Offshoring Pathways

Plexiglass, copper wires, sodium nitrate, water, electricity, wind turbine, components
Tray: 130 x 200 x 10 cm, Turbine: 50 x 50 x 100 cm

Offshoring Pathways is an installation that contains saltpetre diluted in water, with positively and negatively electrified copper wires representing the maritime routes from Europe to the Northern ports of Chile. As the electrolysis process starts and the solution starts evaporating, an aerial image slowly appears in the pool during the exhibition time. Copper electrons are absorbed and released, colouring the ocean representation with blue-green, while the continent area is transparent due to the reduction process, thus taking the colour from the background pool. Slow changes due to water evaporation and oxidizing copper morph the crystal drawing according to the different configurations of its elements.

This piece includes a small sculptural wind turbine, in order to provide the required electricity. This wind turbine is installed either close to a ventilation system inside the exhibiting space, or fixed outside under air-current conditions. As an option, the energy would be stored in a 12v battery. This turbine has been realized in collaboration with Lab:Present, at the Technische Universität-Berlin and printed in 3D by BigRep Studios.

This is an artwork that, through a chemical method and a crystallisation process, illustrates the energy configuration of the saltpetre zeitgeist: the sea-spray oxidation, the ripples left on the ocean surface by the wind vessels wake, the wind force over the ocean, the power of the sodium nitrate chemical bonds between science, warfare and agriculture, and the importance that these elements have had since the 19th century.

Technical assistance: Michele Galletti and Carlo Crovato

  • Exhibited in 2014 at El Museo de Los Sures, New York, USA
  • Exhibited in 2017 at CNB Contemporánea as part of Bienalsur, Buenos Aires, Argentina


  • Michelle Galletti on Offshoring Pathways, 2014 – view PDF (English)
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