Dear Enemy – The Institute for Art and Olfaction

Dear Enemy
by Christy Gast + Ensayos
September 28 – October 10, 2015
Research in Tierra Del Fuego, Chile
Residency at The Institute for Art and Olfaction


An artist, a curator, a biologist and an ecologist team up to create a perfume designed to help humans communicate with the beaver population in Tierra del Fuego.


The Institute for Art and Olfaction is pleased to present Dear Enemy, a project by artist Christy Gast and collaborators from ENSAYOS including curator Camila Marambio, ecologist Derek Corcoran and biologist Giorgia Graells.

This project came as a result of a collaborative inquiry about how to communicate with the invasive Canadian beavers to be found on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, so as to include them in the decision making process about their own endangered future on the islands. The Dear Enemy Effect is a behavioral phenomenon observed in animals who are less aggressive to neighbors with whom they have clearly established boundaries.

This project is being created through ENSAYOS – a research and residency program in Tierra del Fuego, and a grant from the Art Matters Foundation.



In January of 2016, Christy Gast and Camila Marambio will return to Tierra del Fuego to test beaver responses to the scents at dams in the four biotic zones identified by Derek Corcoran and Giorgia Graells.

They will follow an experiment designed by Corcoran and Graells and results will be published in Intercourse magazine in 2016.

> Download the Beaver Research Plan: Click here (opens PDF in new window)



Photo: Camila Marambio and Christy Gast on a beaver dam on the Rio Azopardo, by Laura Ogden


Beavers_250pxRESIDENCY AT IAO: OCT 2015

Between September 28th and October 10th, during a two-week residency at the Institute for Art and Olfaction, the team explored the creation of fragrances that might facilitate interspecies communication between humans and beavers in Tierra del Fuego.

During the course of their residency, they drew from their creative and scientific backgrounds to explore material applications of fragrance – with a goal to create a set of scents that might affect or manipulate beavers’ actions. These fragrances were incorporated into a series of Gast’s sculptures on view in IAO’s experimental gallery, and will be field tested in Tierra del Fuego and North America in 2016.

> Download the PDF map that came as a result of the residency, prepared by Derek Corcoran Barrios. Click here (opens PDF file in new window)




Christy Gast, ENSAYOS curator Camila Marambio, ecologist Derek Corcoran, biologist Giorgia Graells and IAO Director Saskia Wilson-Brown presented a round table discussion about Gast’s work, the Dear Enemy project, the scent development process, and the biology of beaver communication.

Thursday October 8th, 2015, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
The Institute for Art and Olfaction
932 Chung King Road, Los Angeles CA 90012



Derek Corcoran Barrios and Giorgia Graell’s website:
The project on Ensayos website:
The press release of the related seminar/exhibition at the Bruce High Quality Foundation:
The related seminar/exhibition at the Bruce High Quality Foundation:–curatorial-research-in-tierra-del-fuego




Christy Gast – Artist/Lead (Learn more)
Camila Marambio – Director ENSAYOS/Co-Lead (Learn more)
Dr. Laura Ogden – Cultural Anthropologist (Learn more)
Derek Corcoran Barrios – Ecologist (Learn more)
Giorgia Graells – Biologist (Learn more)
Saskia Wilson-Brown – for the Institute for Art and Olfaction






ChristyGast_250x300ABOUT CHRISTY GAST

Christy Gast is an artist whose work across media reflects her interest in issues of economics and the environment, and the role of content in giving meaning to the experience and form of the work. Gast is based in Miami and New York, and her work has been exhibited at MoMA/P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Performa, Artist’s Space, Harris Lieberman Gallery and Regina Rex in New York; the Perez Art Museum of Miami, Bass Museum of Art, de la Cruz Collection, Locust Projects, Casa Lin and Gallery Diet in Miami; as well as Mass MoCA, the American University Museum, L.A.C.E., High Desert Test Sites, Centro Cultural Matucana 100 and the Kadist Foundation Paris. She has received grants and awards from the Art Matters Foundation, Funding Arts Network, South Florida Cultural Consortium, Tigertail, the American Austrian Foundation Hayward Prize, and the Joan Sovern Sculpture Award from Columbia University.




Camila Marambio is the founder and director of Ensayos, a nomadic research residency program that considers Tierra del Fuego the center of the world. She received an MA in modern art: critical studies at Columbia University and Master of Experiments in Art and Politics at Science Po in Paris; attended the Curatorial Programme at de Appel Arts Center in Amsterdam; and has been curator-in-residence at the Kadist Art Foundation in Paris and Gertrude Contemporary in Australia.

Ensayos is a nomadic research program- based in Tierra del Fuego- that brings artists, scientists and locals together to address eco-political concerns.