/whats-on/photo50/
 
Title Three Moves Are as Bad as a Fire 
Description Three Moves Are as Bad as a Fire 170 photographic glass plates of the planet Mars taken in June and July 1907 from Oficina Alianza by The Lowell Expedition to the Andes (2013). Text: Extracts from field notes written by Lowell Expedition members during their stay at Oficina Alianza and from subsequent research papers and magazine articles. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact This material brings new light to the history of nitrate extraction in the Atacama Desert with previously unpublished documents and photographic plates from the 1907 Lowell Expedition to the Andes, the Lowell Observatory archive, Flagstaff, Arizona. 
URL http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Nitrate-Geographies/2012-Three-Moves-Are-as-Bad-as-a-Fire
 
Title Traces of Nitrate: Work in progress exhibition at Birkbeck 
Description A small exhibition of the team's work in progress, including photographs, video and text panels. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2013 
Impact Further interest in the research and possibility of future collaborations and contributions to conferences and symposiums 
URL http://photographyresearchcentre.blogspot.co.uk
 
Title Twenty-Eight Points 
Description 2 Pigment prints on Harman Baryta paper 110 x 138 cm 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact Twenty-Eight Points Element 1 - Prospective excavation in one of the rooms of the School of Santa María in Iquique a few weeks before its demolition in January 2011. Visible inside the excavation are the remains of the 19th century school building, where more than 300 nitrate workers were massacred on 21 December 1907 by the Chilean army. Element 2 - Transcript of a list of twenty-eight needs and demands presented in Iquique to the Minister of the Interior by a delegation of nitrate workers in 1904. This list is perhaps the most accurate, firsthand description of the living and working conditions of the nitrate workers in the Atacama desert. 
URL http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Nitrate-Geographies/2010-Twenty-Eight-Points
 
Title World of Matter: Mobilizing Materialities 
Description World of Matter: Mobilizing Materialities Katherine E Nash Gallery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Mobilizing Materialities brings together seven works produced by World of Matter, an international art and media project investigating primary materials and complex ecologies in which they are embedded. World of Matter responds to the urgent need for new forms of representation that shift resource-related debates from a market driven domain to open platforms for engaged public discourse. Exhibition, field trip and symposium organised by the University of Minnesota, September 2017. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact For the first time the Traces of Nitrate research reached audiences in the United States. Curator, writer and academic T.J.Demos has expressed interest in the work and we agreed to send him all the publications we have produced. This exhibition was also the first time our work has featured in a World of Matter exhibition. 
URL https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BynshXjdXQwfcnhJbzBjNzYzVDg
 
Description The trade route of nitrate (Atacama Desert, Iquique and Pisagua, Liverpool, London) was identified as well as the use of nitrate as fertiliser in northern Europe and as a component of Allied shell manufacture in the First World War. Several presentations and publications have articulated this relationship.

Communities of interest in Barcelona, Madrid, Navarra, Santiago, Liverpool, including photographers, local historians, archeologists, curators, students were provided with forums through which to consider the significance of legacies of nitrate mining in their local histories and economies.

The history of nitrate mining between Britain and Chile has now been included in wider analysis of the visual culture and political ecology of Latin America.

The trade route of nitrate (Atacama Desert, Iquique and Pisagua, Liverpool, London) was identified as well as the use of nitrate as fertiliser in northern Europe and as a component of Allied shell manufacture in the First World War.

Strategies of recording and interpreting forms of heritage that encourage on-going debate about past of economic exploitation have been developed through the Traces of Nitrate project.
Exploitation Route Following an invitation by Professor Liz Wells (https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/staff/liz-wells), the team has submitted a book proposal to Bloomsbury (http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/) on the subject of mining and photography which would pay special attention to the Traces of Nitrate research materials and the papers presented at the symposium Visuality, Materiality and Mining (http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Events/2015-Visuality-Materiality-and-Mining-Symposium) held at the University of Brighton on 25-26 June 2015. The proposal is for a new series of books on Photography, Geography and Environment.
Sectors Creative Economy,Education,Environment,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://tracesofnitrate.org
 
Description The outcome of the Traces of Nitrate research have been the subject of a number of national and international conferences, seminars, symposiums, exhibitions and publications. The dissemination through exhibition, conference papers, workshops and publications, of documentation of nitrate mining and its legacies in Chile and Britain contributed to new understanding of historical relationships of unequal distribution of wealth between Europe and Latin America. The research continues to attract interest and several publications and exhibitions are in process. The research is now part of World of Matter (http://www.worldofmatter.net), a multimedia project providing an open access archive on the global ecologies of resource exploitation and circulation, and Temporary School of Experimental Geography (http://tsoeg.org), an itinerant network of artists sharing ideas and responses to landscape through fieldwork. The Traces of Nitrate project's website (http://tracesofnitrate.org) will provide free access globally to all the materials produced during our extensive research and fieldwork.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Creative Economy,Education,Environment,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Title Traces of Nitrate Website 
Description Web repository of the Traces of Nitrate research project, including photographic works, conference papers, publications, exhibitions, reviews, awards and fieldwork documents. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The web has only been active recently. It is constantly being updated as outcomes materialise and information becomes available. We hope it will be linked to other research base web sites such as World of Matter (http://www.worldofmatter.net), Temporal School of Geography (http://tsoeg.org), and Land/Water (http://www.landwater-research.co.uk), among others. 
URL http://www.tracesofnitrate.org
 
Title World of Matter Website 
Description World of Matter is a multimedia project providing an open access archive on the global ecologies of resource exploitation and circulation. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2013 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Participation in future international group exhibitions and conferences, such as World of Matter, Nash Gallery and Wiseman Gallery, University of Minnesota Campus, September 2017. 
URL http://www.worldofmatter.net
 
Description Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) 
Organisation Spanish Cultural Action
Country Spain, Kingdom of 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution None
Collaborator Contribution AC/E's economic contribution was to support the touring of the exhibition 'Nitrate' to the Bluecoat, Liverpool. It was paid directly to MACBA who acted as the exhibition's co-producer and main organiser.
Impact Exhibition of Nitrate at The Bluecoat, Liverpool http://www.thebluecoat.org.uk/events/view/exhibitions/2722
Start Year 2014
 
Description Katherine E Nash Gallery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 
Organisation University of Minnesota
Department Katherine E. Nash Gallery
PI Contribution Exhibition of photographs from the series 'Desert Trails', made in the Atacama Desert, Chile, in 2012 as part of the Traces of Nitrate project.
Collaborator Contribution Providing exhibition space and technical and curatorial assistance for the exhibition World of Matter: Mobilising Materialities, held at the Katherine E Nash Gallery from the 15th of September to the 9th of November. Organisation of the 'World of Matter: Mobilising Materialities' symposium (17th September 2017), and a site visit to the 'iron range' mining region (15th-16th Sept 2017) for all the exhibiting artists, symposium speakers and university postgraduate students.
Impact Further opportunities for collaborating with Professor T. J. Demos, Director of the Center for Creative Ecologies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Start Year 2017
 
Description MACBA 
Organisation Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art
Country Spain, Kingdom of 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Intellectual and artistic
Collaborator Contribution Publication of a monograph; production of a solo exhibition; organization of conference
Impact Published monograph and solo exhibition
Start Year 2013
 
Description Museo Universidad de Navarra 
Organisation University Museum of Navarra
Country Spain, Kingdom of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Intellectual and artistic imput
Collaborator Contribution Co-editor of a monographic publication; co-production of solo exhibition; organization of seminar/conference
Impact 1. Monograph Nitrate co-edited with Macba 2. Solo exhibition opening Oct 2015
Start Year 2013
 
Description National Waterfront Museum, Swansea 
Organisation National Waterfront Museum
PI Contribution Exhibition of Ignacio Acosta's photographic work from the Copper Geographies, produced as part of the Traces of Nitrate project.
Collaborator Contribution Exhibition space, technical and curatorial assistance, and marketing.
Impact Further collaboration with South Wales institutions and university.
Start Year 2017
 
Description THE BLUECOAT, LIVERPOOL 
Organisation The Bluecoat
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Intellectual, artistic, educational. As part of the exhibition's related programme of activities Louise Purbrick (CI), Ignacio Acosta (PhD candidate) and myself conducted a series of events consisting of a talk, a gallery visit, a conversation, and a city walk visiting sites relative to the nitrate and copper trades. Traces of Nitrate PhD candidate Ignacio Acosta was invited to develop a research-lead artist residency in Liverpool between March and April 2015.
Collaborator Contribution Solo exhibition of Xavier Ribas' photographs produced within the research project 'Traces of Nitrate. Mining History and Photography Between Britain and Chile', held at the Bluecoat, Liverpool, curated by Carles Guerra. Click here for more information: http://www.thebluecoat.org.uk/events/view/exhibitions/2722 For installation photographs of the exhibition see here: http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Exhibitions/2015-Nitrate-The-Bluecoat-Liverpool-April-June-2015
Impact Solo exhibition
Start Year 2014
 
Description UNIACC 
Organisation University for the Arts, Sciences, and Communication
Country Chile, Republic of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Intellectual, artistic
Collaborator Contribution The organization of a symposium at the very beginning of our research. For more information see here: http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Events/2009-Santa-Maria-de-Iquique-Una-Arqueologia-de-la-Violencia The production of a video documenting the emblematic, historically significant, School of Santa María in Iquique a few days before its demolition. For more information see here: http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Nitrate-Geographies/2010-I-Write-Your-Names-On-My-City-Walls
Impact As a result of the collaboration, the video installation 'I Write Your Nazmes on my City Walls' was presented at the exhibition NITRATE held at the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) in June 2014. For more information see here: http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Exhibitions/2014-Nitrate-Museu-d-Art-Contemporani-de-Barcelona-MACBA-June-October Also, Andrea Jösch and Pablo Artaza, who participated in the symposium in 2009 wrote a paper for the NITRATE exhibition's catalogue. For more information see here: http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Publications/2014-Nitrate http://files.cargocollective.com/654797/XR_Nitrate_pages1to61.pdf
Start Year 2009
 
Description Universidad de Chile 
Organisation University of Chile
Country Chile, Republic of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Production of an the exhibition 'Trafficking the Earth' (http://www.tracesofnitrate.org/2017-Trafficking-the-Earth) and the symposium 'Visualidad, Materialidad y Minería' (http://www.tracesofnitrate.org/2017-Symposium-Visuality-Materiality-and-Mining)
Collaborator Contribution Providing exhibition galleries and technical and curatorial assistance for the exhibition Trafficking the Earth, held at the museum from the 7th of September to the 12th of November 2017.
Impact Participation in other exhibitions, symposiums and conferences
Start Year 2017
 
Description Landscapes of Abandonment roundtable 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Ignacio Acosta presents the project 'Traces of Nitrate' at Birkbeck, University of London.

To accompany Freddy Dewe Mathews' exhibition 'El Encanto' at the Peltz Gallery, 'Landscapes of Abandonment' considers the histories of the Putumayo region in Colombia and the challenges of a critical artistic practice that interrogates the legacies of exploitative activities on abandoned places.

Panel of discussion: Luciana Martins (Birkbeck), Leslie Wylie (Leicester), Jordan Goodman (UCL) and Ignacio Acosta (Brighton).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.bbk.ac.uk/arts/research/peltz-gallery
 
Description Birkbeck 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation paper presentation
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Traces of Nitrate: Mining history and photography between Britain and Chile
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.

Organized by the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies with the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, Seminar Keynes Library, Birkbeck, University of London

For more information see here: http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Events/2013-Traces-of-Nitrate-Mining-history-and-photography-between-Britain

Questions and discussions afterwards, gallery visit and a workshop.

The seminar was accompanied by a small exhibition of the Traces of Nitrate team work in progress, including photographs, video and text panels.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://photographyresearchcentre.blogspot.co.uk
 
Description CA2M - Monstruous Constructions. The Documentary Device at Work - Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Monstrous Constructions: The Documentary Dispositive in Action
Louise Purbrick ('Mining and Photography: Capturing Nitrate Lands') and myself presented our work developed in the project TRACES OF NITRATE, and lead a three day workshop at the Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (CA2M), Alcobendas, Madrid.
For more information see here:
http://files.cargocollective.com/654797/COMPOSICIONES-MONSTRUOSAS_PDF.pdf
http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Events/2014-Monstrous-Constructions-The-Documentary-Dispositive-in-Action
Xavier's talk online here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYjqs00M8lI
Louise's talk online here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjL7IRUcGrA

Questions and discussion afterwards;

The talk was followed by a two day workshop with about 12 participants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://files.cargocollective.com/654797/COMPOSICIONES-MONSTRUOSAS_PDF.pdf
 
Description CAAC 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A prsentation of the project Traces of Nitrate at the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville, as part of the seminar 'Transformations. Art and Aesthetics from 1960. Key points to thinking landscape, 15 October 2014. For more information see here:
http://www.caac.es/actividades/proyectos/transf14.htm
http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Events/2014-Transformaciones-Arte-y-Estetica-desde-1960

Questions and discussions afterwards

Special recommendation by the chair to further look into the project's web site and publication and my personal web site
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.caac.es/actividades/proyectos/transf14.htm
 
Description Conflicted minerals and artistic practices workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Ignacio Acosta presents 'Copper Geographies' in Arts Catalyst, London, 5 April 2017.

Ignaco was invited to talk about his research during a one-day workshop exploring different ways in which artistic and cultural practices contribute to our understanding of the relationship between geological natural resources (their extraction and distribution) and conflict on multiple scales.

The workshop brought together a artists, curators, film-makers and researchers that focus their practices on regions and communities where concentrations of natural "critical materials" - raw materials deemed essential by states for industry, technology and sustainable energy - are entwined with histories of conflict. The event enquires how can different modes of transdisciplinary research address complex systems of visual, cultural, societal, technological, ecological, economic and political forces? What type of aesthetics and conceptual approaches can narrate these contemporary global realities? What role do artists, film-makers and art academics play as active agents in the multidisciplinary discourse around the Anthropocene?
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://soundcloud.com/arts-catalyst/conflict-minerals-and-artistic-practice-a-workshop
 
Description Environmental Futures: Architecture and Green Technology in the Lithium Triangle 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation of the Traces of Nitrate research project to the Royal College of Art MA Environmental Architecture staff and students. The MA Environmental Architecture programme at the Royal College of Art announces a four-year research project on the environmental consequences of lithium extraction. The research will focus on Chile, Argentina and Bolivia - an area also known as the "lithium triangle", and will be developed in collaboration with local research partners including advocacy teams and indigenous organisations. The Traces of Nitrate research team and the Environmental Architecture staff are developing forms of collaboration in Chile and the Uk, such as exhibition, symposium and field trips.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.rca.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/environmental-futures-architecture-green-technologies-l...
 
Description Fundación Telefónica 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Registrar o Crear. Nuevos planteamientos de la imagen documental [Registering or Creating. New Approaches to the Documentary Image]
A conversation between myself and Carles Guerra about my work NITRATE, held at the Fundación Telefónica, Madrid, on the 11th February 2014.

The conversation is part of the course RECREAR EL MUNDO: PUNTOS DE VISTA EN LA FOTOGRAFÍA CONTEMPORÁNEA [Recreating the Wordl. Points of View in Contemporary Photography], directed by Ramón Esparza. Other speakers include Lucy Soutter, Paul Graham, Eric de Chassey and Víctor del Río.For more information see here: http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Events/2014-Registrar-o-Crear-Nuevos-planteamientos-de-la-imagen-documental

Questions and discussion afterwards;

Visits to project's website, my own website and interest for the exhibition and monograph
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL https://espacio.fundaciontelefonica.com/evento/recrear-el-mundo-puntos-de-vista-en-la-fotografia-con...
 
Description Goldsmiths Research-Practice Seminar Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A lecture on the research project Traces of Nitrate. Most important discussions on collaborative cross-discinary practices, the potential and possibilities of working between the accademic research and the gallery space, the importance of visual practice in anthropology and sociology research...
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.gold.ac.uk/calendar/?id=10122.
 
Description La Vanguardia - Culturas 1st January 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A magazine article about Chilean sodium nitrate and it's role in the First World War.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://files.cargocollective.com/654797/XR_Culturas602_La-Vanguardia_S.pdf
 
Description Macba seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation paper presentation
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Traces of Nitrate. Photography, Financial Capitalism and the Labour Movement
Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona [MACBA].
Saturday 5th October 2013.

The seminar, co-organised with the Museo Universidad de Navarra, contains various historical perspectives that have taken up photography as a model to represent the movement of diverse forms of capital. Taking part are: Pablo Artaza, historian of the labour movement at the Universidad de Chile; Max Jorge Hinderer, historian and art critic; Andrea Jösch, photography historian, UNIACC; Louise Purbrick, historian; and Xavier Ribas, photographer. For more information see here:
http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Events/2013-Traces-of-Nitrate-Photography-Financial-Capitalism-and-the

Wide breadth of contributions and ideas from all the speakers. Three of these contributions have been included in the monograph published by the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)

This seminar was part of the collaboration between Macba/Museo Universidad de Navarra/Traces of Nitrate project to produce an exhibition and a publication.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.macba.cat/en/seminar
 
Description Mutating Ecologies in Contemporary Art: Matter, Ethics and Subjectivity 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Ignacio Acosta delivers a talk at the international symposium organised by 'Art, Globalization, Interculturality' research group of the Universitat de Barcelona. MACBA, Barcelona, 21 February 2018.

The 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?
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://artglobalizationinterculturality.com/symposiums/mutating-ecologies-in-contemporary-art-2018/
 
Description Navarra Seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation paper presentation
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Traces of Nitrate. Photography, Financial Capitalism and the Labour Movement
Museo Universidad de Navarra [MUN].
Thursday 10th October 2013

The seminar, co-organised with the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, contains various historical perspectives that have taken up photography as a model to represent the movement of diverse forms of capital. Taking part are: Pablo Artaza, historian of the labour movement at the Universidad de Chile; Ricardo González, historian and photographer, Mercedes Fernández, curator, Andrea Jösch, photography historian, UNIACC; Louise Purbrick, historian; and Xavier Ribas, photographer. For more information see here: http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Events/2013-Traces-of-Nitrate-Photography-Financial-Capitalism-and-the-1

Wide breadth of contributions and ideas from all the speakers. Two of these contributions have been included in the monograph published by the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)

This seminar was part of the collaboration between Macba/Museo Universidad de Navarra/Traces of Nitrate project to produce an exhibition and a publication.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.unav.es/museo/en/actividades/seminarios/rastros-de-nitrato/
 
Description Resolution is not the Point, The London Art Fair 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Louise Purbrick delivered a talk on the Trtafficking the Earth installation piece and publication as part of the Resolution is not the Point exhibition, The London Art Fair January 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://soundcloud.com/londonartfairdiscussions/hemera-collective-present-resolution-is-not-the-poin...
 
Description Symposium at the Whitechapel Gallery, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Symposium organised at the Whitechapel Gallery as part of the exhibition A Handful Of Dust, curated by David Campany, 17 June 2017. What is the relationship between images and their subjects? Does the index remain a useful framework for contemporary photography? To coincide with A Handful of Dust, this symposium takes Rosalind Krauss's seminal 1977 essay as a point of departure. Bringing together artists and theorists, the event explores ideas of perception, abstraction and the passing of time, as well as signs, traces and trauma.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/events/notes-on-the-index-photograph-and-subject/
 
Description The Return of the Earth. Ecologising art history in the Anthropocene 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The work of many of the artists in the exhibition '4.543 billion. The matter of matter' explores the shared history of human activities and Earth systems. Yet this comes with a critical and political inflexion of the universalizing notion of the Anthropocene, the proposed geological 'epoch of humanity' that would cast all of the mankind as being responsible for the alarming damage caused by modernizing and capitalizing nature.

With a keynote by science historian Jean-Baptiste Fressoz, and a conversation between artists Xavier Ribas and Ângela Ferreira-the latter both featured in the exhibition-this event hosted by Latitudes ('4.543 billion' curators Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna), sees art practice and historical research intertwining with environmental and geological narratives, and vice versa. Both Ribas and Ferreira make art that resists the generalising story of the Anthropocene that Fressoz unmasks in his book 'The Shock of the Anthropocene. The Earth, History and Us' (co-authored with Christophe Bonneuil, Verso Books, 2016). Echoing the meticulous historical approach of Fressoz, both Ribas's and Ferreira's projects in the exhibition deal with case studies with a very specific place and politics. Addressing mineral agency and colonial extraction, the artists will discuss their approaches to work that has sprung from diamonds in South Africa (Ferreira) to nitrate in Chile (Ribas).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.lttds.org/blog/blog.php?id=7337196844329111608
 
Description UNIACC 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation paper presentation
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Santa María de Iquique: Una Arqueología de la Violencia
Symposium at UNIACC University, Santiago, 9th June 2009.
Speakers: Andrea Jösch, Manuela Badilla, Pablo Artaza, Xavier Ribas.
Organized by University of Brighton, UNIACC University and Ignacio Acosta.

For more information see here: http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Events/2009-Santa-Maria-de-Iquique-Una-Arqueologia-de-la-Violencia

Questions and discussions afterwards. Varied contributions from many speakers which opened up lines of enquiry for our research which was in its initial stages.

Further collaboration with UNIACC which materialized with the co-production of a video about one of the key sites of our research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
URL http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/projects/traces-of-nitrate/events
 
Description Universidad Finis Terrae 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited by formar collaborator Dr Andrea Jösch, a presentation of the project Traces of Nitrate was given to a group of MA photography students at the Universidad Finis Terrae in Santiago, November 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Universitat Politècnica de València 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact A presentation of my photographic research developed as part of the Traces of Nitrate project (20 November 2015)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Events/2015-Universitat-Politecnica-de-Valencia
 
Description University of East Anglia (Sainsbury Art Centre) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A presentation of the photographic project NITRATE to the MA Photography students and open to the general public. I also attended a group seminar with the MA students.

Questions and discussion afterwards, around notions of research, research activities and outcomes; notions of heritage, visibility and invisibility of memory; contested spaces and geographies of globalisation; research in archives...

Proposed future presentation to speciphic PhD researchers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://scva.ac.uk/whats-on/calendar/day/2014/11/12
 
Description University of Plymouth 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation of the project Traces of Nitrate with special emphasis on my own photographic work and documentary practice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description University of Seville 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact A lecture on the project Nitrate with particular attention to working with archives and colonial legacies. Discussed possible research collaboration on the Archivo de Indias and possible exchange or join activity with MA students from the University of Brighton, the University of Seville and the University of Valencia.
Other speakers: Carles Guerra, Fundació Tàpies, Barcelona; Ana Garcíoa Varas, University of Zaragoza; and Pep Benlloch, University of Valencia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visulaity Materiality and Mining 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The symposium brought together artists, photographers, geographers and historians to explore the visual and material culture of mining from the disrupted landscape to the labour of miners. In different ways, using both academic and artistic practices, participants in the Visuality, Materiality and Mining symposium considered the global inequalities of extractive industries, their affects upon land and people, examining how raw materials, exploded, prised or pumped from beneath the surface of earth, appear in industrial and post-industrial cultures.

The symposium aimed at investigating how mined landscapes are or can be represented, hoping to edge towards a better understanding of the mobilities and entanglements of mined materials, their material and political effects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/whats-on/sallis-benney-events/theatre-2015/jun-2015/visuality,-materialit...