The most urgent environmental challenges for Karukinka/Tierra del Fuego are related to the sea and the coastline. Though the creation of marine reserves and other governance strategies are underway, pressing, cross-continental activity such as transportation, tourism, natural resources extraction, and the fishing industry create tremendous pressure on the health of local, multi-species, coastal communities. These activities, their regulation, and their relation to climate change is the focus for Ensayo #4.
Due to the global economy, but also to the intercontinental scope of the concerns of the scientists, artists, and Fuegians that initially constituted the core group of researchers, Ensayo #4 is modelled on the dynamics of whale pods. A whale pod usually consists of a group of whales that have bonded together either for biological reasons (i.e. mother bearing and caring for child) or through friendships. A typical whale pod can consists of 2 to 30 whales, though sometimes they are much larger. In some circumstances, such as during mating season or in areas where there is an abundance of food, thousands of whales may gather together, separating back into their smaller pods once they’ve finished participating in the event. The social behaviours of whales can vary dramatically from species to species, but whales that live and travel in a pod often hunt together using sophisticated and collaborative hunting methods.
Ensayo #4 research pods exist in Tierra del Fuego, Northern Norway, New York, and Australia. The artists, scientists, and academics involved in each pod meet at irregular intervals to cross examine identity, history, geography, language, and law in connection with the management of resources related to water, the sea, and the coastline in each of their respective archipelagos.
Since 2015, the pods have meet in different constellations. Once in Spitsbergen, Norway, twice in Tierra del Fuego, once in New York, and next in Australia for joint residency periods.
To understand environmental changes require sound science, while making choices regarding the management of our seas, waters, and coastlines, also involves ethics, aesthetics and critical perspectives.
Climate and environmental research perspectives extended over long periods of time, creating vast amounts of abstract and complex data. This valuable information, however, sometimes contributes to making it difficult to deal with the present ecological crisis on a human scale. By connecting artistic research and the natural sciences to specific locations, people, objects, languages, and animals, we believe that Ensayos can create values through which new ways of protecting the environment may occur in the present.
The coastal cultures of Northern Norway, Tierra del Fuego, and Tasmania, so called “peripheral areas”, are rich in natural resources and represent “the last wilderness”, this contributes to their premiums and their vulnerability. Referred to as biodiversity hot spots due to their closeness to the Arctic and Antarctic, these archipelagos face similar geopolitical issues, yet they differ greatly in their governance strategies. This makes them, and their colonial histories, comparatively complex, which is why a goal for Ensayo #4 is to establish cooperation between the pods: too think and act together, learn from each other, and propose sustainable solutions that are long term.
Along the coast and interior waters of the archipelagos of Lofoten, Tierra del Fuego, Tasmania and New York.
Through an emerging hydro-feminist practice of exploring beyond the possible.
Bárbara Saavedra, ecologist (TIERRA DEL FUEGO)/ Daniela Droguett, marine biologist (TIERRA DEL FUEGO)/ Christy Gast, artist (NEW YORK)/ Sarita Gálvez, educator (AUSTRALIA)/ Geir Tore Holm, artist (NORWAY)/ Søssa Jørgensen, artist (NORWAY)/ Camila Marambio, curator (AUSTRALIA; TIERRA DEL FUEGO)/ Denise Milstein, writer, Sociologist (NEW YORK)/ Randi Nygård, artist (NORWAY)/ Karolin Tampere, curator (NORWAY)/ Cecilia Vicuña, artist (NEW YORK).