An aerial view of the brine pools and processing areas of the Soquimich lithium mine on the Atacama salt flat.
Photo by Ivan Alvarado/Reuters.

Research-based art practices are best when they take an unexpected turn. My 3-country Fulbright originally proposed to trace the history of the potassium nitrate trade from the late 19th / early 20th century between Germany and Chile. The profits from this business arrangement helped to build the fortune of shipping magnate Henry B. Sloman and the local landmark the Chilehaus. 100 years later, the extraction of lithium from those same salt beds in the Atacama desert, from which potassium nitrate was mined, is a focus for global trade. More on this soon, but a few links to get me started.