Dominik Schrey
IFK_Research Fellow

Duration of fellowship
01. October 2021 bis 31. January 2022

Dominik Schrey


Making Sense of Glaciers. Surveying a Melting World


The project investigates the materiality and complex temporality of the alpine glaciers as »natural media of historical topographies« (Thomas Elsaesser). The focus is on how glaciers and their disappearance became aesthetic in a double sense. To this end, I will conduct three case studies, addressing: A) the linear charts of Louis Agassiz, who conceived of Alpine glaciers as powerful geomorphological actors in 1840; B) the photogrammetric geodesy of Sebastian Finsterwalder, who attempted to visualize the deep time dynamics of the Vernagtferner glacier; C) the recent digital surface models which highlight the problem of surveying topographies that are in flux due to anthropogenic climate change. The case study is the work of Dan Holdsworth, a media artist. The project is embedded in the context of media-philosophical research on cultural techniques, recent discussions on media ecology, and the aesthetics of the Anthropocene.


Dominik Schrey is Lecturer in digital media culture at University of Passau, Germany. He worked as a postdoc at the University of Freiburg and as a Research Assistant at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) where he graduated in 2017 with a thesis titled Analoge Nostalgie in der digitalen Medienkultur (Analog Nostalgia in Digital Media Culture). In fall 2011, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Ph.D. Program in Film and Visual Studies at Harvard University. His current research focuses on media ecology, media history, and digital infrastructures. In addition to his IFK project on glacier topographies, he is working on a media history of »Smart Street Furniture.«


»›The analytical brain of urban life‹. Zur Kulturgeschichte der Straßenlaterne im 21. Jahrhundert«, in: Kulturwissenschaftliche Zeitschrift 6.1 (2021, im Erscheinen); »Alpine Topographies of Loss. On the Media Temporality of Glaciers«, in: MAST. The Journal of Media Art Study and Theory 1.2 (2020), S. 148–172; Analoge Nostalgie in der digitalen Medienkultur, Berlin 2017.

  • Lecture
Dominik Schrey

Ausgehend von der Frage, wie die Gletscher der Alpen sowie die Tatsache ihres Schwindens im doppelten Sinn ästhetisch werden, werden drei historische Vermessungsregime untersucht, die jeweils auf unterschiedliche Art und Weise versuchen, die Materialität und Temporalität der Gletscher wahrnehmbar zu machen.