Tsonami Festival XI, Valparaíso, Chile, Nov-Dec 2017 supported by British Council

'Traces of Lime' for Tsonami Festival XI (2017), Valparaíso, Chile

When invited to make a site-specific work for Tsonami XI, I questioned my hosts, fellow artists Pablo Saavedra Arévalo and María Javiera Fernanda what material, process or activity was specific to Chile. After some discussion I discovered that calcium oxide (lime or cal) was produced in great quantities as a constituent ingredient of concrete for Chile and many other South American countries. I knew that the substance is corrosive and found that it is especially so when in contact with aluminium.

The speaker in the final image shows the process of creating the works. The recorded sound of lime attacking a piece of aluminium foil is amplified and played through the speaker, causing it to move. A solution of lime and water is poured into the speaker cone. When the sound is stronger, the speaker moves more, causing the solution to be sprayed out in a radial pattern. And the stronger the sound, the further the solution sprays.

The solution was then left for a number of hours to dry, corroding the aluminium as it did so. In the first image you will see a difference in the two works. The first used a thicker solution of lime and water, the second containing more water.

The work was exhibited at Casaplan, Valparaiso, Chile.

Many thanks to Fernando, Esteban, Roberto, Claudia, Pablo and Javiera and all the artists and people involved in the festival.

I used the sounds created during the process as a basis for one of two performances I also made during the festival (the other being a site responsive performance for some disused train carriages). The material was subsequently reworked and released as an album by Glistening Examples and can be listened to and purchased here: https://glisteningexamples.bandcamp.com/album/cal-y-canto