European Digital Art and Science Network: María Ignacia Edwards is the First Recipient of a Residency at the ESO in Chile

European Digital Art and Science Network:
María Ignacia Edwards is the First Recipient of a Residency at the ESO in Chile

press release “European Digital Art and Science Network: María Ignacia Edwards is the First Recipient of a Residency at the ESO in Chile” / PDF
Ars Electronica Blog: Interview with María Ignacia Edwards
Art and Science website: Portrait of María Ignacia Edwards

(Linz, March 11, 2015) Chilean artist María Ignacia Edwards is the first recipient of a residency awarded by the European Digital Art and Science Network initiated by Ars Electronica. María Ignacia Edwards will spend the first part of her residency at the European Southern Observatory in the Atacama Desert in her homeland before moving on to the Ars Electronica Futurelab. The results of her artistic adventures will be presented at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz September 3-7, 2015.

María Ignacia Edwards from Santiago, Chile

María Ignacia Edwards creates delicate, three-dimensional sculptures permeated by poetry—sculptures that consist of a multiplicity of abstract objects suspended by fine wire from the ceiling of an exhibition space, that are perfectly balanced solely by their physical form and their own weight, that rotate on their own axis, and all of which are somehow interrelated. And sculptures composed of hundreds of thin wooden rods with their ends bound together to form three-dimensional geometric bodies.

María Ignacia Edward’s artistic work originated in her striving to assume the position of an active observer of the world—an observer both of things that take place about her as well as of her own experiences, whereby that latter endeavor entails, above all, consciously questioning her own subjective perceptions. María Ignacia Edward’s interest is focused primarily on relationships among human beings and their coincidental encounters, the highly diverse experiences she’s had during long outings by bicycle, the trajectories of the stars and the movement of the universe, science as a whole and philosophy in particular. The upshot of all these considerations and observations was that she, at some point, came upon the idea of representing all these interrelationships in the form of a latticework—actually, a wide-ranging, tightly-meshed fabric of three-dimensionally arranged, interconnected points. And she came to the conclusion that such a visualization of all causalities and correlations on Earth bears an astounding resemblance to a map of stellar paths and constellations of stars. Her notes on blackboards, her entries in notebooks, her artistic works and mobile constructions—she regards all of them as markings on a mental as well as physical map testifying to her experiences and her whereabouts in the world and the universe.

María Ignacia Edwards’ work is characterized by the tendency to cohere and endure. The artist’s creative process begins by distinguishing and comprehending a particular state of affairs that had previously gone unrecognized. The act of making it visible and its presence as an artistic object conclude that process.

María Ignacia Edwards / Short Bio

María Ignacia Edwards was born in Santiago, Chile in 1982. She got her Bachelor’s degree from the Universidad Finis Terrae in Santiago, and her Diploma in cinema, art direction and photography at the Universidad de Chile. From 2009 to 2012, she lived and worked in New York, where she was the recipient of residencies at the School of Visual Arts and the Lower East Side Printshop. In 2012, she was invited to stage a solo exhibition entitled “In Between” at the Arts Cultural Center in Reinosa (Tamaulipas State), Mexico. María Ignacia Edwards has shown her works in Chile, Spain, the USA, Argentina, Peru and Mexico, as well as at numerous international art fairs including Pinta Art Fair in New York, ArteBA in Buenos Aires, Art Lima in Peru and the ChaCo in Chile. Most recently, María Ignacia Edwards was honored with the Art and Science Prize of the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT) in Santiago, Chile.

Statement of the Jury

A jury of 10 representatives of all the institutions that make up the European Digital Art and Science Network considered more than 120 applications before selecting María Ignacia Edwards from Chile. The jurors elaborated on the decision in their statement:

“María Ignacia Edwards’ work is all about space; it deals with equilibrium and defying gravity. She designs objects that are kept in balance by their own weight and counterweights, that rotate on their own axis and that seem to float in doing so. The artist herself describes her works as self-sustaining constructions. Even if, at first glance, her artistic mode of representation seems to be purely plastic-sculptural, what’s hidden behind it is a complexly scientific, concretely mathematical and physical approach. Without exception, her constructions are the result of elaborate calculations and reflect complex mechanisms. The artist calls upon us to consider her structures and their movements similarly to the way we regard the stars in the firmament. In fact, astronomy plays an essential role throughout María Edwards’ oeuvre—both providing inspiration and shaping the works themselves. In summary, the members of the jury are convinced that María Ignacia Edwards’ residency at the ESO in Chile and at the Ars Electronica Futurelab in Linz has great artistic potential.”

The European Digital Art and Science Network

In cooperation with seven renowned artistic & cultural institutions as well as the ESO–European Southern Observatory, Ars Electronica, in late 2014, launched the European Digital Art and Science Network, a Europe-wide initiative offering artists the chance to spend several weeks at the ESO followed by a stay at the Ars Electronica Futurelab. The recipient of this unique opportunity is decided by a competition that anyone may enter. The results of the residencies will then be presented at the Ars Electronica Festival as well as at the facilities of all network members.
In addition to Linz’s Ars Electronica, they are the Center for the Promotion of Science (Serbia), the DIG Gallery (Slovakia), the Zaragoza City of Knowledge Foundation and LABoral (both Spain), Kapelica Gallery (Slovenia), GV Art (England) and the Science Gallery (Ireland). The ESO is serving as the scientific research institution. Half the financing of the European Digital Art and Science Network is being provided by the European Union; the other 50% is contributed on an equal basis by the participating institutions.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication (communication) reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


Work by Maria Ignacia Edwards / Photocredit: Maria Ignacia Edwards / Printversion / Album


Encuentros / Taller / Photocredit: Maria Ignacia Edwards / Printversion / Album


Encuentros / Taller / Photocredit: Maria Ignacia Edwards / Printversion / Album