Copper Geographies explores the global life of mined copper, presenting explorations of geographically disparate landscapes historically connected by copper. It maps sites of transformation along the production network and commodity chain, documenting the mutation and transformation of copper from raw material to capital; through ore, smelted commodity, stock market exchanged value, assembled material and waste.
The book discloses the uneven spatial conditions in which the material circulates by connecting the ecologies of resource exploitation in the Atacama Desert with the global centers of consumption and trade in Britain, and by making visible its return, hidden in manufactured goods, to the territories it originated from.
Copper Geographies presents documentary research in the form of maps, photographs and texts, and offers a space for re-thinking the geographies of copper. It includes six written contributions by curators, historians and poets: Andrés Anwandter, Marta Dahó, Tehmina Goskar, Tony Lopez, Louise Purbrick, and Frank Vicencio López.
The project was developed as part of Traces of Nitrate (tracesofnitrate.org), a research project developed in collaboration with historian Louise Purbrick and photographer Xavier Ribas, based at the University of Brighton.
Ignacio Acosta is a Chilean-born, London-based artist and researcher working with documentary photography and film, in places made vulnerable through exploitation of ecologies by colonial intervention and intensive capitalization. Recent projects in South America and northern Europe focus on resistance to extractivist industrial impact on valuable natural environments. Through technologies of seeing, Acosta develops work that is situated within the urgent need for artistic approaches to critically address the depletion of landscapes created by mining. His individual research contributes to vibrant collaborations with other artists and photographers, historians and geographers, political activists and Indigenous Peoples.