Traces of Nitrate Follow On

Lead Research Organisation: University of Brighton
Department Name: School of Media

Abstract

The Traces of Nitrate project created a large body of research: a substantial photographic record and critical historical analysis of the sites of nitrate and copper mining in the northern territories of Chile and spaces of the exchange of mined commodities in London and Liverpool. The project team produced, organized or contributed to 33 conferences, lectures and events, 15 exhibitions, 15 publications (including one monograph), and has received 11 reviews (see: http://tracesofnitrate.org)

The follow-on phase of the Traces of Nitrate project will draw upon both its photographic documentation and historical analysis of mining to engage new audiences through exhibitions and related public events dispersed across two continents. The dissemination of research relating to the significance of nitrate, a dynamic substance that once used as fertilizer or explosive can speed or shatter life, will be extended and, most importantly, situated within emergent and urgent contemporary debates about the extraction and depletion of non-renewable resources. The political ecology of mining, the legacies of polluted and de-industrialised landscapes and the role of photographic practice in the representation of these issues are key concerns of the follow-on phase. The image and analysis of industrial ruins of nitrate mining in the Atacama Desert and the contamination of Chilean landscape with the detritus of copper mining will be mobilised to instigate discussion of hierarchies of human agency and material resources as well as the dependencies of people and planet.

Planned Impact

The capacity of the photography to transform the understanding of its subject is at the heart of the Traces of Nitrate project. Images do alter perceptions. The photography of sites of nitrate trafficking and those of copper capitalism invite reflections upon the effects of a global economy upon local landscapes as well as the fundamental human-material relationships that underpin the industrial and commercial activity of extraction of non-renewable resources. The impact of the follow-on Traces of Nitrate project, however, does not solely rely upon widening the dissemination of its photographic imagery; the circulation of the visual document through exhibition, print and on-line publication is combined with a series of forums in which for communities of interest, from environmental activists to mining company representatives, can exchange both knowledge and experiences. Processes of documentation, including audio-visual recordings of talks and uploading of workshop papers, will ensure that the Traces of Nitrate contribution to an understanding of political ecology will be sustained beyond the end of the funding period.

Publications

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Acosta I (2018) Copper Geographies

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Purbrick L (2017) Nitrate ruins: the photography of mining in the Atacama Desert, Chile in Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies

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Purbrick L (2017) Mining Photography: The Oficina Alianza and Port of Iquique 1899 in Anales del Instituto de Investigaciones Est├ęticas

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PURBRICK L (2018) Pictures and Conflicts since 1945 in Humanities

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Ribas X (2017) Trafficking the Earth

 
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 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 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 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 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, Bordeaux, Wales, 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 The project team has designed a publication of our research (see: http://tracesofnitrate.org/2017-Trafficking-the-Earth-1) which is being distributed free among environmental organizations, school teachers of mining communities, environmental lawyers and pressure groups in Chile (and the UK). The publication is designed as a 'folded exhibition' ready for display in non-art spaces such as schools, community centres, and conference venues, making our work available to wider audiences in decentralised communities.
Sectors Creative Economy,Education,Environment,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://tracesofnitrate.org
 
Description The project team has produced an image text installation piece titled 'Trafficking the Earth' which explores the complexities of the extraction and circulation of minerals and their transformation into commodities and capital. This work consists of 336 photographs and texts and was first exhibited at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Universidad de Chile during September and November 2017 (see: http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Exhibitions/2017-Trafficking-the-Earth). In the context of the exhibition a symposium was organised to discuss our research with environmental activists, pressure groups and lawyers in order to find ways of working together in the future (see: http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Events/2017-Symposium-Visuality-Materiality-and-Mining). The exhibition work was donated to the Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende in Santiago, Chile, so that it would be readily available to curators, researchers, and environmental organisations working on the subject of mining and its effects on the landscape and on communities. We have also produced a publication which works as a 'folded exhibition' specially to distribute free among environmental activists, pressure groups, lawyers and school teachers in mining communities in Chile and the UK (see: http://www.tracesofnitrate.org/2017-Trafficking-the-Earth-1). Other individual and group exhibitions and presentations have been realised in Wales, France, England and the United States of America (see:http://tracesofnitrate.org/filter/Exhibitions)
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Creative Economy,Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Policy & public services

 
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 Editorial RM 
Organisation Editorial RM
PI Contribution Visual and textual materials for the monographic publication 'Copper Geographies'
Collaborator Contribution Production and design of the publication and worldwide distribution.
Impact Future participation in book fairs, photography events and exhibitions. The monograph is due for June-September 2018
Start Year 2017
 
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 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 Universidad de Chile 
Organisation University of Chile
Country Chile 
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 Arts Of Extraction Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A two-day symposium accompanying the exhibition Gone to Ground that brings together artists and scholars of visual culture to examine the spatial and aesthetic legacies associated with technologies of extraction (University of Essex, 31 January - 1 February 2019. )

Traces of Nitrate: The Documentation of Historical Loss: conference paper delivered by Louise Purbrick
Trafficking the Earth: presentation of the Trafficking the Earth exhibition and publication by Xavier Ribas

The two presentations generated debate about the collaborative nature of the Traces of Nitrate research, actively impacting in academic environment and in the art and museum exhibition space, as well as its connections with activism. The University of Essex Latin American Studies Centre proposed to discuss possibilities of further collaboration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.tracesofnitrate.org/2019-Traces-of-Nitrate-The-Documentation-of-Historical-Loss
 
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 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 Photography and Resistance Research Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Louise Purbrick presented the paper "Trafficking the Earth: Past Resistance, Future Reclamation". The paper cought attention from Latin American curators and academics in the panel and audience, which generated interest about the Traces of Nitrate research as a whole, with possibilities of further collaborations in the UK and South America.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.tracesofnitrate.org/2019-Trafficking-the-Earth-Past-Resistance-Future-Reclamation
 
Description Pictures of War: The Still Image of Conflict since 1945 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A conference on the intersections of conflict and pictures from the end of the Second World War to the present day, Manchester School of Art, 23-25 May 2018.

Louise Purbrick presented the paper "Desripiadores: Industrial Photography and the Memory of Worker's Resistance, Chile"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.tracesofnitrate.org/2018-Desripiadores-Industrial-Photography-and-the-Memory-of-Worker-s
 
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 Silvertown and Salitre: A Heritage of Global Capital 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Conference paper delivered by Louise Purbrick, Tangible-Intangible Hertiages, AMPS (Architecture-Media-Politics-Society), University of East London, 13-15 June, 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.tracesofnitrate.org/2018-Silvertown-and-Salitre-A-Heritage-of-Global-Capital
 
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 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 Visualizing the Impacts of AIM-listed Mining Firms 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Visualizing the Impacts of AIM-listed Mining Firms is a workshop organized by Louise Purbrick (University of Brighton) and Paul Gilbert (Sussex University) as part of the follow-up of the Traces of Nitrate project, University of Brighton 15th June (Room 502 Dorset Place) 1-5 pm

The purpose of this workshop is to share knowledge on, and map the influence and impact of, mining firms that are listed on the London Stock Exchange and its lightly-regulated subsidiary, the Alternative Investment Market.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.tracesofnitrate.org/2018-Visualizing-the-Impacts-of-AIM-listed-Mining-Firms