The artist’s approach questions the epistemological framework construed by Europeans in recent decades that pictures the Antarctic as a clichéd exotic continent, a place of discovery; the continent is still considered an “external” space that can be forcefully conquered and colonized by Western enterprises. Within this context, listening reveals what would otherwise be imperceptible. It materially evidences a hidden strata, conveying a sort of blackout of invisibility similar to its opposite phenomenon, namely the white-out, the Antarctic glare. As a result, the continent’s exploitation and appropriation that have led to global geopolitical conflicts, its deposits, its riches hidden from the phenomenological experience are revealed in an ontological sense. The work emphasizes traces of the Antarctic’s representation subsumed into its subsoil, in Terranova Bay’s isotopes and other underground places hidden from view, infiltrated by nuclear and military activity since 1996. The sonorous narration of this space, an invisible eremos chora, a solitary and boundless place, reveals a clandestine process that is fed by different centers of political, military, and scientific power. In this isolated continent, the imperceptible becomes sublime, transcending every attempt to reduce its experience of it to a phenomenological point of view, conveying the impossibility of understanding its totality through the human senses. The artist herself writes:
The imperceptible in Antarctica is defined by the limitation of the human senses, even before the geophysical characteristics of the continent. The sublime refers to what lies beyond our capacity to understand in the phenomenological sphere and, in any case, there are imperceptible aspects referred to Antarctica as the largest continent on Earth, immensely depopulated and still to be exploited. This imperceptible alludes to geopolitical configurations, where the imperceptibility produced is ontological, relative to the presence of the national states that demand, or rather renounce to demand sovereignty over Antarctic areas in the Antarctic Treaty System. (Pérez Núñez 2017: 28)
Antarctica 1961-1996 (2009-2017), one of several sonic works within this research project, was exhibited as part of the Chilean sound art group show Otros sonidos, otros paisajes at the MACRO museum, Rome, between May and June 2017. The piece, a quadraphonic audiovisual installation, is composed of a conductor antenna cable placed on a square-shaped canvas connected to a theremin sensor that modulates sounds via software (PureData).