Sistemas Efímeros


Sistemas Efímeros (ephemeral systems eng.) is an arts-led, trans-disciplinary collaborative project that seeks different ways to express ideas which will augment the perception of the natural value of arid landscapes.

Simultaneously Sistemas Efímeros will promote sustainable and transferable adaptations to land use and water resources at a time of rapid environmental change.

Launch at The Royal Geographical Society


The project will focus on the headwaters of the ‘Rambla del Cajar’, a traditional water catchment system, which 50 years ago had a functioning water harvesting and soil conservation system that in the late 1950’s fell out of use. This ‘rambla’ provides a unique opportunity to conduct a landscape scale ‘experimental’ restoration programme that has the potential to be up scaled and transferred to similar dry land environments worldwide that exist under the same climatic, water and demographic stress. As such the project must be considered as a microcosm protected by cultural and creative interventions. The project is at the home of Joya: arte + ecología, Cortijada Los Gázquez and is protected under the laws governing the Parque Natural Sierra María-Los Vélez. Nevertheless whilst this legal protection limits the project areas susceptibility to damage, it is still sensitive to external influences including climate and economic change.


I am realising this concept by bringing together for the first time a complementary group of research disciplines that have the expertise and experience in delivering ambitious projects such as this. The project will evaluate the viability, appropriateness and value of restoring this system considering the consequences of environmental change. Simultaneously the project will research the location creatively and experientially, engaging us affectively and giving us values that foster sensitivity to this system, to this landscape, to the world around us. The project’s trans-disciplinary contributors will benefit from the properties of parallel investigation, uniting the value of research and acquired knowledge.


We are inviting artists internationally, who wish to be associated with this project, to propose and produce ephemeral works, in any medium. We are inviting those from the sciences to bring their skill sets to evaluate the catchment and hydrological network and consider the appropriate actions necessary to holistically protect, restore or augment the effectiveness of the system, and as a consequence help us develop a sustainable water source.