Terra Ignota Forum 2023/24

Terra Ignota Forum (TIF) is a field laboratory that seeks to develop and implement a contemporary archive on the so-called “intercultural contact zone” (Selk’nam, Kawesqar and Yagán) located in Yendegaia National Park (YNP). The project is deployed in two stages, the first is the continuation of our interdisciplinary research in the territory and field forum (2023). The process and research will be documented and published in different media, individual artistic projects developed further and presented in the second stage to the public beginning of 2024 at the Universidad de Magallanes, Punta Arenas.

The first stage – Field Trip #04 and forum – builds on the results and archaeological findings of the previous Field Trip #3 in 2021 and approaches the territory in 3 transdisciplinary groups from 3 different directions. We will continue the search for cultural traces as well the work on individual project objectives. For the Forum, an extended group of artists, scientists, curators and the local communities will gather on site and reflect about the findings and results of the Field Trips and their implications. You can read more about the background, participants and objectives here.
The Field Trip #04 is taking place in joint partnership with the Terra Ignota – Sonic Islands project, enabled by the Goethe Institut International Coproduction Funds.

TIF 2023 background

For years, the pass between Yendegaia and Admiralty Sound had been the subject of attention as a possible “Indian pass”, a route of communication between the different ethnic groups that passed through these areas. This had been attested to by the English missionaries Thomas Bridges and Fred Lawrence at the end of the 19th century when they noted the presence of Kawesqar and Selk’nam arriving from the western mountains to the mission enclave. But such a move may have been motivated precisely by the existence of the mission. Anne Chapman had argued that the southwestern boundary of the Selk’nam was the impassable Azopardo River. On the other hand, the artist and explorer Rockwell Kent describes a characteristic construction of canoe hunter-gatherers halfway from Yendegaia to Bahía Blanca. The discovery made by the Terra Ignota team in March 2021, an archaeological site with non-local worked lithic material about ten kilometers from Bahía Blanca, proves the existence of this pass, but raises new and intriguing questions about the producers of this evidence and the real possibility of a point of contact between the three ancestral ethnic groups; Selk’nam, Kawesqar and Yagán. 

However, this is not an easy passage today, nor should it have been in the past, especially if it was made by entire families, like those in Bridges’ and Lawrence’s account. It remains to define the age and characteristics of the movements in order to better understand the local human geography. Yendegaia is a bay littered with sites; we are not sure if something similar occurred at the other end of the Indian Pass. There are archaeological sites scattered widely throughout these bays and inlets, but we do not yet know the other elements of the exchange process on the “pass of communication” that we are beginning to glimpse through our findings.

The idea of this exploration in the “intercultural contact zone” is to collect information and record dialogues in situ with the different actors involved with regard to cultural and natural objects and subjects. Beyond the apparent aim of testing the doubts suggested above, it is important to analyze in an interdisciplinary group the potentialities of the cross-fertilisation of knowledge and the theoretical development of the idea of a museum park (contemporary archive). 

At the same time, individual research projects will be carried out in the territory related to different aspects of archaeological research, the particular environmental conditions, their ethnocultural implications and the search for new forms of representation of local, scientific, artistic and museographic knowledge.

We will access the territory in 3 groups from different directions:
Route 1:
Access route from Yendegaia. Possible access route from the Yagan community to Bahía Blanca.
You can follow group 01 in realtime here from March 3rd on.
Route 2:
Land access by Route Y-85. Descent to Lapataia Valley on foot by the walkable access route.
You can follow group 02 here from March 1st on.
Route 3:
Almirantazgo Sound – Parry Fjord. This maritime access route to Bahia Blanca.

Rodrigo Munzenmayer (CL) 

I am a park ranger in charge of research and public use in Karukinka Park. I have been there since 2011. Director of Tourism at Fundación Hach Saye since 2022. I love the biodiversity of Tierra del Fuego, especially its bird life and its ancestral culture.


Paula Urdangarin (CL)

An itinerant lawyer, she has lived in various parts of Chile (including Puerto Williams and Punta Arenas) and South America.
With experience in various areas of law, she is passionate about the relationship between people and their environment, the care of the environment and the promotion of clean energy.
She is currently a member of the Chilean Geothermal Council, to integrate and raise awareness of grassroots renewable energies (which do not require any injection of fossil fuels to operate).

Juan Carlos Solari (CL)

Audiovisual producer for 30 years, documentary work in the last 10 years, currently Director of the communications area of Fundación Prisma Austral, carrying out several scientific campaigns in the Southern Andes, and documentaries of the Magallanes region.

Iván Flores (CL)

Iván Flores Arancibia (1978) is an academic and director of the Instituto de Artes Visuales and Galería Réplica at the Universidad Austral de Chile. PhD in Philosophy from the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, and Master in Contemporary Thought from the Universidad de Valladolid, he is also in charge of programming and curatorial work at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo UACh Valdivia. His work lies on the frontiers between philosophy, visual arts, media and visual studies, cultural management, archiving, the body, new extractivisms, artistic research and creation. He has been an Erasmus Mundus ECW (2009-2010) and CONICYT (2011-2015) fellow, researcher at the Centro de Experimentación Artística La Escocesa (2019-2020), assistant professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (2012-2019) and curator at the Centro de Cultura y Memoria El Born in Barcelona (2019-2021). He has proposed curatorials at MAC Universidad de Chile (2022), Ars Electronica Austria (2020-2022), Galería Réplica (2019-2023), FIFVAL (2022). Has been principal investigator in several projects, including “Cartografías del Entre” (VIDCA 2021-2022), “Los Seminarios de Ronald Kay” (FONDART 2022-2023) and “Memoria Visual de Germán Arestizábal” (2022-2023). He has exhibited artistic creation processes such as “Arqueología de la mutación” (Austria, 2020) and “Lañilawal” (Austria, 2022). Editor of the Archivism project of Galería Réplica / Ecfrasis and Centro Cultural de España. Researcher responsible for institutional projects such as Archivo Regional de Artes, Los Ríos, I Etapa (2021), UACh-CECREA agreement (2020-2023), Fondo de Patrimonio Audiovisual 2023, Programa Territorios en Suspenso 2021-2023, Programa de Residencias MINCAP-UACh 2023. Has published in specialized magazines such as ARTNODES, the book-object Cronogramas de una revuelta (2022, Almacén Editorial) and is currently working on the books De la Metaxologia (Metales Pesados, 2023), Cartografías del Entre (Ecfrasis, 2023) and Diferencias tecnológica y happening extendido en Ronald Kay (Almacén Editorial, 2023).

Claudia Gonzalez (CL)

Claudia Gonzalez Vidal, Ursula Calderon’s granddaughter and Martin Gonzalez’s daughter, great connoisseurs of their culture. Traditional yagan artisan, I have traveled to national and international fairs exhibiting yagan culture. I live in the city of Puerto Williams, I am a member of the yagan community.

Robert Carracedo Recasens (ES)

Archaeologist specialising in hunter-gatherer societies of the Southern Cone of America and funerary practices. Graduated in Archaeology in 2014, Master in Prehistoric Archaeology and PHD in Prehistoric Archaeology from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the University of Cantabria. He is currently a Visiting Professor and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Universidad Austral de Chile, where he is developing research and exploration projects in the Pampa del Tamarugal and the Inland Sea of Última Esperanza.


Florencia Curci (AR)

She works in Buenos Aires as a curator, radio and sound artist. Her research is based on the notions of noise and rhythm as relative concepts that shape perception, communication and subjectivation. She is interested in cooperations and in opening spaces of encounter through sound and listening. Her work has been commissioned by the Centro Cultural Kirchner, the Cultural San Martín [AR], Medialab Prado [ES], Tsonami [CL], Aural Festival [MX], Kunst Radio [AT] and Mayhem [DK], among others. Florencia completed her studies in Expanded Music at UNSAM and completed the Artists Program at the Torcuato Di Tella University, and since 2017 she has been directing CASo – Centro de Arte Sonoro, a program of the National Ministry of Culture, within which Radio CASo operates.