50th anniversary exhibition


Honouring the past through memory, storytelling, and technology.
I think that sharing these stories to bring contemplation helps us to sow a seed not only for those who lived it but for all the generations to keep reflecting and ensure that events as atrocious as this never happen again in this country.
Carolina Arredondo
Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage
Republic of Chile

Produced as a tribute to the young victims of forced disappearance, Vestigios is an immersive installation that brings to light the love, grief, and resilience felt by six family members of teenagers whose lives were cut short at the outset of the dictatorship in Chile.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the coup, the installation was exhibited at the Centro Cultural La Moneda in Santiago. This project embodies a journalistic and archival investigation conducted by our client and production partners, Universidad Diego Portales, and combines this research with live-action documentary and smartphone technology.

Presented in a gallery setting, the projected work invites visitors to watch and listen to the testimonies of six women, sisters and nieces of disappeared teenagers. Their stories are memories enmeshed in possessions once cherished by their brothers and uncles and speak to both the individual and the collective memory in a powerfully intimate tone.

Vestigios began as a research project initiated by a team at Universidad Diego Portales that consisted of academic and renowned documentary filmmaker Viviana Flores, Carolina Zúñiga, producer, and director of the Digital Laboratory of the Faculty of Communications, and Manuel Vicuña, historian and director of the Centre for Humanities. The team spent several months conducting in-depth interviews with key individuals in human rights during the dictatorship, including lawyers, social workers, and archivists. These interviews uncovered stories about a group of young people who were forgotten and caught up in the bloody coup.

One year before the anniversary, we were contacted by the University after hearing about our immersive documentary format called Storyteller. Through their research, they developed close relationships with many surviving family members and wanted to find a way to bring the memories and stories of these young adults to life.

Across timezones, over the course of nine months and through numerous Zoom calls, we exchanged ideas and collaboratively shaped a project that would become Vestigios — the centrepiece of the University’s institutional contribution to the anniversary. Our production process guided the filming in Santiago, while in Sydney, we looked after the experience design, programming and audiovisual assembly.


The platform

Throughout 2023, we experimented with our Storyteller platform, growing its capabilities by applying it to music and networked animation experiences. However, Vestigios took us back to the essence of an idea we originally conceived for the Biennale of Sydney — using the audience’s phone to create an intimate, shared space, more profound than a documentary viewing experience. Visitors link their phones to the project by connecting to a WiFi hotspot, allowing the storytellers to deliver their truths in an experience as intimate as a phone call.

Our software and hardware stack has been validated worldwide with large and diverse audiences at SXSW and Vivid Sydney, and has driven permanent exhibitions for some of Australia’s most respected cultural institutions. However, developing remotely and deploying into new markets presents its own requirements, from the specifications of phones only found in South America to the characteristics of WiFi on-site in Santiago. Our testing in Sydney recreated the subtle differences on-site at Centro Cultural La Moneda, ensuring an effortless installation in collaboration with the Center’s audio visual engineers and solid uptime for the exhibition’s duration.

Vestigios is a successful example of how new digital narratives can provide experiences that allow us to empathise with others. With the help of new technologies, we can interact with, archive, and activate personal and collective memories. Any form of traditional or experimental storytelling that promotes dialogue, experiences, and stories with a human rights perspective contributes to our culture, society, and democracy.
Viviana Flores
Professor, School of Journalism and Documentary Director
Universidad Diego Portales

Vestigios was inaugurated at the Centro Cultural La Moneda in Santiago and exhibited over three months. Tens of thousands of visitors across all ages interacted with the installation, either individually or with a friend, family and school group. The multiuser and intimate nature of the experience gave way to a collective reflection by a public that is still healing from its past.

  • Universidad Diego Portales
  • Production
    • Creative Direction, Project Management
  • Design
    • UX, Graphic Design
  • Video
    • Editting, Compositing, Motion Graphics
  • Software
    • WebGL GLSL, PixiJS, Javascript, Node
  • Hardware
    • Projection, Customised Open-WRT Firmware
  • Viviana Flores
    • Director
  • Carolina Zúñiga
    • Producer, Universidad Diego Portales — Director of the Digital Laboratory of the Faculty of Communications
  • Manuel Vicuña
    • Historian, Universidad Diego Portales — Director of the Centre for Humanities
  • Diego Pequeño
    • Director of Photography
  • Franco Nieri
    • Illustrations
  • Elisa Villanueva
    • Centro Cultural La Moneda — Project Coordinator
  • Francisco Hidalgo
    • Centro Cultural La Moneda — Audio Visual Supervisor
  • Ignacio Gutiérrez Ohlsson
    • Photography
  • Ana María González Albornoz
  • Viviana González Traslaviña
  • Evita Aguayo Olavarría
  • Franchesca Álvarez Miranda
  • Claudia Asencio Asencio
  • Ana María Carreño Aguilera
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