Please, accept cookies in order to load the content.

Environmental semiotics

In the race for the ‘underground frontier’, the Atacama Desert is a unique planetary attractor. Due to its mineral riches, it has been systematically destroyed by the multiple cycles of mining that have ravaged the desert since colonisation, from silver and gold, to nitrates, copper and now lithium. With each mining boom come new forms of land appropriation, new forms of environmental destruction, and new forms of violence towards the peoples and beings of the desert. Biologist Lynn Margulis argues that instead of competition, it is alliance and symbiosis that are at the heart of creative evolution. Environmental semiotics allows us to trace some of these shifting relations of coexistence. The pink colour that permeates the installation is one such semiotic register, moving from mineral to bacteria, from there to algae and ultimately to the feathers of flamingos. The colour is a marker for material relations of coexistence.

Interviews

Symbiosis, affinity and unnatural alliances are the topics of the multi-screen installation emerging from work by the Lithium Triangle Studio as part of the MA Environmental Architecture, Royal College of Art, London, and its collaboration with the Atacama Desert Foundation in Chile. Interviews with Alonso Barros, Cristina Dorador and Rolando Humire look at the pressure of extractivism over different ecologies of existence in the Atacama.

 

Please, accept cookies in order to load the content.

Please, accept cookies in order to load the content.

Please, accept cookies in order to load the content.

Soundtrack and animation

Musician Nicolás Jaar contributes a speculative soundscape recreating the elusive ‘voices’ of bacteria that can be heard at moments of drastic temperature shifts in Salar de Llamara. At the centre of the intervention is an animation in which Mingxin Li explores the unique stromatolites – sedimentary rocks produced over 3.5 billion years by the accumulation of layer upon layer of cyanobacteria – as monumental environmental architectures.

Please, accept cookies in order to load the content.

Lithium Dreams: Extraction in the Salar de Atacama (TNL! Lithium)

On Thursday 19 November 2020, Godofredo Enes Pereira will give a lecture about the consequences of lithium mining in the Atacama Desert in Chile. Entitled Lithium Dreams: Extraction in the Salar de Atacama, this is the first in a series of public activities related to Lithium and Thursday Night Live!. After a screening of the visual essay Lithium Dreams, Pereira further explains the themes of the installation in a conversation.

The discursive programme TNL! Lithium offers an in-depth addition to the exhibition that is now showing at Het Nieuwe Instituut. (Online) visitors can be recharged by the sustainable energy source of lectures and debates. In each event, they can learn more about the role that lithium plays in the different forms and aspects of burn-out that are covered by the exhibition; from raw material extraction to mental health and the so-called green energy landscape.

 

Marina Otero Verzier, Anastasia Kubrak
David Habets, Cameron Hu, Stefan Schäfer
Ina Hollmann
Katrin Bombe
Austin Redman