Caliche Crystals

by Michelle-Marie Letelier

Caliche Crystals is part of a long-term project called Caliche Winds, which explores the historical trade and windsailing maritime route of sodium nitrate (natural saltpetre), or locally called “caliche”.

Since 2016, Caliche Crystals has been developing as a close collaboration with visual artist Kalma; with scientific advise from Lab:Present (TU – Berlin) and Parallax Lab (UDK-Berlin). This collaboration is currently conceiving outputs, where the central concept is the experiencing of saltpetre crystals formations, in dialogue with architectural spaces and historical narratives.

In 2019, a new performance including an organ improvisation by Nils Henrik Asheim was commissioned by Screen City Biennial at the Stavanger Concert Hall in Norway.

Caliche Crystals extends a real-time perception of the dynamic and symmetric growth of sodium nitrate crystals. It suggests a reflection about the molecular geometry of this resource, which has been subject to scientific controversy regarding its natural sedimentation in the Atacama Desert: it is not clear if it has been formed by marine dew and oxidation, or as a consequence of the volcanic activity.

Tags abstract, digital, landscape, large format, multimedia, public space, research
Technique Scenic arts (Performance,...)

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