Punta Arenas, Chile / Patagonia


Funding organization
Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage – Gobierno de Chile


Being active in the sub-Antarctic territory ultimaesperanza works with the topics of collective memory, history and selected aspects of the local identity. The collective takes its name as a gesture of resistance in allusion to toponyms, in order to rescue the names of places like Bahía Inútil (Useless Bay), Ultima Esperanza (Last Hope), Bahía de la Desolación (Desolation Bay), etc. ultimaesperanza conditions the perception of the surrounding territory by realizing interdisciplinary artistic projects.

Courtesy of Ultimaesperanza


ultimaesperanza explores particularities of the Fuegian/Patagonian rurality and Chilean Antarctica through different artistic languages and technologies (analogue and digital). ultimaesperanza is an artistic collective directed by Sandra Ulloa and Nataniel Álvarez  founded in 2004.

Courtesy of Ultimaesperanza


From the artistic field it is probably literature more than any other discipline that has built an imagery for these southern areas. Writers such as Francisco Coloane, Rolando Cárdenas, have described the vastness of their territory, helping to keep the gap in the history of tragedy or myth. That is why the group was interested in generating a visual history and a transdisciplinary approach in the observation of this “last frontier”.

Courtesy of Ultimaesperanza

Its first works consisted of giving visibility to and offering re-readings of community life in rural areas, rescuing the voices and memories of its inhabitants and the indigenous legacy silenced by official history. In recent years, its work is based on expeditions to extreme places to which artists, scientists and historians are invited. Since 2011, they have carried out expeditions to glaciers and snowdrifts, not only with the intention of documenting the immensity and unprecedented beauty of these areas but also to ask questions and reflect on the heritage, geopolitical, emotional and aesthetic dimension of these places for the Magellanic community and for the history of humanity in general, seeking to establish a dialogue with the non-human elements that populate the territory and landscape of Fuego / Patagonia.

Courtesy of Ultimaesperanza

The artists of the collective, in each expedition, actualize the figure of the first naturalistic explorers, combining in a poetic way scientific and technological resources for the capture of visual and sound data, intervening through macro and micro video projections on the landscape, generating a contrast between the human and non human agents of the territory. All this builds what the collective has called a “virtual glacier” that is constantly fed by statistical data, definitions, images, narratives, etc. that are exposed and shared in different formats through concerts, installations, talks.

Courtesy of Ultimaesperanza
Courtesy of Ultimaesperanza

Networking with artists from other parts of the country and abroad, Ultimaesperanza organizes since 2013 “Lumen, International Meeting of Contemporary Art and New Media”, a self-organized event that allows to decentralize the media practices of its traditional circuits combining presentations and workshops of sound art, performance, mapping, among others, allowing to generate a dialogue with the territory and the southern community.

Courtesy of Ultimaesperanza

Currently, ultimaesperanza and Liquenlab invite local, national and international artists to participate in the third edition of the RADICANT Navigable Microresidence.
In 2020, the project continues to explore the relationship between the artists and the Strait’s seascape, as well as their interaction with the non-human elements of these landscapes; it will also reflect on the first sailors who moved through the seas of this southern territory; discussing the implications of these journeys in the current geopolitical, ethnic and territorial environment of the Strait of Magellan.

The project is realized under a guidence of Chilean curator Rodolfo Andaur, who together with Liquenlab, has been working on Magallanes and the geographies of the (un)known, an international transdisciplinary project, which has already inaugurated several events in this region.

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Courtesy of Liquenlab and Pedro López

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