Antofagasta 2023, SACO Chile

Shapes of divergence
Anna Krukowska & Tomasz Dobiszewski

In some cultures and symbolism, stone is identified with strength, steadfastness, independence and perseverance. Is often associated with the earth element, which symbolises stability and permanence. In the context of rebellion, stone can be seen as a symbol of resistance against the authority or tradition that the individual is rebelling against. The stone can also be used as a weapon, which emphasises its strength and association with the struggle for freedom. It is a symbol of the struggle against a nomen omen petrifying reality. There are also numerous historical and literary examples where stones have been used as symbols of rebellion and revolution, such as in the biblical story of David and Goliath, where David kills the giant Goliath by throwing a stone at him from a slingshot.

In the Shapes of Divergence project, we worked in many ways with stones found in Antofagasta and the surrounding area. We wanted to draw attention to stones which, on the one hand, are silent witnesses of the world’s past history and, on the other hand, are a symbolic tool to fight against an unjust present, to fight for a better future.

The artist confronts cultural structures which are unlike his own —
the unknown. Interpretations always depends on personal experience and
knowledge. As creators who work in natural and cultural environments,
we should be sensitive and subtle in our ways. We choose places which
are unique in terms of the interspersion and evolution of material, as
well as immaterial heritage — both the natural and the digital. As
part of the second edition of the Subtle Interventions project, we
visited Sardinia; this is the place we have chosen to engage in
cross-cultural and interdisciplinary dialogue with. Each artist takes
on their own artistic strategies, which form a wide gamut of
interventions in existing spaces as ephemeral and performance-like
installations. Not only does the context of the place become
important, but also the cultural context, which originates from its
golden era and the process of commercialization and degradation it was
subjected to for tourism’s sake. One interesting lead for the artists
has been the clash of their expectations about the island and the
country, stereotypes, and well-known facts with the space they really
came across, its light, climate conditions, and colours.

Hello Darkness my old Friend / / Hola oscuridad, mi vieja amiga
Alicja Panasiewicz/Adam Panasiewicz

spanish below

The experience of place, the exploration of the specificity of the desert space both during the day and night, initiated a process of reflection on construction, perception, nature, and culture.

As artists working in natural and cultural settings, we should act with sensitivity, subtlety. We employ artistic strategies that create a broad spectrum of interventions in the found space as ephemeral and processual installations. It is not only the context of the place that becomes important but also the cultural context deriving from history.

The juxtaposition of notions of place and its history, the contrast of stereotypes and generally known facts with the found space, light, climate, and colours is an exciting track for us.

In the site-specific installation there are involved several aspects in the context of existence as a process, continuity despite the change, apparent duration:


the Atacama desert, the driest place in the world, which can be seen as an extreme; barrenness, destruction

the Chuquicamata open-pit copper mine, copper as a symbol of wealth and destruction

dried out Salar de Atacama salt lake – in alchemy, salt is one of the principles of the world, one of the philosophical elements, one of the names of materia prima


copper as a symbol of light

the process of crystallisation, formation, maturation, change of state of aggregation


a reference to the historical Inca technique of sky observation through reflection from the surface of water spilt on a carved stone

luminous effects associated with the flickering of light on the plane of water

The form of a circle (symbol of salt) will be limited by sloping walls (forming a kind of pool). It will be filled with copper sulphate solution or salt solution.

The installation has been variable in time: the solution has been gradually crystallised and form blue or white crystals in specific shapes obtained through the use of copper wire.

„The container” has been illuminated around the perimeter to highlight the crystalline forms.

Simultaneously, these simple, repetitive visual forms offer a multi-sensory experience: smell, touch, disruption of the sense of space, geometric distortion, and personal perception of the semiotics of space. These treatments engage the viewer in an experience, an event – a subtle intervention.

La composición de dos círculos, uno inscrito en el otro, puede aludir tanto a la naturaleza de los elementos y la biología molecular, como al cosmos, con sus ciencias y sus creencias. Pero no solo por su forma, sino también porque la obra de Alicja y Adam se encuentra en un permanente proceso de transformación. Nada está dado para siempre, no hay orden que no se desordene, y viceversa. 

En el interior del recipiente se encuentra una solución de sulfato de cobre en el agua. El metal rojo nos vincula con el territorio, pero el cobre constituye también el símbolo alquímico de la luz. La presencia del sol en esta obra es clave, ya que durante estas semanas el agua se evaporará, provocando la cristalización de la estructura. En la superficie cobriza empezarán a surgir cristales de color esmeralda, acumulándose en forma de miles de rombos. 

La obra alude también a la histórica técnica incaica de observar el cielo a través del reflejo en la superficie del agua vertida sobre una piedra tallada. Desde esta terraza, en el medio de la urbe, nos permite conectarnos con los procesos esenciales, tanto desde lo químico como lo espiritual.

fotos: authors, Michał Smandek, Bienal SACO1.1 Exposicion

Tbilisi, Georgia 2022

What the Sun Has Not Seen

Exploring that which is hidden, unlit (like the dark side of the Moon), invisible to the Sun and the human eye.

Untitled Gallery

Tbilisi, Georgia


Alicja Panasiewicz/Adam Panasiewicz

What the Sun Has Not Seen

In his 1435 treatise on painting, Alberti introduced the concept of the visual pyramid: the optical relationship between the eye of the observer and the object the observer is looking at can be represented by straight lines extending from each frontal point of the object and converging in the eye.

Further scientific research compares the process of image formation on the retina to two cones: rays entering through the pupil and projecting an inverted image onto the retina. Seeing is blind at the very source of vision – i.e. the place where seeing takes place: the retina collecting the light rays within itself is itself blind.

By projecting an image of reality onto the walls of a cone, the geometrical model of vision can be understood. Spatiality converted into flatness unlocks new fields of perception. The retinal image is flat, a projection onto a sphere, and simultaneously the last moment of its existence before it is converted into electrical impulses.

The digital image works in reverse: the electrical impulse is reproduced as an image.

Visibility is shared by people who have eyes with which they can see and shape reality. Seeing, on the other hand, according to Derrida, is contained already in not-seeing: in seeing one thing, the obscuring of something else is inscribed, while the visible itself penetrates the interior. 

Modern technologies allow us to perceive reality quite differently than before. The phenomenon of light, the specificity of seeing and not seeing in the absence of light, is explored using the effect of night vision. In the installation presented at Untitled Gallery in Tbilisi used a night vision device to create photos with its specific way of registering colour, rendering details, shades of grey, depth of shadow, and depth of image. It is an attempt at understanding the most primordial and evolutionary features of the phenomenon of seeing. Seeing is embodied in light. It is the light that guides seeing, makes it possible to see, and conditions seeing. Seeing in light is cognition.

Tomasz Dobiszewski

Searching for the Sun

We tend to look at the shadow as an added effect of the presence of an object. If we perceive the shadow itself, we wonder what object could have created it. In contrast, when that object is directly given to us, we try to read the newly created form. Rarely do we look for the source of light that created the shadow. The Searching for the Sun series analyses the sunrays’ incidence angles and traces the source of light outside the frame of the already existing photographic images.

Słońce ma nieskazitelny obraz świata, nigdy bowiem nie widziało cienia/The Sun Has a Flawless View of the World, for It Has Never Seen a Shadow

The shadow allows spatial vision, provides information about the object and reveals its details, its form. The title sentence became an inspiration for a tale on our star’s metaphysical perception of the world, a tale in which the shapes of Georgian architecture have been softened through the reduction of shadows.

In his photographs, Tomasz Dobiszewski searches for objective features conditioning visible images. He explores the incorporeality of photography, the flatness of the image determined by the direction of light rays. In its flatness, photography negates the carnality of the body, belonging to the realm of touch. It limits perception only to the visuality, which deprives the world of its physical qualities: smell, texture, and tactile sensations such as temperature, smoothness, and softness.

Photographs cutting out spatial objects reduced to white spots against a background of black seem to be abstract images drawn by the hand of geometry. The flat surface of photography strikes at the essence of the sight and makes it impossible to venture out. Still, it opens the doors of memory and imagination, memories of smell, taste, form, light and shadow. It also makes us aware of the existence of time and its retention in photography. The direction of light rays, the time of day, and the intensity of sunlight are the place and time captured when pressing the shutter. The moment when the photographer and his camera stand facing the scene – the reality.

Subtle Interventions Sardinia Island

When viewed in an idiosyncratic mirror image, transforming water into land, the map of the Mediterranean looks like a large island with several sizeable lakes, most prominently, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Crete and Cyprus, the huge Adriatic peninsula and a plethora of smaller water basins.

The concept of deformation, belonging in one form of another to the fields of geology, cartography, meteorology, mathematics (deformation theory) and visual arts, besides those already engaged and probably a few others, stands in an uneasy relation with our civilisational preference for the form (whose obvious Aristotelian sources won’t be a concern).

Deformation, or deformity, to be exacter, is to be avoided and is only neutral in scientific descriptions. Deformation is marked and marred by a disfiguring and a degradation, a debasement of a form, a downturn from the self-evidently higher realm of formality and formation (the obvious Biblical sources of which valuation, a sanctity of creation, including Christian devaluation of the physical form to be transcended into a more unalterable one, also do not affirm deformation, except in the practice of pity for the deformed).

Yet, human cognition hinges on deformation (the sciences tell us). Without the reduction and multi-step transformation of sensual stimuli, also conceivable as translation, conscious participation in the world would be impossible. Similarly, the emergence of the world, geological formation, would not have occurred if its previous states hadn’t been deformed.

These – and their parallels in other domains – can hardly be viewed as subtle interventions. The extent to which sensual stimuli are deformed to be processable by consciousness is likely to remain eternally unknown, while reconstructions of the Earth’s distant past draw maps of an unrecognisable planet, expect in its general contour. Deformation can be ‘diagnosed’ as such only to the extent that a deformed (source) form remains recognisable.

Subtle Interventions Malta Island

Subtle Interventions are artistic operations situated in open spaces on the island Malta. They are attempts of fitting into its historical, geographical, and social specificity. 5 artists and 5 unique artistic interventions.

Humans are rooted in culture — they react to it, interpret it and transform it. When we encounter cultural structures different than ours, we face the unknown. Our interpretations always relate to our personal experience and knowledge gained prior to such encounters. Nevertheless, our transformations should not destroy or make permanent changes. As creators working in natural and cultural environments we ought to be sensitive and subtle in action — and that indeed was the foundation of the Subtle Interventions project.

For our interventions we have chosen a special place — the capital of the European Year of Cultural Heritage. Malta is where influences used to fluctuate and accumulate — where we can easily observe how material, immaterial, natural and digital heritage overlap and evolve. It is the place with which we have decided to initiate intercultural and interdisciplinary dialogue. The artist take various artistic strategies which together constitute a wide spectrum of interventions in existing space as performative and transitory installations. It is not just the spatial context that gains importance this way: the cultural context — the history of the place’s golden age and the following commercialisation and environment degradation due to tourism. One trail that turned out to be interesting for the artists was the collision of their presuppositions, stereotypes, and well-known facts about the island and the country with the spaces, light, climate, colours they had actually found. Beauty versus ugliness, nature versus civilisation. Perceiving the past and reacting to it in the present. Looking from a distance. Filtering and altering. Alienation.

Subtelne interwencje to działania artystyczne w otwartej przestrzeni na wyspie Malta. To próby kulturowego wpisania się w historyczno/geograficzno/społeczną specyfikę wyspy. 5 artystów i 5 różnych interwencji artystycznych.

Człowiek jest istotą zakorzenioną w kulturze – reaguje na nią, interpretuje i przekształca. W zetknięciu z innymi strukturami kulturowymi stajemy w obliczu nieznanego. Nasze interpretacje wiążą się zawsze z naszym osobistym doświadczeniem, wiedzą zdobytą dla tego spotkania, Nasze przekształcenia nie powinny jednak niszczyć, wprowadzać stałej zmiany, Jako twórcy działający w otoczeniu naturalnym i kulturowym powinniśmy działać wrażliwie, subtelnie. Takie też było założenie projektu Subtelne interwencje. Dla interwencji wybraliśmy miejsce szczególne – stolicę Europejskiego Roku Dziedzictwa Kulturowego. Malta jest miejscem gdzie zmieniały i nawarstwiały się wpływy. Gdzie wyjątkowo wyraźnie zaznacza się przenikanie i ewoluowanie dziedzictwa materialnego, niematerialnego, naturalnego i cyfrowego. Właśnie z tym miejscem postanowiliśmy wejść w międzykulturowy i interdyscyplinarny dialog. Każdy z artystów podejmuje inne strategie artystyczne, które tworzą szerokie spektrum interwencji w przestrzeni zastanej, jako instalacje o charakterze ulotnym i performatywnym. Ważny staje się nie tylko kontekst miejsca ale również kontekst kulturowy wynikający z historii okresu jej świetności oraz procesu komercjalizacji i degradacji środowiska dla potrzeb turystyki. Ciekawym tropem dla artystów stało się zderzenie wyobrażeń o wyspie i państwie, kontrast stereotypów i ogólnie znanych faktów z zastaną przestrzenią, światłem, klimatem, kolorami. Odszukiwanie miejsc i sytuacji jako inspiracji.

Piękno vs brzydota, natura vs cywilizacja, kultura i historia. Odczuwanie przeszłości i współczesne na nią reagowanie. Spojrzenie z dystansu. Filtrowanie i alteracja. Inność.

about project

Art research and discuss a subtle interventions in the meaning of associations with significations of the place.

Face our heritage with the heritage of the space and to find significant differences to our country.