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.
Im Rahmen der Tagung "Mountains and Cinema" vom 14.-17. Oktober an der Universität Innsbruck wird IFK_Research Fellow Dominik Schrey den Vortrag mit dem Titel "Streams of Deep Time: Glaciers and the Media Imaginary of the Alpine High Mountains" abhalten.
Series of lectures on November 25, 8.00 p.m. (CET)
Over the past decades, the climate crisis has risen to the forefront of social and environmental concerns. In literary and cultural studies, there has been a corresponding rise of interest in ecological issues, ranging from literary (critical) engagement (climate and ecocollapse fiction, literary ecocriticism and econarratology) to cultural and theoretical considerations (green cultural studies and the environmental imagination, ecofeminism and environmental justice, ecological citizenship and transnationalism).
January 27, 2022: Dr. Dominik Schrey, IFK_Fellow, ‘‘Alpine Topographies of Loss”
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.