Cochayuyo from the Installation Club Disminución, 2014 Three-channel video projection, 9:32 minutes Audio by Ben Pagel, Joe Thoen, and Justin Martinez of Artifact Shore
“Cochayuyo” formed part of a larger installation, “Club Disminución”, exhibited at The Soap Factory, Minneapolis, 2014. The installation was the result of an artist’s residency at CASAPOLI, Coliumo, Chile, 2013. CASAPOLI, a white-cube cultural center, designed by architects Mauricio Pezo and Sofía Von Ellrichshausen sits on a promontory high above the surf-pounded cliffs of the Chilean coast. The center’s residency program was established in an effort to stimulate critical thought and experimental art in the Bío-Bío región of Chile.
Bull kelp (Durvillaea Antartica), or cochayuyo as the local Chileans call it, is used in local cuisine to make salads and stews, and is marketed globally for its alginates. This giant kelp has a honeycomb structure that gives it strength and buoyancy. It attaches itself to the rocks at the edge of the Pacific where its tendrils sway dramatically and erratically in the aggressive surf like submerged Medusas with heads of living snakes.