Virtual Verbier Art Summit

To celebrate the Verbier Art Summit’s fifth anniversary on 29 and 30 January 2021, the Summit launches a new virtual platform and invites leading artists and thinkers from all over the world to deepen debate on:


The talks and debates of the 2021 Verbier Art Summit will be presented in an open and participative online programme that can be explored over the course of the two Summit days, with three new talks and five international debates by new and former Summit speakers.

The new virtual platform provides an opportunity for all those with a love for art, innovation and ecology to participate for free, joining the international movement for driving social change through art. This is a time of great change and the Summit gladly offers a central role for artists and innovative thinkers to enable transformation and inspire action on the ecological crisis.

The 2021 Summit speakers are invited by Jean-Paul Felley, the Summit’s Academic Director and director of the EDHEA, the Valais School of Art, and include the Swiss artist Claudia Comte, Professor Tom Battin and cultural leaders Hedy Graber and Madeleine Schuppli. These interdisciplinary speakers will offer their different perspectives on a resource hungry epoch and reflect on how we can find a new way

In the work of artist Claudia Comte, the natural environment has always been a common theme, with the forest in particular playing an instinctive creative role. More recently, her interest in the ocean and marine life became a recurring subject. Her talk outlining her recent practice will be complemented by an illustration on transitions in the ‘unseen life’ in rivers by Tom Battin, Professor of Environmental Sciences at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), whose laboratory works on the microbial ecology and biogeochemistry of stream ecosystems in mountain regions worldwide.

Further ideas on innovation and society will be shared by Hedy Graber, head of the Cultural and Social Directorate at the Federation of Migros Cooperatives, who support sustainable social projects across Switzerland, and Madeleine Schuppli, head of Visual Arts at the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, who support Swiss arts and culture at home and abroad fostering cultural exchange.

The virtual 2021 Summit will also present some of its former speakers, featuring four international debates conceived by the Summit’s Strategic Director Beatrix Ruf. These debates will kick-off from New York with a session moderated by Jessica Morgan, the Summit’s 2020 partnering museum director of the Dia Art Foundation, who selected the Resource Hungry theme. Each debate will be concurrently livestreamed on social media and will include a live Q&A session on the 2021 Summit days: 29 and 30 January. A themed art and ecology section will provide further inspiration by the Summit speakers, partners and its international Members, encouraging all participants to take action on this important ecological theme.

If you are interested in learning more about the Summit’s theme, the accompanying publication Resource Hungry: Our Cultured Landscape and its Ecological Impact edited by Jessica Morgan and Dorothea von Hantelmann, designed by Irma Boom and distributed by Koenig Books London, is now available to purchase in specialty art book stores, museum shops and online.

To register for the 2021 virtual Summit and for more information on the theme, speakers and the virtual platform, please visit