Art + Science


The co-production of knowledge incorporates the process of co-creation – that is, the crossings between Arts + Sciences – as a multidirectional dialogue between artists and artisans, scientists, cultural managers, decision makers, educational communities and communities in general. This interdisciplinary integration implies a constant communication between knowledge beyond disciplinary frameworks by incorporating experiences, visions, desires, dreams, popular wisdom and diverse ways of understanding knowledge and our relationship with it and with our environment.

Thus, the Arts + Sciences unit in SECOS is presented both as an area of academic research for the co-production of knowledge and as a more concrete interface for linking with society through co-creation.

The co-creation activities are materialized in Arts + Science workshops, contemporary scientific illustration, muralism, residencies for contemporary artists and artisans, spaces for experimentation in new media, co-creation activities with schools, and instances of collaboration with other entities such as the Biennial Concepción, Art & Science.

In the spirit of all co-creation activities is the multidirectional dialogue, focusing on the realities of each community and territory in which SECOS investigates, experimenting, co-creating and learning in community. Several of the activities with which we started this space, articulate and give continuity to initiatives that SECOS researchers have worked for years, allowing longitudinal research of the impact of Arts + Science initiatives in society.

Co-creation around objectives and questions of socio-ecological systems and rooted in learning platforms.

Collaboration with local, regional/national and international cultural managers (heritage and identity, museums and collections, biennials, among others).

Residencies and projects for contemporary artists and artisans in learning platforms

Contemporary scientific illustration courses based on learning platforms and research on visual communication of science in SECOS themes.

STEM, STEAM and citizen/community science projects with educational institutions.

“Tiempos de Muralismo”

Muralism and Arts in Public Space

Art in public space, and especially muralism, has the potential to act as a mirror of communities. It can act as an alternative channel for dialogue, open and inclusive conversation, which can make visible buried problems, longings and dreams. Muralism has the potential to project community voices and thus be a vehicle for cultivating local identity. As a country, Chile is privileged to be part of a long tradition of Latin American muralism that has channeled diverse social issues into the collective imagination.

Uruguayan painter Joaquín Torres García declared in 1936 “Our north is the south” with a drawing of Latin America upside down, inspiring the work and voice of muralists across the continent to find their own voices and stop looking to the northern hemisphere. It would seem then that muralism is a logical but perhaps not so explored medium in science communication and that it responds to a central challenge of the 21st century: the search for ways to reinsert science in culture and co-create knowledge with communities.

The ideal is that scientific knowledge is interwoven with culture and local knowledge, with the traditions, aspirations and visions of the people and the territory, being a central part in the creation of a new imaginary that stimulates sustainable development of communities.

“Tiempos de Muralismo” is a project that began 3 years ago, where murals have been co-created by a team of artists, scientists from the Coastal Social-Ecological Millennium Institute (SECOS), and communities of fishermen and fisherwomen throughout Chile, in collaboration with national and U.S. artists. Through shared experience, dialogue and exploration, the intertwined stories and visions of climate change adaptation, niche innovation and the complex web of social-ecological systems of each territory and coast began to emerge. Although traditional in origin and technique, the project incorporates technology and innovation through the delivery of a complementary immersive virtual underwater experience of each coastal site, implemented directly into the murals through Augmented Reality (AR) and technology through apps. We continue to experiment with the communities, co-creating now also with the UPWELL Millennium Nucleus in other locations.

In the following video you can take a look of the three murals that has been done in 2021 and 2022 in Tongoy, Coliumo and Chungungo.

Science Visualization

Contemporary Scientific Illustration Courses

In october 2021, SECOS carried out the course “Illustrated Central Coast 2021: Online tutorial course on Marine Scientific Illustration of Central Chile”,  taught by professors Felipe Portilla (marine biologist from Universidad de Valparaíso, scientific illustrator), Fernanda Oyarzún (PhD in Biology, SECOS associate researcher, UCSC, scientific illustrator and sculptor) and Carolina Martinez (PhD in Geography, UC academic, and SECOS associate researcher).

In this course co-organized by the Millennium Institute in Coastal Socio-Ecology (SECOS), the Coastal Observatory and Robsonella Project -creating a link between scientific illustration and research on Chile’s marine diversity-, methodologies and basic fundamentals of scientific illustration were explored, applied to research on the biodiversity of the social-ecological systems of the Central Coast of Chile.

Students learned the fundamentals of contemporary scientific illustration and its role in and out of academia in the study and communication of marine biodiversity in social-ecological systems.

Some research topics included: impact of climate change on marine ecosystems, kelp forests, coastal development, wetland conservation, pollution issues, ecological diversity and importance of invertebrates, small-scale fisheries and aquaculture, coastal and migratory birds, marine mammals, impact of introduced species, evolutionary processes, population genetics, among others.

Enter to the virtual gallery of this course here


Andrea Pizarro

Freelance designer and illustrator from Concepción. Among her works that she has written and illustrated are “Qkiss, amor por lo dulce”, “Qking, el rey de la cocina”, “Juego con voz I”, “Juego con voz II”, and “Júbilo, Romance del jardinero”. The latter tells the story of a gardener who is forced to retire. She is currently working on his own and collaborative projects, and in SECOS he is co-creating beautiful illustrations that contribute to our website, which with his fresh stroke tell us about these worlds within other worlds, the socio-ecological systems and the integrative look. Her website:

Alonso Salazar

Illustrator and graphic designer. Since the 90’s to date, he has done numerous illustrations for publishers, scientists, individuals and companies in a wide range of techniques and themes. His focus has progressively moved towards naturalistic and scientific illustration, as shown by his work in collaboration with institutions and NGOs such as WCS Wildlife Conservation Society, Conaf, Alianza Gato Andino, and the MUSELS Millennium Nucleus. In SECOS, he brings the artistic vision of the “Tiempos de Muralismo” project, in a co-creative process that invites us to reimagine our environment together with the communities and their knowledge.  Link:

Felipe Portilla

Scientific Illustrator and Marine Biologist from the University of Valparaíso. Since 2018 he has been teaching at the Arcos Professional Institute teaching Anatomical and Scientific Drawing, at the Academy of Scientific Illustration Illustraciencia (Spain), and the Diploma in Naturalistic Illustration at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. He is also co-creator and instructor of the Robsonella Project’s Marine Scientific Illustration Courses, which seek to bring scientific illustration closer to the science communication needs of current marine research. In SECOS, this year 2021 he will be co-instructor of the online tutorial course “Illustrated Central Coast 2021”, which will cover the basic fundamentals of scientific illustration, applied to research on the biodiversity of the social-ecological systems of Central Chile.