The societies that have inhabited the Peruvian desert have been obliged to establish a relationship with water given its scarcity. This allowed them to understand the water ecosystem and to develop technologies for the appropriate management of this valuable resource. In this way, they could inhabit arid terrestrial spaces, making them urban spaces and agricultural lands.
Throughout the pre-Columbian period, local cultures developed various systems of irrigation, capture and purification of water, such as puquios, pits, cultivation terraces and filtering galleries. A system that has drawn our attention, amongst the many, was the wachaque, a canal system that was used in the desert to plant and extract the totora and reed plants. These fibres grow naturally in the coast’s wetlands and serve to make utensils, furniture and architectural elements such as shicras. In addition, they have also been useful to purify water. Totora and reed are phytodepuration plants that contain rhizomes that grow parallel to the soil’s surface and absorb organic matter from the water.
The Project Water Ecosystem is an installation designed for the visitor to recognize this system and its processes, which involve the collection and purification of water, considering first and foremost the vegetable species which already fulfil these functions: the air plants, like the tillandsias, which capture the humidity of foggy areas and the water plants that inhabit the wetlands, such as totora and reed (junco), and the cleaning of their waters through their stems and roots. In this way, the installation integrates natural elements with ancestral and contemporary technologies of water management, with the intention of recovering this knowledge and projecting towards new practices in the future.
We are interested in recovering the relationship with the ecosystems of our territory, understanding their interactions and transformations. Likewise, we seek to create a ritual space with water, to restore its symbolic value within our communities and daily life. Water moves, flows and evaporates, changes constantly, like us. Through it, we can reflect and understand the cycles and transformations that we inhabit.
Ana Teresa Barboza
“Ecosistema del agua” (Water Ecosystem) is the winning project of MAC LIMA National Prize Art and Innovation 2019. The museum called for artists and peruvian creators with proposals that innovate establishing relations between art, science and technology. The open call invited interdisciplinary projects that responded to technology in a wide sense: from recovery and appropriation of practices or traditional techniques, up till new media, and that take over contemporary society challenges with an artistic and critical vision.
After an exhaustive selection from the jury consisting of Natalija Boljsakov (Perú), Inti Guerrero (Colombia), Francesco Mariotti (Suiza) y Sanjay Sarma (India), MAC Lima choose Ecosistema del agua as the winning project. Moreover, there were two honorary mentions: Isla de Huacos by Camilo Nunas Ángeles Manga and Lorena Jiménez Lira, and Recirculación del flujo by Genietta Varsi, Nicola Varsi Lari and Gustavo Lari Rincón.
MAC LIMA National Prize Art and Innovation is an effort of the museum to contribute to the development of local contemporary art, with the support of Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC) and under the sponsorship of BBVA Foundation of Lima.
ANA TERESA BARBOZA
TOTORA AND REED WEAVING
SAMUEL GOICOCHEA, EBER GOICOCHEA Y DAVID GOICOCHEA
PRODUCTION AND DESIGN DEVELOPMENT
ARQ. JAVIER RUBIO
PRODUCTION AND GENERAL MANAGEMENT
VARIABLE FREQUENCY MOTOR SYSTEM
ING. LUIS ÁNGEL QUIJADA
VAPORIZATION SYSTEM INSTALLATION
HYDRAULICS SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE
ING. MANUEL MENDIETA
ING. FRANCISCO GUERRERO
ANA TERESA BARBOZA
JUAN PABLO MURRUGARA