Bosque Pehuén Residencies: Discover the selected projects for the Fire Ecologies cycle 2024

Five proposals were chosen out of one hundred and twenty applications to develop research and creation processes in Bosque Pehuén, a conservation area of the Mar Adentro Foundation (FMA) located in the Andean region of La Araucanía. Artists and scientists will be part of this new cycle organized by FMA in collaboration with the Interdisciplinary Center for Research and Artistic Creation of the University of La Frontera (CIICA-UFRO) and the Smart Forests project of the University of Cambridge.

Between March 11 and April 15, the Fire Ecologies residency cycle will take place, where artists and researchers Bárbara Acevedo, Pamela Iglesias, Fernanda López Quilodrán, Valeria Palma, and Gianna Salamanca will address narratives about uncertain futures, biocultural dimensions, ecofeminism, symbolic records of oxidation processes, flammability of tree species, and ethnoecological approaches to temperate rainforest ecosystems in the south.

Post-apocalyptic tales

Artist Bárbara Acevedo’s proposal involves creating a library of narrative tools to project fictions around an uncertain future related to the emergence of fire. She aims to establish connections with both the destructive force and the nourishing potential of this element. Her proposal also seeks to collect participatory tools for creating collective narratives as a mode of exploration.

Bárbara Acevedo Strange (CL-DE, 1993) is a visual designer and artist. Her work explores the relationship between (visual) language and the creation of realities, with a special interest in iconographic systems and their impact on how we perceive the world within certain structural frameworks.

The spider’s strategy

Artist Pamela Iglesias’ project includes a theoretical exploration of the relationships between women and fire from various perspectives, including those arising from the concept of the witch-woman and the links established with the natural environment as a source of knowledge. Iglesias will also develop an artistic work in weaving inspired by the Mapuche myth Lalen Kuze, which narrates the story of the first weaver and her connection to the initiation ritual of girls aspiring to become weavers that takes place around the home fire.

Pamela Iglesias (ARG-CL, 1977) holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (UC) and has participated in three biennials and various solo and group exhibitions in Chile and abroad. Her artistic production revolves around her biography, linked to gender issues, feminism, migration, and the periphery, crossing disciplines such as photography, video art, textiles, and installation, among others.

Breathing the fire

Fernanda López Quilodrán’s research proposes approaches to scientific and speculative conceptualizations of flames and delves into a series of questions about the understanding of fire as a living being. One of the questions she poses is, “Could we understand fire as a living entity if we share the same gases and oxidation process?” The proposal aims to generate a “methodology for caring for fire in relation to nature conservation,” exploring the importance of the gases we inhabit and breathe in interaction and comparison with data on carbon dioxide levels produced in forest fires in the summer of 2023.

Fernanda López Quilodrán (CL, 1991) is a visual artist, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Arts from UC, and a Master’s degree in Visual Arts from the University of Chile. Her research has focused on reflections that arise between the individual and the cultural, social, political, and natural context, focusing on the understanding of the living. She has participated in multiple residencies and biennials and has exhibited and projected her work in various countries.

Exploration of plant flammability

Valeria Palma’s research is based on the evaluation of the flammable characteristics of at least three tree species in Bosque Pehuen, seeking to measure ignitability, sustainability, combustibility, and consumability of species in the face of fire. Her project is also an extension of her thesis work addressing the aroma of plants in conjunction with science to determine how the chemical composition of aromatic compounds influences the fire behavior of a species.Valeria Palma (CL, 1996) recently graduated as a Natural Resources Engineer from the University of La Frontera. She has been part of the Ecosystems and Forests Laboratory (UFRO) since 2022, where she has worked alongside Dr. Andrés Fuentes Ramírez in the research line of Fire Ecology.


A biocultural perspective on fire mobility

Researcher Gianna Salamanca proposes to explore and reconstruct the cultural and environmental history of fire in the temperate rainforest ecosystem of La Araucanía. Focused on speculative, narrative, and biocultural practices, she will weave together histories, identities, forests, volcanoes, and bodies of water. Additionally, she will approach geographical frameworks of the region, such as administrative scales and current conservation categories in consideration of threats.

Gianna Salamanca (CL, 1986)
is a researcher and visual artist graduated from the University of Chile, holds a Master’s degree in Human Settlements and Environment from the Pontifical Catholic University, with postgraduate studies in Restoration and Environmental Rehabilitation of Terrestrial Ecosystems (U. of Chile) and Sustainable Heritage and Territorial Development (UC). She has worked as a socio-territorial analyst on Fondecyt projects on environmental conflicts and territorial recovery processes with indigenous communities. She is currently part of the doctoral program in Architecture and Urban Studies (UC), where she investigates the theoretical-practical formulation of hypothetical models for future scenarios, focused on the ecological and biocultural regeneration of mountain ecosystems.

About the 2024 Residency Cycle

During the residency period, the selected participants will have the support of the Mar Adentro Foundation team and researchers associated with the program, including the Agencia de borde, an artistic research collective; sociologist and Director of the Media, Culture, and Environment program in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge, Jennifer Gabrys; art historian and academic at the UC Institute of Aesthetics, Sophie Halart; and the geologist and academic at the Institute of Earth Sciences of the Austral University of Chile (UaCh), Álvaro González Reyes. From the UFRO, meanwhile, Dr. Carolina A. Navarrete G. Director of the CIICA project, doctor in Literature and Postdoc in Latin American studies, whose line of research corresponds to gender studies, elemental poetics and posthuman narratives in the literature of contemporary women.

The program will also include a “Field School” led by the Smart Forests research group in collaboration with FMA to study, create, and exchange digital practices related to forests. In this instance, the residents will explore technologies and forest practices in the context of the environmental problem posed by forest fires. Additionally, a series of public activities will be curated by the participants at the end of the program.