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Terra Ignota Forum 2024
Facultades de Ingeniería y Ciencias, Universidad de Magallanes 
Manuel Bulnes 01855, Punta Arenas

Exhibition March 13 – June 13 (Opening, March 13 7 p.m.) (details >>>)
Forum March 13 – 15 (program details >>>)

Terra Ignota Forum (TIF) proposes a multidimensional approach developed around the discovery of the Zone of Intercultural Contact (ZCI) in 2021 in Yendegaia National Park by the Terra Ignota team. This discovery confirmed the existence of a passage between the Beagle Channel (Yendegaia Bay) and Almirantazgo Sound (Bahía Blanca) through the Darwin Range, a point of contact between three ancestral ethnic groups that used to pass through this area: Selk’nam, Kawésqar and Yagán.

With the support of the Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Heritage, the Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, the Goethe-Institut International Co-Production Fund and others, TIF is a field laboratory that seeks to develop and implement a contemporary archive on the so-called “intercultural contact zone”. With an interdisciplinary methodology strongly rooted in the site, the team of artists, scientists, curators, producers and members of the local Chilean and international communities studies the relationships between culture, nature, knowledge and their different forms of representation. Rather than considering heritage as a static commodity to be archived in museums, TIF emphasises its preservation through creative actions and lasting, dynamic engagement.

After collaborations with institutions such as the Ethnological Museum Vienna (Weltmuseum Wien) and the Museum of Contemporary Art Santiago (MAC), the first TIF field lab and forum in Yendegaia National Park in March 2023, the geographical mirrored experience with the field lab in Northern Germany (Rügen, September 2023) and the knowledge transfer and training programme at La Leñera Cultural Centre in Valdivia (December 2023), the different lines of activities – which include fieldwork, research, artistic production, mediation and education – now converge in the Terra Ignota Forum hosted by the Universidad de Magallanes in Punta Arenas.

In a dynamic format that mixes exhibitions, workshops, presentations, concerts, talks, broadcast on radio and television, the research and results of the project will be presented, inviting critical examination of a place in transformation. The centrepiece of the exhibition, a vast field of stones from the region, serves as our map and orientation through facts and findings, tales and stories, thoughts and speculations.

With contributions from:
Aladino del Carmen Salas faciliator Alberto García archaeologist Alberto Harambour historian Alessandra Burotto journalist Alfredo Prieto archaeologist Adrian Silva anthropologist Angélica Castelló artist Aymara Zegers artist Catalina Montero art historian Carsten Stabenow curator Christian Oyarzún programmer Claudia Augustat anthropologist Claudia Gonzalez activist Yagán Community Consuelo Spencer psychoanalyst Cristian Espinoza artist, architect Daniela Gimenez producer Daniel Tirado programmer Diego Ahumada restorer Diego Cortés sculptor, editor Elcira Hernández Walton activista Yagán Erika López Marine marine biologist Katty López Soto producer Eric Mattson curator Federico Stäger geologist, writer Fernanda Olivares activist Selk’nam community Florencia Curci artist Francisca Gabler journalist Gerd Sielfeld geologist Garret Linn-Benítez, technical advisor Hema’ny Molina, poet and activist Selk’nam community Hernán Gómez legal advisor Ignacio del Real illustrator Inti Gallardo producer Ivan Flores Philosopher Jacqueline Puratich geologist Jaime Mora engineer Jan Vormann artist Jasmine Guffond artist Joaquín Almonacid anthropologist Joali Paredes volcanologist Jorge Gibbons zoologist José Luis Marchante historian, economist Juan Pablo Cellanes programmer Juan Carlos Solari audiovisual director Juan Pablo Letelier geologist Julio Contreras doctor Julia González activist Yagán community Kerstin Ergenzinger artist Leyla Cárdenas marine biologist Lilian Riquelme producer Luciano Lavín welder Luis González gastronomic researcher Maan D’hamers marine biologist Marc Asensi engineer Marcelo Peña sound engineer María Jesus Roman artist Mario Campos animation artist Marisol Palma historian María Luisa Murillo photographer Mauricio Massone archeologist Micol Favini designer Miguel Ángel Escalonilla engineer Miguel Cáceres artist Mirko Petrovic artist, programmer Nicolás Spencer artist Osvaldo Sotomayor architect Pablo Schalscha artist Paola Grendi anthropologist Paul Gründorfer artist Paula Urdangarin lawyer Raviv Ganchrow artist René Rissland architect Roberto Carracedo archaeologist Rodrigo Munzenmayer park ranger Sara Demartini marine biologist Thierry Dupradou photographer Tomás Elgueta luthier Sergio Contreras engineer Valentina Montero curator Víctor Mazón Gardoqui artist Viviana Méndez poet

TIF UACh 2023

The Terra Ignota Forum (TIF) is a knowledge transfer and training program with the communities of the Magallanes Region and Chilean Antarctica. The project was developed around the discovery of the Intercultural Contact Zone (ICZ) found in 2021 in Yendegaia National Park by the Terra Ignota team. The discovery confirmed the existence of a passage between between the Beagle Channel (Yendegaia bay) and the Admiralty Sound  across the Darwin Range, a point of contact between three ancestral ethnic groups that used to pass through this area: the Selk’nam, Kawésqar and Yagán communities. 

Past editions of the Terra Ignota Forum took place in the remote Cordillera Darwin itself, the geographical and culturally inverted agro-industrial region of northern Germany (Rügen), and collaborated with institutional complexities of the Ethnological Museum of Vienna and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Santiago (MAC). The new edition of this program is taking place in Valdivia between the 11th and 16th of December at the Centro Cultural La Leñera. In Exhibitions, workshops, talks and discussions, open kitchen, greenhouses, radio broadcasts, readings, weavings, concerts and listening sessions we questioning the entanglements of physical and cultural environments.

Carried out with the support of the Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Heritage, the Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation and the Institute of Visual Arts of the UACh, Terra Ignota Forum proposes to conceive spaces as dynamic and adaptable fields with the power to regenerate and reprogram themselves in relation to those who inhabit them, emphazising the importance of exchange and participation in creating and shaping reality. 

With: Florencia Curci, Tomas Elgueta, Ivan Flores, Vivana Méndez, Jesús Román, Adrián Silva, Pablo Schalscha, Nicolás Spencer, Gabriela Urrutia, Jan Vormann a.o.


Thursday 14 dec

14h opening

15h sit-down lunch
menu: sopaipilla and conversation with Adrián Silva “This was the woodshed”

16h unpicking patterns #5
textile activism workshop with Viviana Méndez
+ radio conversation

Friday 15th dec

15h weird radios workshop
radio techniques to postpone the end of the world

19h cooking
conversation with artistic organizations +
shared quick lentils (bring your own concoctions)

Saturday 16 dec

16h (in)appropriate space and uncertain futures
coffee-forum with the local artistic community
+ active textile space: unstitching patterns #5
+ t-shirt printing club de amigos del jardín botánico (print your t-shirt!)

We look forward to seeing you! Free admission 

General coordination: Florencia Curci, Nicolás Spencer 
Forum Coordination: Cristian Espinoza, Iván Flores, Viviana Méndez, Pablo Schalscha
Editing: Florencia Curci, Tomás Elgueta, Pablo Ojeda, Nicolás Spencer, Jan Vormann

Aladino del CarmenSalas (CL)

A taxi driver from Punta Arenas, making tourist trips, travelling more than 700 km a day. He knows the terrestrial but also the marine territory with more than 25 years of experience sailing in fishing and factory vessels, Japanese squid-ships (which are called Jail Vessels). Aladino is a great connoisseur of the land and its people.

Katty López Soto (CL)

Terra Ignota Forum’s Production Manager

Actress graduated from Teatro Escuela La Matriz de Valparaíso. Graduate in Scenic Studies, Universidad Mayor de Santiago de Chile. Master in Scenic Practice and Visual Culture, Universidad Castilla-La Mancha, Madrid Spain.

Her interest is focused on the development of practical research processes in performing arts, mainly associated with the areas of acting and directing.

Produces and manages artistic and training projects among which are considered Colaboraciones en Distancia / Fuego Acciones en cemento/ Encuentro MIXTAS.

Produces and co-directs the Centro de Investigación Teatro la Peste de Valparaíso, a space with 25 years of experience in stage creation.She is currently one of the resident artists at Teatro La Memoria, in charge of the direction and general production of the plays Inextinguible and Inmolar.

Erika López (CL)

Terra Ignota Forum production assistant

Marine Biologist graduated from Universidad de Valparaíso, currently studying the postgraduate Master’s in Oceanography program, which is taught jointly by the Universidad de Valparaíso and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. Her professional development has been linked to research work, in conjunction with the Universidad de Valparaíso and the Instituto de Fomento Pesquero (Fisheries Development Institute) with a focus on the characterization of reproductive aspects in different species of hake. In addition, she’s part of the research team of the Centro de Investigación Teatro La Peste Research, given that her scientific work has been linked to investigative lines of artistic creation, providing advice on environmental issues. Currently, also maintains her research work associated with the Facultad de Ciencias del Mar de la Universidad de Valparaíso and it’s a member of the Suma Qamaña consulting firm.

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 and from Musikfonds e.V.

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 shelter 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.
Route 2:
Land access by Route Y-85. Descent to Lapataia Valley on foot by the walkable access route.
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.