new narratives/ancient strata retreat

[Schichten und Geschichten]

22-24 September 2023, Courfaivre/Porrentruy (JU)

stories of old, inscribed into the rocks, and stories anew, to find livable futures

A three-day retreat in the Jura mountains to reflect on fossils and deep time narratives and how they have been uncovered (imagined? re/de/constructed?) by geologists. How can we develop other perspectives on the history of humanity, especially in relation to nature and the earth, the biological and the mineral – non-utilitarian, non-exploitative, circular, symbiotic, non-anthropocentric?

And: let’s get political! How does deep time (going way back into the past) relate to long-termism (going way forward into the future), and why is this Silicon Valley-based ideology so devoid of utopian thinking?

The research findings of the retreat will feed into the exhibition «Past Deep Future» curated by Jan von Oordt and Roland Fischer at EAC (les halles), Porrentruy, opening: 30 September

discussion topics:

evolution of narratives, psychology of media and popular culture/rumors – what makes good stories, when do they hit resonance frequencies? deep time and the gaia theory, history of geology, catastrophism/collapsology and our recurrent longing for the crash, popular tales (non scientific explanations) of fossils, reading landscapes as archives, recent social utopias (dialectic materialism/history as progress vs backward culture/degrowth/community romanticism), solar punk as a new socialist realism, looking back/looking ahead: archives as treasure troves of possible futures, rooted speculations

invited special guest: Hunter Longe, zooming in: Eva Horn

fossil expert: Bernhard Hostettler, Natural History Museum, Bern

book/anarchist movements expert: Fredi Krebs, St. Ursanne


collective fossil hunting, visit of the old limestone mine in St Ursanne/Mont Terri project/mountain lab, visit of private book collection of Fredi Krebs (focus area: history of anarchist movements/1960-1980 utopias)

starts: Friday 22 Sept, late afternoon, ends: Sunday 24 Sept, late afternoon

shorter visits also welcome


old Condor bike factory, Courfaivre, Swiss Jura (50mins from Basel, 30 mins from Biel, 1h15mins from Bern, 3h30 from Paris) and EAC (les halles), Porrentruy


free, accommodation/food will be covered, all transport needs to be covered by participants

more info and registration: – first come first served!