watts avenue

when driving Route 24 during the day, from the Panamerican Highway to Chuquicamata, you enter Power Avenue, lined with elegant steel-latticed towers threaded with cable and beaded by ceramic or glass cylinders.  the road is beautifully placed between five power lines running from the inland mines to the processing ports on the coast and where the topography slope runs steep the road bends while the tower lines continue on.  a brilliant placement of the road south of the glass insulators and north of the ceramic so each medium reflects or refracts the sun light as best the material does.

earthworks for the gods

from the air,

on my way to Calama, a city thriving from the natural resource industry like Chuquicamata, an open-pit copper mine that rivals Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah as the largest in the world.

LAN flight #156 tunes my senses away from the intricately knotted diverse architectural fabric of Valparaiso to the immensely woven larger than architectural scale of Chile’s Northern landscapes.  from the plane, this isotropic voided landscape, sometimes occurring as a mark, other times as a cavity, becomes comprehendible as a entity. in plan and from this distance, one can see traced patterns revealing limits and edges from functions occurring on-ground.  my hunt for the edge raises the question of how might people dwell at the scale of city-sin-houses while retaining the imagination of both dichotomies.

into the fog and out in the desert

it is time to depart valparaiso and the two months of imbedded investigation of a wonderfully insane, imaginative, pervious stacked city.

late last night i revisited one of Valparaiso’s golden eggs.
on a day tour of case study houses by jose llano, he brought us to the exterior margin of a mother’s house who annexed her lowest floor by severing the middle landing of the only stair to the space of her dead son’s room. this circulation amputation was visible as i leaned over the railing from the road above. late last night we stopped by this house once more to see the “second moon”, the severed stair now complete as it bridged between the living mother’s house and pitch black darkness. darkness from the cast shadow by the terracing road above which swallowed the landing and any evidence that the stair descended into nothing.

today i leave to Chile’s Norte Grand – there are many things i do not know (internet access is one of these) but here is what will be certain:

July 23 – arrive in the airport of Calama
July 25 – http://www.cda.uc.cl/ >near Iquique in the early AM meet with Felipe Lobos, Horacio Larrain, and students from Catolica University in Santiago to travel to Alto Patache and stay at the fog station
July 27 – http://www.deserta.org/PHOTOGALLERY.html >travel to Maria Elena mining village, near Pedro de Valdivia mining village, to investigate this desert utopia
July 28 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salar_de_Atacama >travel to San Pedro de Atacama to visit the salt flat and valley of the moon.
July 31 – early AM, leave San Pedro de Atacama to go to the Calama airport and back to Santiago for three days

i have a 4×4 vehicle, tools to locate, tools to remove, tools to record, warm clothes, cell phone, key to space and the question to identify Atacama’s boundaries. i will post next when it is possible.

nos vemos and keep on.

sunday odyssey : pomaire de greda

I went to Santiago over the weekend.

On Sunday I set out on a hunt to find clay from Pomaire, Chile. A small small village just East of Melipilla an hour by local bus from Santiago.

The Melipilla bus brought me to the Pomaire Collectivo who took me to the Clay Pimp who sold me 27 kilos of clay, who put me back in a collectivo, that took me to the Santiago bus who left me 4 blocks from the metro station.

All along I drew a map, since I didn’t know where I was or if I was going to know how to get back home.

I carried Chile’s Cuerpo de Tierra.
It warmed by the time I arrived to Unamuno Casa and had multiple bottom indentations from where I rested it on trash bins, railings, posts to rest my forearms.

2011 google image

food made home

Valparaiso end of week 7:  finally mastering a meal from the two burner stove top and local food ensembles. everyday is a fight of science and balance. any meal can quickly become a cooking disaster thanks to my endearing warped sauce pan and dimpled pot. one failure repeated more than once i title “rice mash-up”, a mixture of poorly cooked rice with tones of hot sauce and strange additives in attempts to make the bad taste bland – never fully stomached meal. a considered success is rigatoni with various sautéed vegetable adds, or over-easy egg sandwich. i’ve identified preferred food spots of our neighborhood Barrio Puerto; bread comes from one of two local panaderias, the eggs from a displaced vendor who now sells out front the earthquake damaged Mercado del Puerto, vegetable from a corner shop off of Plaza Echaurren, the giant celery was not repeated, but delicious chilean camenere wine is.