Photographing Sympoietic Society in Austria

Sympoietic Society is a Pan-European group of artists and curators working on posthuman ecologies. In the summer of 2023 I joined them as their photographer for their residency in Austria titled I.C.E. * In Case Of Emergency. The following text is taken from their press release:

The international art collective Sympoietic Society hosted an alpine art residency with workshops, performances, bonfire talks,
lectures from art, culture, design and science as well as a panel discussion in the cultural space Ruine Blumenegg in
Thüringerberg, Austria in the course of the Walserherbst Festival from September 5 – 10. The art collective acknowledges the
melting and disappearing of glaciers as an acute case of emergency. It calls for thinking beyond humans as the center of all
beings. For a year, the art collective researched and experimented with bodies of water, glaciers and local communities in
Finland, Italy and Austria as part of the interlocal project.
ICE culminated on September 9 in an art hike with a Glacier Ceremony to honor the existence of the dying Rote Wand glacier.
Accompanied by a team of local mountain guides called Walser Guides and international volunteers, the Glacier Ceremony was
held in a small circle directly on site at the Altitude Camp at 11:58:30, in reference to the Doomsday Clock. After an initial
minute of mourning, a farewell speech by local glaciologist Günther Groß was transmitted by radio from the Rote Wand ridge to
the valley. The Walser Guides symbolically hoisted a burial shroud on the glacier’s crevasse, the art collective scattered ashes
from collected glacier stories from the Alps into the wind. The Glacier Ceremony ended at the Rote Wand summit with the
addition of a Glacier Register Book to the pre-existing summit book to continuously document the extinction of the glacier. At
the same time, the participants were able to follow the Glacier Ceremony from the Base Camp on the Alpe Klesenza via image
and audio transmission, further performances were held, a small library with glacier literature was set up and a melting ice
sculpture reminiscent of a glacier ice core sample was presented.

In conclusion, glaciologist Günther Groß reminds us:
“Time has already run out for the Rote Wand Glacier, but there is still the possibility, through rapid measures, to slow down the
fatal momentum of climate change and thus to try as best as possible, also with appropriate adaptation measures, to preserve
a livable world for glaciers and humans.”

The project was supported with funds from the state and the European Union LEADER and the Climate and Energy Fund of the
KLAR program.