The Prediction of Tarapacá

Copper, metal, solar panels, PCB Boards, electric circuit, compass
44 x 400 cm, variable height

Possibly the biggest and oldest anthropomorphic geoglyph in the world, The Giant of Tarapacá (19º56’58.26’’ S 69º38’03.85’’ W) is an approx. 86m-high human figure created on the west slope of an isolated hill in the middle of the Atacama Desert, in Chile. The exact origin and representation of this creation is still unknown, but it is believed to be Tunupa, an ancient deity known for arranging the upper and lower worlds and to have power to fertilize the arid land. It is also estimated to be an early astronomical calendar that indicated the rainy seasons.

In one way or the other, this figure—as all of the many Andean geoglyphs—was created to sacralise the landscape on which caravan rituality took place, from the Andes Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, before the European invasion.

Situated in a land where copper exploitation stemmed since before the influence of the Incan empire, the figure of the Giant of Tarapacá has been honoured here by using its geometric paths to carry a burst of electricity generated by a solar-engine circuit.

By placing a compass in the hand of the figure, the circuit, when triggered, deviates slightly and momentarily the magnetic field of the compass.

Copper is then orchestrating a reenacted rituality in time and space.

  • Exhibited at Stiftelsen 3,14, Bergen, Norway and Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende, Santiago, Chile
  • Florian Wüst on The Prediction of Tarapacá, 2014 – view PDF (English)
  • Michele Galletti on The Prediction of Tarapacá, 2014 – view PDF (English)
  • Block Mágicovideo published by,  November 2014
  • 2015 – Block Mágico/Magic Block
    Editors: Soledad García Saavedra/Brandon LaBelle
    Catalogue published as an extension of the exhibition Magic Block (Bergen/Santiago, 2014)
    Published by Errant Bodies Press, Berlin, Germany
    Errant Bodies Press, 2015, Spanish/English, Hardback, 215pp, full color, ISBN: 978-0-9889375-3-6
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