Xavier Ribas, Carles Guerra, Andrea Jösch, Max Jorge Hinderer, Pablo Artaza, Alberto Martín, Mabel Loomis Todd

Research output: Book/ReportBook - authored


Like the dancing wooden table imagined by Karl Marx in Capital, all commodities are shape shifters. They appear to metamorphose. But nitrate materially changes. Its power as a substance and value as commodity lie in its capacity to change from material to immaterial state, to transform and to be transformative. Chilean nitrate is a sodium nitrate that, once processed, can be used as a fertiliser and to make explosives. It is the element nitrogen, which comprises eighty per cent of the earth’s atmosphere, in this compound form that can speed or shatter life. [Extract from Louise Purbrick's text in the exhibition catalogue]. This publication contains photographic research developed as part of the AHRC project 'Traces of Nitrate. Mining History and Photography Between Britain and Chile' ( It was published in the occasion of the exhibition NITRATE held at the Museu d"art Contemporani de Barcelona (, which subsequently toured to The Bluecoat in Liverpool ( and the Museo Universidad de Navarra, Spain ( For more information about reviews, awards, and events related to this output please see: and
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBarcelona, Spain
PublisherMuseu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona
Number of pages176
ISBN (Print)9788492505661
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Nitrate'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this