the glacier is a being

We are living in a time of shift: It has become inevitable that we rethink and reshape human behaviour with the many forms of co-existences on this planet – if we want it to flourish in the long term. Although this is no news and a lot has changed in the past decades, we are still roaming around in an anthropocentric world view. I propose, what we need is a change in perspective, a serious examination of what “nature” and “life” are – and that they are definitions, not domains. We are part of a complex, interwoven network; We do not have to “go back to nature” – expressions like this just demonstrate how distorted our view is. We are not “disconnected” – we have never not been part of this web. What we have to do is become aware of it.

 

In that sense, there is a need to realise that there is no “passive” existence; every form of existence shapes and influences the reality we experience. Thus, it is not off to say that every existence has some sort of liveliness in it, no matter if its influence is “intentional” or not. Or, as Bruno Latour puts it: Being a subject doesn’t mean acting autonomously on an objective

frame but sharing ones impact with other subjects. 

 

One of these subjects are glaciers. This project examines the many ways of glacial expression, the diverse shapes and colours they assume, how they influence their surroundings and how they mingle with it. I look at glaciers as living beings, as active protagonists in the web of reality. Glaciers are born out of the permanent metamorphosis from snow to ice. They are uniquely

dynamic; viscous and brittle at the same time. From the human perspective, we can only ever perceive slices of them; they exist in a different time dimension, so vastly different that it goes beyond human grasp. Can we ever really know? This project plays with the inconceivable quality of glaciers, provoking a profound examination of what is seen. Drawing the attention to the „non-organic“ world is an important first step to a sustainable way of life as part of a deeply interwoven mesh. There are only protagonists.

 

The photographs were taken during summer and autumn of 2021 on twelve Swiss glaciers. Further, an installation of a time lapse video projected on a model of Fee glacier draws the attention to the phsyicality and explores non-human temporalities.

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