Julian Stettler

the glacier is a being

Glaciers are formed by the permanent metamorphosis of snow into ice with a unique dynamic; they are viscous and brittle at the same time. The enormous mass alone – the Great Aletsch Glacier weighs about 10 billion tons – sets glaciers in motion. With tremendous force, they grind, scrape, polish, pluck, and transport rock downhill.


Julian Stettler interprets glaciers as beings, and life as a definition rather than a domain. Whether consciously or unconsciously, the author understands all forms of existence as active protagonists. He finds that glaciers – like people – are part of this mesh. The author aims to strengthen the profound connection with glaciers in the audience. To him, this is the key to a conscious way of life enabling humans to realise that they are deeply entangled with their co-protagonists.


His book “the glacier is a being” explores the diverse expressions of twelve alpine glaciers. In an installation, he projects the movements of the Fee glacier in a time lapse video onto a 120 x 80 cm glacier model.

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