Eclipse Cycle of the Bosque Pehuén 2020 Program Wraps Up

This cycle included four participants: Elisa Balmaceda (visual artist), Sebastián Jatz (composer and bell ringer), Nicolás Aracena (architect and carpenter) and Hanna L. Kaljo (Estonian curator and writer). The participants carried out research from various perspectives on sound, the power of words and their connection to a territory, different ephemeral architectural explorations, and the use of trap cameras and obsidian rocks to explore the phenomenon of the solar eclipse and its effect over Bosque Pehuén.

Throughout the month in which the residents participated in the 2020 Bosque Pehuén Residency Program: Multidisciplinary Nature Research Station (from November 16 to December 16), they were able to research, share experiences, explore and deepen their learning with part of Fundación Mar Adentro’s (FMA) team and local partners.

The residency was especially meaningful not only because of the astrological phenomenon of December 14, but also because of the context of the socio-environmental and health crisis that we are currently living and which inevitably leads us to deeply rethink our relationship with nature. The explorations of the artists–three of them in Bosque Pehuén and one from Estonia–from different perspectives and disciplines approached this turning point for humanity which demands us to make changes.

Regarding the research carried out by the residents, Sebastián Jatz explored and exchanged experiences on new forms of “transparent sound” linked to the forest. Jatz developed musical pieces that cast a shadow on the sounds of the world and created a kind of map/puzzle within Bosque Pehuén.

Elisa Balmaceda researched on the material, symbolic and spiritual conjunction of the biosphere reserve as a whole living entity interconnected with the total solar eclipse and the observation of the landscape, achieving her goal of expanding her artistic practice around the landscape and ecology.

Likewise, Nicolás Aracena focused his research on ancestral furniture materials from the Araucanía Andina and carried out daily construction exercises, placing special emphasis on techniques and unions, using the coligüe (similar to the bamboo) and other local materials as the basis for his work.

Lastly, Hanna Laura Kaljo–who participated remotely from Estonia due to the current sanitary crisis–listened to the region’s oral tradition: sounds, images, feelings and functions of poetry in relation to Bosque Pehuén. Kaljo carried out her research through digital encounters with different local actors and members of the Foundation’s team on the subject of humid temperate forests and their conservation, the development of intercultural education and mapuzungun in educational establishments. She made initial connections between what she knows about the traditional Estonian approach to language, traditional reiglaul songs and the Mapuche tradition of the ül, as well as the relationship between poetry and conservation.

Hanna also reflected on the value of the forest from the point of view of the preservation of imagination, specifically in relation to children’s psychological development, which led to the creation of a poetry writing exercise guide for local schools.

We would like to thank the support of Carlos Mendoza (Conservation Advisor for Fundación Mar Adentro), Alejandra Carimán (intercultural education expert), Gloria Hortensia Mercado (mapuzungun teacher), Juan Ñanculef (Mapuche researcher and historian), Daniel Melnick (PhD in Geological Sciences), Etienne de France (Visual artist), Segundo Mendez and Graciela Villagrán (Bosque Pehuén caretakers) for sharing their valuable knowledge. In addition, thank you to Daniela Gaete and the Universidad Católica de Temuco, Escuela Quelhue, Escuela Palguín Bajo and Daniel Opazo from Explora for their collaboration.

About the residents:

Nicolás Aracena (Chile, 1984) architect, designer and independent carpenter. Founder of ARMÜ studio where he develops work based on self-fabrication and improvised carpentry, and whose work has been featured in: Chamber Gallery, New York (2015); Omi Art Center, Ghent New York (2016); and in the Lisbon Architecture Triennale (2019). He also conducts workshops on improvised carpentry and a combination of contemporary and artisanal manufacturing, among them: Chairs and Tables Workshop at the Collileufu Grande Community, Lago Budi, Puerto Saavedra (2019); Impro Carp Workshop at Omi Art Center, NY (2017); Bench Workshop, Festival sobre ruedas colectivo A77, Buenos Aires (2012).

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Elisa Balmaceda (Chile,1985) visual artist, audiovisual producer, teacher and researcher. Her work focuses on applying transdisciplinary practices to explore connections between the human and non-human through a material exploration of landscape, technology, time-space, the cyclical, ecology and environmental degradation. She has participated in various exhibitions and cultural projects in Chile and in Argentina, Colombia, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Serbia and the United States. She currently works as a teacher at the Universidad de Concepción in addition to collaborating with various institutions, artists and cultural media in workshops, creative projects and publications, among others.

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Sebastián Jatz Rawicz (Chile, 1980) composer, translator and bell ringer. Founder of arsomnis, where he carries out large-scale projects such as Musicircus, Reunion and ASLSP by John Cage, among many more. Jatz has performed various individual and collective site-specific interventions that use various experimental sound sources, intersecting timelessness, various disciplines and reflections from literary, philosophical and religious perspectives. He is also the founder of Campaneros de Santiago and a member of the Chusca collective, formed in November 2019 together with Fernanda Fábrega, Andrés Gaete and Bernardita Pérez.

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Hanna Laura Kaljo (1989, Estonia) works with words and interdisciplinary curatorial projects through a research-based approach. Writing both in her native Estonian and in English, she has explored the living presence of places, phenomena and inner worlds, as in Of Tongues in Shaded Streams (2020). Recent curatorial projects, such as Let the field of your attention…soften and spread out (Tallin, 2019), have taken the form of contemplative spaces, in dialogue with seasonal cycles and elemental movements. Kaljo has a Masters in Curation (2015) from Goldsmiths College, London, where her research was carried out in dialogue with the Faculty of Environmental Humanities. Her curatorial training also considered studies in Dance and Movement Psychotherapy.

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