This series of three webinars with Daniel Schwartz sheds light on the origins and metamorphoses, on the making-of, and the intellectual context of this climate crises-driven project accomplished between 2009 and 2017. The series is moderated by Ziyah Gafic.
For While the Fires Burn. A Glacier Odyssey the author embarked on a journey that led from the relics of Holocene glaciation in Switzerland and the Alps into the milieu of the Anthropocene, to collapsing glaciers on three continents. The outcome, a “glaciology in pictures,” as it were, is the result of a synthesis of scientific observation and artistic action. The environmental context makes the project the counterpart and continuation of Delta. The Perils, Profits and Politics of Water in South and Southeast Asia (1997), one of the earliest comprehensive photojournalistic studies on the climate crisis. While the Fires Burn. A Glacier Odyssey was realized partly in collaboration with institutes of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich) and of the University of Bern, published in 2017 by Thames & Hudson and exhibited in 2018 at the Bündner Kunstmuseum, Chur, Switzerland.
Part III. Inquiries Concerning the Memory and Domestication of Glaciers
Being a visual manifesto aimed at structural change in the way humanity deals with the climate crisis, the concluding webinar will discuss methods applied during the realization of While the Fires Burn. A Glacier Odyssey. These include the melding of the autobiographical and the socio-political, archival and archaeological research as artist practice, appropriation of historical documents in storytelling as well as the typographic word-work paired with photographs to extend their meaning. The experiential of the project echoes processes that accompanied the understanding and moral perception of glacier landscapes since they became object of study in the late 18th century.