In April 2022 I traveled to the Atacama desert in Chile. I lived and worked here for a month at an artist in residence programme of organisation Lawayaka Current. During this time I stayed in an small indigenous community named Coyo. We were the guests of Carlos, the healer and shaman of the little desert village and Sandra, Carlos' wife and shepherd in heart and soul. They immersed us in their rich Lickan Antai culture, one of the oldest Andean cultures, full of rituals and ancient knowledge. From healing plant baths in the Temazcal and magical cosmos observatory's, to hiking volcano's and a lama trek with sunset. The combination of of these adventures and the fascinating stories Carlos told us inspired me to make the film 'El Viento' (The wind) which is the main piece that came out of this residency. But I also made other pieces during this time which I will show more of on this page.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

From left to right: Temazcal, Carlos with his lama's, Carlos and Sandra explaining about the Andean cosmovision.

Visual diary                                                                                                                                                            
During the residency I kept a visual diary in which I drew a lot of the days impressions, motifs, or other inspirations that I found. For the pages underneath I was touched by how the desert life made you feel more connected to the cylclic rhythms of nature, the way locals make there fences and the chakana cross. There is also an inside joke hidden in one of the drawings me and the fellow residents had about being in "The Vortex". Just as we arrived we almost felt like entering a new dimension because all of our clocks would just constantly switch hours or our clocks would just add new alarm clocks. It was really weird, mysterious and funny at the same time. Some of these pages formed the inspiration for bigger pieces during the Paris residency later in 2022.
rICA RICA COLLECTOR                                                                                                                                                       
Rica rica is a medicinal and aromatic plant of the Altiplano. Its strong enough to survive in the arid Atacama desert climate. It’s mostly used to add flavour to the local alcoholic drink called Pisco Sour.
After collecting the rica rica to make this delicious beverage for the other residents, I decided to create this collecting tool. The collector is made with wood and river clay found in the Atacama desert near the village of Coyo and is inspired on the way how the local Lickan Antay people treat the nature around them. Full of harmony and for example asking permission to mother nature before crossing a river or before picking a healing plant to cook with.
Desert portal                                                                                                                                                              
This installation is the result of an experiment with stones in the desert and adds a new dimension to my earlier work about portals in the desert. The portal reflects the Licancabur volcano. The word "Licancabur" derives from the Kunza words used by the Atacameño people to refer to the volcano: lican ("people", or pueblo) and cábur ("mountain"); thus, "mountain of the people" The border between Bolivia and Chile, crosses the volcano.
"One year in the city is seven years in the desert" 
-Carlos Vega

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