Marianne Hoffmeister MFA ’22 was selected for a year-long research based residency program called Animalia, organized by Núcleo de Lenguaje y Creación, an academic unit led by the faculty of Architecture, Design, and Construction at the Universidad de las Américas in Santiago, Chile. Marianne will work collaboratively with an interdisciplinary team to develop her research project “A Study of Beaverness: How (not) to be a World Destroyer,” which started during her time at the MFA program.
“A Study of Beaverness” is a multidisciplinary research project based on the story of twenty American beavers (Castor Canadensis) that were purchased by the Argentinian government and brought to Tierra del Fuego, South America in 1946. Once released to the wild, the beavers became one of the major environmental threats to the region’s ecosystems. The artist is interested in understanding this event as a critical crossroad to analyze political, economic and affective relationships that reveal binary and colonial visions of nature. In addition to this, this story helps us think about the consequences of the instrumentalization and objectification of non-human beings. Connecting this with the fields of visual culture, the story of the beaver becomes a territory to experiment with representation, considering the presence of the animal not from a symbolic standpoint, but from its agency and material action on the world. The project contemplates the production of multidisciplinary work that is comprised of text, video essay, animation and installation and that will be generated from a nonhuman perspective, using fictional codes from the beaver as a displaced subject but also, from the point of view of a Lenga tree, a Magellanic woodpecker, bodies of water, and other agents of those ecosystems; a fiction that from the non-human reveals complex forms of resistance, destruction, life and naturalization-acculturation.
Núcleo de Lenguaje y Creación is an academic unit of conceptualization, articulation and development of creative research projects. Its main objective is to promote the development of inter- and trans-disciplinary projects, through the identification and exploration of lines of research that connect architecture, graphic design, digital animation and civil construction.