By Caro Paz Martínez
For The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chile’s 2012 Anilla Culural, I went to the presentation of Uruguayan multi-media artist Brian Mackern’s sound-based installation/performance of “El temporal de Santa Rosa 34s56w.” The storm of Santa Rosa forms at the end of the southern hemisphere’s winter and is one of the strongest to pass through the South Atlantic region. Brian Mackern’s performance centers around the live manipulation of his sound recordings of these storms and their resulting interference on radio transmissions and communications. In addition to the aural elements he adds animations of the actual meteorological maps and records taken during the storm. This rainy day found me in Santiago’s Parque Forestal where The Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Contemporary art reside back to back, occupying opposite sides of a building, arriving, I ate a piece of chocolate and entered. In the middle of a second floor room sat a small, but intent group of people facing a projection space. In the foreground was Mackern’s table, covered with computer effects and other assorted curious devices. After a few words by Museum Director Francisco Brugnoli, the lights went out and the storm of Santa Rosa began with sound interference, maps, texts, melodies, candles, theremin, effects and distortions making the installation work synchronously with the senses and perceptions, from a low-voltage touch, to disturbing saturation until settling into the storm’s calm stillness.