Caliche Crystals – performance

2018 – 2019

microscope, saltpetre, videomapping
in collaboration with Kalma

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”.

In 2014, saltpetre crystals were grown over a period of a week in a saturated solution and then photographed using a digital macro lens.

From 2016 to 2018, Caliche Crystals developed in collaboration with visual artist Kalma and the scientific advise from Lab:Present at the TU – Berlin. This collaboration conceived outputs, where the central concept is the experiencing of saltpetre crystals formations, in dialogue with architectural spaces and historical narratives.

In 2018, three new series from a selection of microscopic captures were produced in the frame of the Festival of Lights. One of these captures was projected towards one of the highest buildings in Berlin, the Telefunken. To see a video-documentation, please click here.

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. To see a video-documentation, please click here.

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.

Performed at:
– 2018,  Telefunken building, Festival of Lights, Berlin, Germany
– 2019,  Orgelnatt – Screen City Biennial, Stavanger Concert Hall, Norway

Microscope supporter: Bresser

Caliche Crystals
Caliche Crystals