Video digital. 4k.Stereo. 04:33 minutes. 2023

Diseño CGI: Li Cam Vega Escaneo 3d: Ronny Albuja Diseño Sonoro: Camille Enriquez

Commissioned by Museo de Arte Precolombino Casa del Alabado
The memory of those who inhabited this territory is still somehow imprinted, from the daily cooking of their food. These "writings" or traces are not only in the morphology, in the symbols or in the shapes drawn on the pre-Columbian vessels. They must also be scientifically located in a microscopic world, hidden in the remains of the molded clay that they embraced for decades to serve food and thus be able to read the memory of diets, agricultural practices and human interactions of that time.        
In a narrative that oscillates between documentary and science fiction, Hilum goes through the scientific process of finding starches in pre-Columbian pieces used for food preparation. The video plays with close-ups to make the viewer's approach feel so close as to look at the almost imperceptible. 3D models were used to give the sensation of processing the piece from the technology and a compilation of the starches found in the scientific process. The camera lenses created with magnifying glasses to achieve closeness and blur generate the sensation of something unknown, something that is there but cannot be seen, and thus represent the vibration of the material, the movement and morphological changes of the food over time.

The image visually goes through the ceramics of the pre-Columbian pieces giving value to the details of the same as if they were a geographical space to understand the processes linked to the territories. Visually, it will be possible to feel how the spectator is absorbed in a journey to the memory of the ceramics towards the interior of the same until arriving at the images of microscopic remains of starches.

Discovering in ceramics the symbiosis and relationship between food and scientific processes.

Hilum is a video that tells the story of the scientific exploration of the INPC research center to find starches from food samples in pre-Columbian pieces that were selected from the collection of the Alabado archaeological museum. It is presented as a sensory documentary where the scientific is told as a cooking recipe, where step by step the alchemy and transformation allows us to feel the encounter with the starches embedded in the vessels. To go from the vessel that contains a memory of symbols to a more concrete memory that is born from the hilum: the place where the starch begins to grow. Where the vessel is transformed into food.

Like rivers of fire
4:12 minutes. 2023

Lighting design: Fidel Eljuri
Sound recording: Nicola Cruz

On the banks of the majestic Cotopaxi mountain,
one fateful day in 1877, flora that had reigned over the ashes for centuries was destroyed by the wrath of a volcano.

Like rivers of fire, the pyroclastic torrents, sweeping everything in their path, leaving behind a landscape of destruction that still provokes memory today.

The explosion, powerful and noisy,shook the earth with its roar, announcing to the flora its powerand the fragility of time in the face of nature.

José (Territory and Memory)

1. José. 3 videos on panels. 8 minutes. 2023

2. José (Mirador). Video installation 5 TV sets. loop, blue flag and 10 archive boxes. 2017/2023 

3. José(networks). Videos from social networks of workers of the open pit mine Mirador. 2023

  • Exhibition installation at the Quito Contemporary Art Center 2023

  • Selected work for residency program Q21 Artists-in-Residence of MuseumsQuartier Wien, Austria. 2022

"when it is cold outside and the night is long, memory reminds us that we are not alone" (Debray 2007: 8).

Despite the fact that the 2008 Constitution guarantees plurinationality, the rights of peoples and nationalities, as well as the change of the anti-extractivist development model, throughout these years the Ecuadorian State has promoted the entry of transnational mining companies into indigenous territories, allowing the violation of several rights, forced displacements, soil and water contamination and an intensification of violence throughout the area.

In the Cordillera del Cóndor, located between the provinces of Zamora Chinchipe and Morona Santiago, are the ancestral territories of the Shuar nationality and the lands of peasant settlers. The Mirador and Panantza San Carlos mining projects, currently owned by the Chinese consortium CRCC Tongguan Investment Co. and executed by the Ecuadorian companies EcuaCorriente and ExploCobres, have been underway in this area for more than twenty years.

Faced with this, the organizations and communities of the Shuar nationality raised, since the invasion of the mining projects, a sustained process of resistance and defense of their ancestral territories, which places human and non-human life in the center and makes visible the capitalist and accumulative interests of the companies, as well as the corruption, negligence and complicity of the State.

José Isidro Tendetza Antún, raised his voice against the extractive interests of the Mirador Project from the organizational leadership of the Shuar nationality as vice president of the Shuar Kakaram Association and trustee of the Yanúa Kim community located in Tundayme, canton El Pangui in the province of Zamora Chinchipe.
In December 2016, José disappeared. A few days later his body was found in the Zamora River, floating lifeless, tied with a rope that went around his chest, waist and hand: José was murdered, strangled and tortured. The case was closed in the Ecuadorian courts without determining who was responsible. To this day there is no justice or reparation.

The systematic irregularities of the state institutions that were in charge of the case, added to the permanence of mining projects in the territory, exemplify the implementation of a way of governing that is based on the organization of death and selective dehumanization; The historical spoils of the colonial and racist order that turn nature into merchandise, building or unlimited resource, are the gear of a world built on a hierarchy that determines, on the one hand, those lives that are worthy of being lived and the deaths that deserve mourning; and on the other, the disposable lives and bodies, the NNs, the murdered without truth or justice, the buried in complicit silence, those who must be forgotten.  

In the middle of the jungle and in the streets of the uprising people, José is silence and assembly, he is river as rope and rope as asphyxiation, he is the heart of a tree and footprint, he is death in the hands of power and he is also the right breath of air that we need to take root.

May José and his struggle overflow us.

Words by : Alejandra Santillana Ortiz

Frecuencia Sinangoe
two-channel video. 32 minutes. 2022
Co directed with Sofia Acosta Varea & Nixon Andy

  • Part of the exhibition ‘Overground Resistance’ at Centro de Arte Contemporáneo (CAC) in Quito 2022.

This project speaks of the importance of the indigenous guard in the defense of the territory. In Sinangoe they have been able to stop 52 illegal gold mining concessions in the courts of Ecuador. And, the radio has been an important tool for the Indigenous Guard, as it has been the instrument to be able to travel the 32,000 hectares of rainforest and communicate over long distances without relying on complex technologies.

The Indigenous Guard of Sinangoe has the role of defending, monitoring and taking care of their territory. Since 2018, the guard has been guarding their land against the invasion of mining companies. This resistance was developed from inside the jungle through the collection of data, cartographies, testimonies and images, in order to defend their territory and sustain their autonomy.

The piece seeks to materialize that frequency. The resistance of the Indigenous Guard acts collectively and communication has been their weapon to achieve the recovery of autonomy in decisions about the territory.

With the support of Amazon Frontlines, Fundación Pachamama and BILM.

(WIP) 90 minutes. 2022-...
Co directed with Byron Toledo
The Machángara River rises in the foothills of the Atacazo hill south of the city of Quito, its waters flow cleanly down several streams, irrigating and feeding a complex ecosystem of Andean forest that is reduced as it approaches the urban area.

As it enters the city, it gradually becomes polluted; drains, pipes and sewers channel waste into its waters. Hospitals, factories, houses, housing complexes and other city architecture drain into the river. Passing under an avenue, a large pipe pours the sewage of the historic center, covering it with whitish foam that changes the color of the river and accompanies it for the rest of its journey.

Traveling an approximate 27 km where its waters and landscape are transformed by the contact with the city and its waste, this journey brings us closer to the look of the river and shows us what this landscape hides and our effects on the territory. The river looks at us.