The intention of this trip March 27 – April 16 is to highlight the significance of indigenous traces present in Tierra del Fuego, inter-ethnic traces which are bio-cultural routes of the past (stemming from the exchange of goods and genes). In particular, we will explore potential indigenous cultural marks that Rockwell Kent saw, traces that would connect the ancestors of the Yagán community with the Kawesqar and Selk’nam in the Amirantazgo Seno area.
Despite their substantial archeological importance, there is currently no possibility to carry out full archeological studies since that would require excavation with the prior permission of the National Monuments Council. For now, an ethnographic survey will be carried out together with a multidisciplinary team in order to look for potential cultural traces that justify future excavation. To this end, we will be using non-conventional search tools and analyze the technical possibility of developing non-invasive prospecting instrumentation.
Although the Kent Pass is one of our goals, this expedition will also continue the search for cultural footprints located in other areas (via boat), the search for the potential of real interaction and explore the crossover between art and science, and concretion of the collection of materials for the exhibition that will organised jointly with artist Nicolás Spencer in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago (March-July 2021).
From 7 to 22December 2019, a second trip is going further south to sharpen possible research directions. On suggestion of the archaeologist Alfredo Prieto the group is intending to search for a possible prehistoric meeting place of the ancient tribes in the Bahia Blanca Valley.
The first field trip in the frame of the actual Terra Ignota project was carried out from 2 until 18 March 2019. Starting from Punta Arenas, the group traveled as far south as possible by car to the end point of the road constructions in the Cardon Central.
The aim of this first trip was mainly to get a bit more familiar with Tierra del Fuego – place, history and context and to define potential interesting locations and research questions.
Around 2015 Nicolas Spencer initiated a series of artistic explorations down to the most southern tip of the world under the working title “El Comienzo del Mundo – The Beginning of the World”. With different groups of artistst and scientists he traveled to remote places in Tierra del Fuego, the Beagle Channel, Cape Horn and Antartica.