2023 – activities

Beginning of 2023 we plan two main interrelated activities – an interdisciplinary expedition to Cordillera Darwin and the Terra Ignota Forum.

Terra Ignota Forum (TIF) is an international 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 (2023) and the second (2024) will be the mediation and discussion of the results and findings in the premises of the Universidad de Magallanes, where the TIF Archive will be located. The project is made possible by the Public Science Fund of the Chilean Ministry of Science.

For our project proposal SONIC ISLANDSa mirrored research project between Tierra del Fuego and the island of Rügen (Germany) in spring 2023 we received a grant from the International Coproduction Fund of Goethe Institut and from Musikfonds e.V.

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2022 – TERRA IGNOTA at Weltmuseum within the framework of the TAKING CARE project

Terra Ignota was invited to participate in residence at Weltmuseum within the framework of the TAKING CARE project, a research carried out between September 20 and November 10. October 2023 Planning to show their results in the “Extinction!?” exhibition that will take place in the Weltmuseum between February 2023 and January 2024. Fernanda Olivares, from the Selk’nam Covadonga Ona Community in Chile, and Nicolás Spencer, artist, participated in the program in collaboration with Claudia Augustat, curator of the South American collection at the Weltmuseum. The idea of this residency was to work with the objects belonging to the collection obtained by Martin Gusinde and think about new forms of museographic perception in connection to the discussion around extinction of the Selk’nam and their recognition now, as a living Community in Chile. This research will be continued with field work in Bahía Blanca, Cordillera de Darwin in February next year under participation of Weltmuseum.

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Edmundo Mansilla, Vice Rector(s) of Outreach of the Universidad de Magallanes and Verena Lehmkuhl, Director of Goethe Institut – Chile, are pleased to invite you to the Conversatory “Terra Ignota” to be held on Thursday, June 2 at 16.30 hrs in the Ernesto Livacic Auditorium of the Universidad de Magallanes. Presentations will be made by Alfredo Prieto, Nicolás Spencer and Carsten Stabenow.

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2022 – TI exhibition @ MAC

From May 3rd to July 26th, 2022 we will show the results of the last years of work at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (MAC) Santiago.

The TI exhibition consists of sculptural/spatial installations, sound- and and media works based on transdisciplinary research. The exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive archive of research results, papers, further reading material, a digital platform and a discursive program.

TI is the result of a sustained collaboration of people from artistic and scientific world in close conjunction with the local native communities of the Region of Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica.

With contributions by:
Terra Ignota Aladino del CarmenSalas transportista Alberto García arqueólogo Alberto Harambour historiador Alessandra Burotto periodista Alfredo Prieto arqueólogo Angélica Castelló artista Catalina Montero historiadora del arte Carsten Stabenow curador Christian Oyarzún programador Claudia Augustat antropóloga  Consuelo Spencer psicoanalista Diego Ahumada restaurador Diego Cortés escultor, montajista Eric Mattson, curador Federico Stäger escritor Gerd Sielfeld geólogo  Garret Linn-Benítez, asesor técnico Hema’ny Molina, poeta y activista Comunidad Selk’nam Hernán Gómez, asesor jurídico Ignacio del Real, ilustrador Inti Gallardo, productora Jacqueline Puratich, geóloga Jaime Mora ingeniero Joali Paredes vulcanóloga Jorge Gibbons zoólogo José Luis Marchante historiador, economista Juan Pablo Letelier geólogo Julia González activista Comunidad Yagán Lilian Riquelme productora Luciano Lavín soldador Luis González investigador gastronómicoMarc Asensi ingeniero Marcelo Peña sonidista Marisol Palma historiadora María Luisa Murillo fotógrafa Mauricio Massone arqueólogo Micol Favini diseñadora Miguel Ángel Escalonilla ingeniero Mirko Petrovic Artista, programadorNicolás Spencer artista Osvaldo Sotomayor arquitecto Paola Grendi antropóloga Paul Gründorfer artista Raviv Ganchrow artista René Rissland arquitecto Roberto Carracedo arqueólogo Thierry Dupradou fotógrafo Tomás Elgueta luthier Sergio Contreras ingeniero en patrimonio Valentina Montero curadora Víctor Mazón Gardoqui artista  Viviana Méndez poeta

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2021 – field trip #03

Almost 100 years ago the artist and explorer Rockwell Kent crossed the Baldivia Chain between Seno Almirantazgo and the Beagle Channel via the Lapataia Valley. His documentation* of the landscape and climate is one of the first descriptions of this passage and serves as an important historic reference. Especially interesting in our context is his perspective as an artist becoming an explorer – sensing, registering, translating and documenting in an unconventional way.

The intention of the research trip February 15 – March 5 2021 under the scientific direction of Alfredo Prieto 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 described, traces that would connect the ancestors of the Yagán community with the Kawesqar and Selk’nam in the Almirantazgo 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 search for cultural footprints is one of our goals, this expedition along the Kent Pass will also deal with the impact of climate change in this region and will continue the general search for the potential of interaction between art and science for knowledge production and mediation.
We’ll also continue the collection of materials for the exhibition that will be organized jointly with artist Nicolás Spencer in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago (October 2021).

*Rockwell Kent, Voyaging, Southward from the Strait of Magellan, G.P. Putnam’s Sons/The Knickerbocker Press, 1924

Nicolas Spencer (CL/AT)Alfredo Prieto (CL)Carsten Stabenow (DE)Raviv Ganchrow (US/IL/NL), Thierry Dupradou (FR), Mirko Petrovich (CL), Sofia Balbontin (CL), Rene Rissland (DE), Jost Bradtke (DE), Jacqueline Puratich (CL)

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2020 – Terra Australis Ignota Research Group @ Ars Electronica

In 2018, Terra Australis Ignota Research Group (TARIG) – Alessandra Burotto (CL), Paula Lopez Wood (CL), Víctor Mazón Gardoqui (ES/DE), Alfredo Prieto (CL), Gerd Sielfeld (CL) and Nicolas Spencer (CL/AT) – traveled to Cape Horn, the southernmost continental island in the world before Antarctica.

Ars Electronica 2020 – In Kepler’s Gardens platform will present a translation of that trip under the title Achæoscillator_Towards incorporeal forms of sensing listening and gaze.

Achæoscillator displays the drastic weather conditions of the southernmost island in the world on a virtualized representation of the end/beginning of the Americas. A one-person experience, where the research presents traces and connections between the ancestors of the Yagán community, the Kawesqar and Selk’nam and the Antarctic, Scotia and South America continental plates, offering an inestimable and uncontrollable source of Gaia’s power.

Next to the Achæoscillator project there will be a film documentation of the trip to Cape Horn, a publication of scientific papers and a round table of the participants.

Terra Australis Ignota Research Group (TARIG) is part of the Terra Ignota platform.

2019 – field trip #02

From 7 to 22 December 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.

Nicolas Spencer (CL/AT)Alfredo Prieto (CL), Diego Cortés (CL), Elisita Balbontin (CL), Valentina Montero (CL), Gerd Sielfeld (CL), Dominga del Campo (CL), Joali Paredes-Mariño (VEN)

2019 – field trip #01

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.

Main stations along the route were the former oil-worker settlements Cerro Sombrero and Campamento Puerto Percy established by ENAP (Empresa Nacional del Petróle) in the 50s. Porvenir, the biggest Chilean city in Tierra del Fuego, the national park and research center Karukinka, Estancia Caleta Maria at Seno Almirantazgo and Casa Museo Alberto Baeriswyl in Puerto Yartou.

Nicolas Spencer (CL/AT), Alfredo Prieto (CL), Lisa Lurati (CH), Carsten Stabenow (DE), Eric Mattson (CA)

2016-18 – Terra Australis Ignota / Polar

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.

A detailed documentation of “Terra Australis Ignota / El Comienzo del Mundo” project can be found here >>>.

Nicolas Spencer (CL/AT)Paul Gründorfer (AT)Eric Mattson (CA)Diego Cortés (CL), Diego Ahumada (CL), Adina Secretan (CH), Angelica Castello (MX/AT),  Mario de Vega (MX/DE)Rosa Menkman (NL)Victor Mazón (ES)