Overview of Virgil Widrich's projects

Presentation of all projects in a wide variety of formats, such as films, exhibitions, installations, multimedia, research, publications and works, which were produced under the roof of checkpointmedia or in the course of teaching at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Practically everything – from 1980 to today.
Film, 2018

Light Matter

A 2018, Short, DCP, 2K, 1:1,85, Stereo
Length: 5 min.

Initially barely noticeable, the initially dim flashes of light become continuously brighter and more intense over a period of five minutes. Towards the end they become a staccato of light and dark stimuli that evoke psychedelic colour impressions in the audience. If you pause the film, however, it becomes apparent that it consists merely of a rhythmic sequence of white, grey and black frames and does not contain any colour information itself. But what causes these surprisingly strong illusions?

"Light Matter" takes advantage of a physiological phenomenon that was described by Gustav Theodor Fechner and Hermann von Helmholtz as early as the middle of the 19th century but has not yet been satisfactorily explained by science. Around the turn of the century, the effect was finally commercialized as an optical toy and has since been named after its inventor, the English toymaker Charles Benham. The point is that the rapid change from light to dark triggers color perception in the brain without the detour via the receptors of color vision in the eye. However, the colour perceptions produced in this way are extremely subjective and depend on many factors - e.g. smokers see no or other colours as non-smokers.

Virgil Widrich's film, however, does not stop at exploring and re-enacting a physiological experimental arrangement, but rather questions in an unexpected and clear way what cinema is. In "Light Matter" its conception is shaken by the fact that the material basis of the visual illusion is missing, but that it arises completely in the minds of the audience. Since everyone perceives the film differently, the self-evident nature of collective viewing may not arise either. Siegfried Friedrich's psychoacoustic music, which combines accelerating pulsations with spectral textures, further strengthens the highly individual perception.

Martin Reinhart

Attention! This film contains flashing lights which may not be suitable for light-sensitive epilepsy.
Multimedia, 2018


Real-time installation, 2018

The installation "tx-mirror" was created for the exhibition "Art in Motion. 100 masterpieces with and through media" at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe and is a further development of the film technology "tx-transform" invented by Martin Reinhart in 1992. As in earlier works by the duo Martin Reinhart and Virgil Widrich, the familiar perception is questioned and expanded through intuitive interaction. In a magical mirror one can look at oneself and explore the laws of a universe in which time and space have been reversed. The installation also pays homage to the Polish video artist Zbigniew Rybczynski, whose film "The Fourth Dimension" has inspired an entire generation of artists.

Link to the documentation on YouTube.
Film, 2018


In production for 2018
A 2018, installation and short film, DCP, color, 1:2,39
Length approx. 5 min.
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2018

Sound of Music World Salzburg

At the heart of the "Sound of Music World" are the central stations in the life of the Trapp family. In the history of the well-known singing family, events, changes, continuities and disruptions in Austria are united in the first half of the 20th century.
The exhibition is devoted to three major thematic blocks – the family history, the history of Villa Trapp, which was used by Heinrich Himmler as "Feldkommandostelle Bergwald", among others, and a confrontation between film and reality.
One focus is on the person of Georg von Trapp, captain of the corvette, author and today representative of the defunct Austro-Hungarian monarchy. After the family lost most of its assets in the course of the economic crisis, the family Trapp began to appear publicly as a choir out of necessity in 1936. During this time, for instance, they sang for the Austrofascist Chancellor Schuschnigg as well as for the Italian dictator Mussolini or Pope Pius XI. After the "Anschluss" in 1938, the family planned to leave Nazi-Austria. The exhibition explores the individual stages of migration until the Trapp family finally set foot in the USA.
Lastly, the cinematic reality depicted in the Robert Wise film "The Sound of Music" is juxtaposed with the reception, the "movie reality" and Austrian contemporary history in 10 viewpoints.
Due to the wide range of topics, the "Sound of Music World" offers information in addition to the current family history linked to the commercialism of film and musical. From the very beginning, the exhibition was designed in such a way that not only sound-of-music enthusiasts, but also people from Salzburg can enjoy something interesting.

Screenplay, Film


(in development for 2020+)

A/Lux, 2020, Animation
length: 90 min.

Romeo and Juliet in the microcosm of the human body... Forbidden love between the young Bacterium Micromeo and Antibody-girl Globia threatens the harmony of the immune system, leading to war between ambitious leaders, and finally awakening a genetic monster that is ready to exterminate them all. "Love is stronger than dirt!"
Film, 2018

Nena & Dave Stewart: Be my Rebel

D 2018, music video, DCP, 1:1.78
Length: 3 min. 45 sec.

Children dream of what they will be as adults and adults dream about their childhood. But sometimes, when orderly life becomes paralyzed in routine, adults need the inner child to bring about change: "Be my rebel", the first collaboration of the two music legends Nena and Dave Stewart, premiered at Nenas 40th anniversary on stage. The accompanying video by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Virgil Widrich transfers the story into a dreamlike, glass mirror world that is powered by Dave Stewart at the controls of his classic modular synthesizers. At the typewriter: Nena as an annoyed bookkeeper, who threatens to disappear soon with her flower dress in her flower wallpaper. But the inner dialogue works in both directions and soon takes effect: rebellion changes the past – and thus also the future.

Winner of 27 international film awards!

Link to video and interview...
Stage, Film, 2018

Icon Island – a live battle of pictures and sounds

A 2018, live performance, full HD, 16:9
Length: approx. 70 min.

Carefully selected visuals, many including a connection to Malta and its cinematic history, will be projected as a ‘live’ mix accompanied by a live electronic music performance by Maltese artist Sonitus Eco, the latter performed instinctively and spontaneously as an improvised soundtrack to the ephemeral visuals. The sounds of the films are re-imagined on the fly, the pictures react to – or even oppose – the sound. Man against island, picture against sound.
The collage of visuals is inspired by films dealing with the mystic and romantic journey to islands representing alternative societies or different states of mind: sometimes those places, questioning the custom identity of their visitors, are paradise and a threat at the same time.
Exhibition, University of Applied Arts, 2018

Aesthetics of change – 150 years of the University of Applied Arts Vienna

A cooperation between the University of Applied Arts Vienna and the MAK

In 1867 the School of Arts and Crafts was established at the Imperial Royal Austrian Museum of Art and Industry (today’s MAK) to enable Austrian arts and crafts to compete internationally. This school is the antecedent institution of today’s University of Applied Arts Vienna, which is now celebrating its 150th anniversary.

The exhibition AESTHETICS OF CHANGE: 150 Years of the University of Applied Arts Vienna in two parts casts a glance back onto 150 years of the University’s history, while at the same time daring to look into the future.

The Angewandte: 1867–2017: From A to Z
This time span is the topic of the first part of the jubilee exhibition in the MAK’s lower Exhibition Hall, curated by Elisabeth Schmuttermeier and Patrick Werkner. The objects on view are from the University’s own collections, supplemented by works from the MAK’s holdings. Associated with this are thousands of people in teaching and studies, among them “stars” from the history of art, design, and architecture, as well as relative unknown names.

With an encyclopedic arrangement of the topical points, the exhibition highlights the vicissitudes of the Angewandte’s history and the developments it begat and begets. Up-to-date videos to convey a sense of contemporary education, showcase student projects, and give glimpses into life at the Angewandte.

The Angewandte: 150 Plus Thirty
The second part of the jubilee exhibition in the MAK’s upper Exhibition Hall, curated by Gerald Bast and Peter Weibel, outlines theses for the future and advocates for a reorientation of education, art, and society. Three chapters present aggregated trends. The exhibition focuses on current and visionary research, in addition to contemporary artistic positions.

MAK - Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art
Stubenring 5,1010 Vienna

15.12.2017 until 15.04.2018
Tue 10:00-22:00 hrs, Wed-Sun 10:00-18:00 hrs, Mon closed

Exhibition, 2017

Memory Palace

"Memory Palace" is the name of a technique for committing things to memory by linking new material to be learned to a known location in order to make the sequence easy to remember. This is especially effective if a location is used that most people know best: the house in which they lived when they were children.
However, the house that we built for this purpose is an impossible house of mirrors, projections and light mixed with family stories in conflict between trying to remember and trying to forget. The house is built on wobbly ground, a house that never existed and never can. It has no specific size – and because it will soon be inhabited by new memories, it is empty. But an empty house produces different feelings of emptiness depending on whether somebody is still to arrive, or the last of us have already departed.
The rooms offer no reference points and no orientation between "inside" and "outside", they are part of a tour through the memories in a location at different points in time that change with every glance and continue to dissolve.
In the end there is no more there: the house has left the building.

The installation “Memory Palace” reflects the house from the film "Night of a 1000 Hours" which has been built using rear projections, backdrops, props, costumes and light and brought to life around the actors for the film.

The work "Memory Palace" is shown at the exhibition "ANALOG_DIGITAL. Media (Ex) changes"
– a coproduction of Filmarchiv Austria and sound: frame.

METRO Kinokulturhaus, Johannesgasse 4, 1010 Vienna, 3.10.2017 to 28.01.2018METRO Kinokulturhaus, Johannesgasse 4, 1010 Vienna, 3.10.2017 to 28.01.2018, daily 3 pm to 9 pm

Exhibition, 2017

Side by Side

The installation "Side by Side" by the Austrian media artist Virgil Widrich highlights the fundamental differences between digital and analogue films in terms of how they are created and perceived: the graininess and physical presence of the material are placed literally side by side with the clean, calculated clinicalness of digital film images. A massive movie projector is juxtaposed with a digital projector for home use. At the same time, the fragments of found footage assembled by the artist raise the question of what changes to media mean for the language of film. Originally, the term "film" meant the flexible image carrier, the film strip. Now, however, it refers to a set of creative possibilities, a form of art in which the image carrier has largely become a data carrier. (Anna Högner)

The work "Side by Side" is shown at the exhibition "ANALOG_DIGITAL. Media (Ex) changes"
– a coproduction of Filmarchiv Austria and sound: frame.

METRO Kinokulturhaus, Johannesgasse 4, 1010 Vienna, 3.10.2017 to 28.01.2018, daily 3 pm to 9 pm

Exhibition, 2017

Exhibition and retrospective "analog_digital – The Dichotomy of cinema"

To its first audiences, the cinema appeared to be nothing short of magic, but unlike conjurers it was willing to reveal how it was done right from the start: The film "Die ideale Filmerzeugung" (1914, camera/animation: Ludwig Schaschek) was one of the first to show viewers the amazing production process behind this latest form of virtual reality. Film-makers knew from the outset that in a medium that stimulates identification with the characters on the screen by alternating objective and subjective perspectives the truthful answer to the question "Who am I?" can only lie in the style or the materiality of the film itself. The first is primarily the domain of the feature film which has many examples of works dealing with the topic of reality/simulation, such as Kathryn Bigelow’s "Strange Days" (1995) and "Her" by Spike Jonze (2013), whereas it tends to be short films that explore the materiality of analogue and later digital cinema, such as "Optical Sound" by Elke Groen and Christian Neubacher (2014) and the works of Siegfried A. Fruhauf, for instance "Structural Filmwaste. Dissolution 1" (2003) and "Vintage Print" (2015). The dichotomy of cinema: on the one hand an all-powerful, godlike, invisible force that can dominate the entire universe as a supercomputer or matrix, and on the other a flimsy material, prone to scratches, chemical volatility or disappearing data – destined for oblivion unless subjected to some form of archiving.

To tie in with the new exhibition "Analog_Digital. Media (Ex)Changes" the Filmarchiv Austria is showing a fascinating cross section of national and international analogue/digital cinema in a retrospective curated by Virgil Widrich.

3 October 2017 to 28 January 2018, daily from 15:00 hrs.
METRO Kinokulturhaus, Johannesgasse 4, 1010 Vienna
Exhibition, Multimedia, 2017

Vienna Design Week 2017 – Panzerschrank Potemkin

When strongrooms are pensioned off, they quite often dream of the cinema – and of the days when break-ins were physical actions, gold bars and bundles of banknotes were real, and hermetically sealed rooms devised by master designers were able to play leading roles alongside the stars for one whole act – certainly a better and more exciting fate than a bare existence in the cellar of an abandoned bank.
Film director and multimedia artist Virgil Widrich transforms the strongroom of the former branch of the Zentralsparkasse at Sparkassaplatz 4 into a
surface for projections.

29.9.2017 to 8.10.2017, daily 11 am to 8 pm

Cocktail: 30.9.2017, from 5 to 8 pm
Finissage: Oct. 8, 2017, from 5 to 8 pm
Festivalzentrale Süd am Sparkassaplatz
Sparkassaplatz 4, 1150 Vienna

Download photos
Multimedia, checkpointmedia, 2017

Bankhaus Spängler display window collage

Design and implementation of a faceted display window collage

Bankhaus Spängler, founded in 1828 and still family-owned, is an independent private bank with its head office in Salzburg and branches in ten other locations. checkpointmedia developed the prototype for an innovative display window for the historic headquarters in Schwarzstraße, Salzburg.
A case that can be illuminated from the rear contains a faceted structure consisting of translucent Plexiglass sheets on which printed film is stuck. These feature a collage of images from the bank’s long history that come from the firm’s in-house archives.
Each of the 20 cells can be illuminated separately using RGBW LED lamps in any combination of colours. Judicious colour selection allows a single printed image to appear as two, for instance by using green lighting to eliminate the green print while the red is accentuated all the more. In this way, changing the lighting can produce the effect of slowly-shifting iridescence across the images.
A 55-inch monitor rounds off the visual display with a corresponding animated film. The brightness of the lighting and the monitor changes to match the time of day. The images – both on the film covering the Plexiglass sheets and the animated film – can be changed to reflect the changing seasons and modified for years to come.
Exhibition, University of Applied Arts, 2017

The Essence17

Annual exhibition of the University of Applied Arts Vienna.
June 28th to July 11th, 2017. Opening June 27th, 2017, 19:00.
Alte Post, Dominikanerbastei 11, 1010 Vienna
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 14:00 to 18:00, Thursday 14:00 to 21:00.

Folder "The Essence17" download.
Exhibition, Stage, checkpointmedia, 2017

70 Years of the Marshall Plan

Design and implementation of the anniversary event

On 5 June 1947 George Marshall made a speech in Harvard that changed the world: with it, the American Secretary of State and adviser to President Truman laid the foundations of the European Recovery Program (ERP). The so-called Marshall Plan became the most successful political project in American and European history. Between 1948 and 1952, 14 billion dollars, funded by the American taxpayer, was paid into the reconstruction programme for Europe. Austria’s economy continues to benefit from these funds to this day, which are used to promote innovative projects by Austrian companies and start-ups under a scheme for ERP loans granted by the Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH (aws).
The festivities marking the 70th anniversary of Marshall Plan aid, with speeches by Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, Vice-Chancellor Wolfgang Brandstetter and the  Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the US Embassy in Vienna, Eugene S. Young, demonstrate this connection between the past and the future.
“70 projections for 70 years”: Under the artistic direction of Virgil Widrich, a multi-disciplinary team designed the event on 21. June 2017 at METAStadt Vienna and a travelling exhibition for the Austria Wirtschaftsservice Gesellschaft mbH (ERP Fund).
Exhibition, University of Applied Arts, 2017

Circuit Training

A foray into the world of the Large Hadron Collider
An exhibition of the University of Applied Arts Vienna (Art & Science and Site-Specific Art) in cooperation with CERN (art@CMS and HEPHY – Institute of High Energy Physics).

Maybe some of you are familiar with the term 'Circuit Training'. It refers to a programme of physical activities that work each section of our bodies individually. When one circuit of the programme is done, either through coercion or (free) will, we begin the first exercise again for the next circuit. In order to probe the fundamental structure of the universe, physicists have implemented a sophisticated circuit training for the basic constituents of matter: accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before the beams are made to collide with each other. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions. We assume that those particles follow the instructions of physicists with a mixture of obedience and free will…
In the context of the cooperation with art@CMS and HEPHY (Institute of High Energy Physics), students of Art & Science and Site-Specific Art have explored the many facets that a large and multinational institution like CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research) encompasses. The wide-ranging investigations go from the Large Hadron Collider to the small print of politics and economy, from particle accelerators to solid bureaucracy, from the Big Bang to the growth of conspiracy theories. While roaming around CERN and becoming detectors ourselves, several questions started circulating. How do these experiments and the images they produce transcend beyond screens and light beams into different states of matter and the realities we live in? How will our artistic strategies develop in relation to the biggest camera and microscope on our planet?
The outcomes are presented in the group exhibition at das weisse haus.
Download folder and exhibition map...
Research, University of Applied Arts, 2019

Data Loam

The current excess of computational capacity begun to bring central questions about the nature of the humanities and natural science to light. Questions that critical artists have started to ask long before: how does science determine social structures, how does it shape our reality? What was important enough to be a subject to further examination, what has been overlooked or deliberately suppressed?

We want to go one step further and use novel computer-assisted research as well as software-based visualization methods to understand how knowledge is organized in world information systems like The Library of Congress or Wikipedia. We want to develop an interface to this "topography of knowledge" in order to see how these powerful systems express a structure to the information they contain over and above the facts themselves, since this is inherent to the ideologies used to catalogue and index them, all of which evolve over time.

The novel view we will pursue, addresses objects and objectivity  but, unlike traditional metrics, the materiality of the objects will be considered in an expanded sense; that is, via  the multiple vectors of meaning (perception, opinion, facticity, truth, semantics) that have been attributed to them over time whilst, simultaneously addressing the ‘radical matter’ of the algorithms as constituted by the flow of zeroes and ones. This "topography of knowledge" will enable a stronger relation to Big Data (or Metadata) as something quite different and far removed from surveillance or invasion of privacy; it will, at least in part, work toward the ability to establish a stronger, profoundly pluralistic democracy of objects and to understand human prejudice as a historical factor that can be calculated and traced.

We want to investigate and explore the possibilities of artistic interaction with these big “bodies” of data and are proposing to transform data into some kind of "matter" that allows us to touch, restructure and re-organize it.

DATA LOAM – the new material we want to introduce with this project – is based on the substance that already is used (and often abused) by institutions, governmental agencies and industries. We want nothing less than to enable everyone to create and shape a true/fictional/absurd variation of the world as we know it: A laboratory of  possible realities. Data Loam will provide a powerful set of metrics that can be used to enable anyone to ‘think outside the box’ whilst simultaneously ushering in a replacement paradigm which encourages all of us to be the philosophers and artists of our time.
Screenplay, Film, 2016

Night of a 1000 Hours

Lux/A/NL 2016, feature film, DCP, 1:2,39, Dolby Digital
Length: 92 min.

When the ambitious Philip takes over the running of the family business from his father, he finds himself confronted by the mysterious reappearance of his dead ancestors. In the course of a long night, during which there are a murder, an illicit love affair and a game with false identities, Philip uncovers a closely guarded family secret.

Winner of "Flash Forward Audience Award" at Busan International Film Festival 2016!

Trailer: German version and international version.
Film, 2016

Vienna table trip

A 2016, short film, advertisement, DCP, 1:1,78, Dolby SR
Length: 1 min. 22 sec.

"The coffee table is a microcosm of Vienna because basically, you do not need to leave the coffee house to travel once through the whole of Vienna. This idea eventually led to the idea of a miniature journey through the city, staged with saucers, cups, plates, knives, forks and souvenirs – garnished with projected memories and the many starters, main courses and desserts one can so often find here." (Virgil Widrich)

Winner of 24 international awards or honorable mentions!

Link to Film and Making of...
Exhibition, University of Applied Arts, 2016

The Essence16

Annual exhibition of the University of Applied Arts Vienna.
Opening June 30th, 2016, 19:00.
Alte Post, Dominikanerbastei 11, 1010 Vienna
Opening hours: 1 July to 15 July 2016, Monday to Tuesday from 14:00 to 18:00, Thursday 14:00 to 21:00, closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Exhibition, University of Applied Arts, 2016

[dis]placement – Information through Sound

Citygate Shopping, Wagramer Strasse 195, 1210 Vienna, 3 June to 13 June 2016, daily 10:00 to 20:00 (Sunday closed)

Inspired by the annual topic of the Art & Science project work "Information through sound" (Univ.-Prof. Virgil Widrich) and the seminar "sound as source" (Univ.-Lekt. Mag.art. Karl Salzmann), the term sound/noise was employed as a tool for analysis and experimentation by the students of the Art & Science Department and the Industrial Design Department as well as by visiting students from the Academy of Fine Arts. The carrier medium "sound" or "noise" includes in addition to its physical qualities (volume, wavelength, or frequency) — depending on how it is listened to or on the listener — a broad range of other information such as cultural, social and/or political meanings. The aim of the project was not just to use sound as an object of investigation, but rather to use sound as a tool to investigate various fields such as architecture, geology, acoustics, psychology, physics, chemistry, urban development, anthropology, philosophy, queer studies, sociology, or aesthetics.
The term and title "[dis]placement" served the students in relation to various topics as a starting point. On one hand, the works correspond directly to the place, a shopping mall, which is rarely used in the context of art, science and research as an exhibition space or laboratory. On the other hand, the student’s project works used spatial dislocation as a tool to disconnect original as well as artificially produced connotations in order to analyse their context through their objects of investigation.
How does our perception change when sound is extracted from its original source and then implemented within a totally new acoustic surrounding? What is the social and cultural impact generated by such transitions, and how can they be documented artistically and scientifically?
The exhibition space, placed within the Citygate shopping mall, becomes a laboratory and teaching space over the course of four weeks. Practical hands-on sessions, workshops, and theoretical discourse take place to delve deeper into developing the works further for a final  presentation in the form of an exhibition. Download folder.
Publication, 2016

Bei den Fischottern in der Ebene und auf den Bergen

In his "biographical fragments for the home and village", Hans Widrich (born 1936) describes the landscapes of his childhood and youth as well as exciting times as press officer to the archbishop and the Salzburg Festival.
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2016

Figaro Parallelo

The large-scale media installation "Figaro Parallelo" allows a comparison of recent productions of "The Marriage of Figaro": Salzburger Festspiele (2006), Opernhaus Zürich (2007), Gran Teatro La Fenice di Venezia (2011), Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (2012), Wiener Staatsoper (2013), The Metropolitan Opera New York (2014) and Royal Opera House Covent Garden (2015). In the centre are the historical Figaro as a starting point and mirror projection in a model stage inspired by the 2011 production at the Gran Teatro La Fenice di Venezia.
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2015

"Parallaxis" – Media installation for the exhibition "A Rush of Color" at the Leopold Museum

For the exhibition "A Rush of Color – Masterpieces of German Expressionism" (9 October 2015 - 11 January 2016 at the Leopold Museum) Virgil Widrich designed a media installation consisting of a disc, 3 rings and a projection with shifting perspectives.
Exhibition, University of Applied Arts, 2015

The Essence15

Annual exhibition of the University of Applied Arts Vienna
Künstlerhaus, Karlsplatz 5, 1010 Vienna
Exhibition duration: June 26 to July 12, 2015
Opening hours: daily except Monday 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m., Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 09:00 p.m.
Screenplay, Film, 2015

back track

A 2015, short film, Stereo DCP, black/white, 1:2,39
Length: 7 min.

Virgil Widrich's short film is a 7-minute 3D-remix of feature films from the 1950s and 60s which were projected on glass and photographed in 3D. The World premiere at the 61st International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. Additional festivals: Diagonale, Zagreb Animafest, Karlovy Vary, Vila do Conde, Wroclaw, Bristol, Sevilla, Cambridge, Milano, and Wiesbaden. Winner of 9 international film awards!

Link to making of; download press kit

"'back track' presents itself as yet another work of bravura by one of Austria’s most inventive filmmakers, his ingeniously intricate ideas ever a source of newfound pleasure."
Peter Tscherkassky

Research, University of Applied Arts, 2016

The European Union (Horizon 2020) funded project AXIOM develops the first open source film camera. The project is hosted at Art & Science at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and involves a consortium of four other organisations in three different EU countries: Apertus Association (Austria), antmicro (Poland), af inventions (Germany) and Denz (Germany).
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2014

Funeral Museum at Vienna Central Cemetery

Following a bidding procedure involving several stages, the consortium of checkpointmedia Multimediaproduktionen AG / OMS Objektmanagement Service GmbH was commissioned in June 2013 as sole contractor for the design, construction and furnishing of the new museum.

The architect Gustav Pichelmann created a museum entrance via a ramp placed laterally to the main steps and at a slight angle and running counter to the existing ramp, and via a flight of stairs, both of which are marked by tall, light-coloured steles. The ramp is bordered by concrete and natural stone blocks which emphasise the nearly 30-metre-long "way down". The construction makes a clear statement without impinging on the historical building in any way.

The museum is set at a level half a metre above the original historical basement floor. A catwalk leads off from the foyer into the museum itself, guiding visitors through the exhibition above floor level and enabling them to view exhibits, display cases and media stations from this vantage point. While the room itself remains darkened, the exhibits and display cases are illuminated by white light and the catwalk is bathed in a warm yellowish light.

Museum Concept
Here, visitors follow the various stages of bereavement in the narrative section: died – mourned – borne – buried – remembered.

Over 250 original artefacts, plus visual material from the archives of the Vienna undertaking services and cemeteries, are on display in the museum, many of them for the first time. They include an original fourgon (a coach used as a hearse) from the turn of the twentieth century. Numerous uniforms, from the elaborate livery based on Spanish courtly ceremonies to today's simple gown, are on show. A stiletto for pricking the heart and an alarm for ringing if the "deceased" wakes up again are bizarre relics of a time when the fear of being buried alive was widespread. A reusable coffin dating from 1784, the period of Joseph II, gives visitors an idea of how Mozart was buried. A bill issued by the imperial court for the repatriation and burial of Franz Ferdinand and his wife following their assassination in Sarajevo is exhibited as a truly historical document.

On thirteen monitors, videos play, most of which consist of material that has never been shown before. These include excerpts from the Austrian Film Archive, with recently discovered and restored footage of the funeral of Franz Joseph I and the sumptuous funeral procession for Albert Baron Rothschild. The videos complement the exhibits and place them in the context of the period they originate from.

A video installation consisting of audiovisual elements and real objects presents notices of death from various centuries. From the wife of a house-owner to Ernst Haeussermann, former director of the Burgtheater, the grief that follows a person's death has never changed, although the way this grief is expressed has.

Two historical peep shows present the various classes of funerals in the style of the time. A three-dimensional display made up of elements of a stage set, lighting moods and 3D video fade-ins presents the splendour of the resting in repose of members of high society around the turn of the twentieth century – and how it contrasts with the funerals of lesser mortals.

On an audio station, visitors can listen to the songs that are currently most popular at funerals.

The museum has a total floor area of a little over 500m², of which 300m² are taken up by the permanent exhibition. Approximately 16 tons of melted asphalt, 130m³ of concrete and 15km of cable were used, while 3km of ducts for ventilation, heating and water were installed. Every hour around 3600m³ of air is circulated in order to maintain an appropriate atmosphere for the historical exhibits, some of which are delicate. The time that elapsed between the submissions and the commissioning was 395 days in total, and the building costs amounted to roughly €2.5 million. Installing a state-of-the-art museum in the basement of a historical building presented a particular challenge, entailing as it did the instalment of an enormous amount of technical equipment in such a way that it remains hidden and the restoration of the existing inventory.

The Wiener Bestattungsmuseum (Vienna Funeral Museum) at the Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) not only provides information about the culture of funerals and cemeteries in Vienna through its original artefacts and historical images but also showcases the idiosyncratic way the Viennese have of dealing with death. Its location, at Europe's second-biggest cemetery, the Vienna Zentralfriedhof, also provides an incentive to take a tour round the Cemetery afterwards.
Research, University of Applied Arts, 2018

The Future of the Control Room

The department Art & Science at the  University of Applied Arts Vienna hosts the research project "The Future of the Control Room". The aim of this research project is to question the current state of control rooms and thereby create new concepts for an overall design of how a future control room could look like. The Research includes the fields of history, film, architecture, human-computer interaction, software, GUI-development and the politics of interface design.
Exhibition, University of Applied Arts, 2014

The Essence14

Annual exhibition of the University of Applied Arts Vienna
Künstlerhaus, Karlsplatz 5, 1010 Vienna
Exhibition duration: June 26 to July 13, 2014
Opening hours: daily except Monday 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m., Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 09:00 p.m.
Exhibition, University of Applied Arts, 2014

Biosphere n+1

Models and Realities: Versions of Sustainability
Exhibition and transdisciplinary Play in 3 Acts
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU),
Foyer of Franz Schwackhöfer Haus, Peter-Jordan-Straße 82, 1190 Vienna

Envisioning a sustainable future of our planet leads to many attempts to integrate scientific disciplines and respective research methods. Biosphere 2 was a living model world with the aim to study the interactions between humans, farming and technology. The ecological experiment was implemented in the 1990s in the Arizona desert and tried to build a closed, independent system that resembled the most important factors of Earth’s ecosystem. Compared to today’s fine-tuned computational models, which are used to understand, simulate and control real-world systems and tackle transformation towards sustainability, the project of Biosphere 2 can serve as a model for an experimental and performative mode of living that dreams of new ways of doing the natural and the social. The cooperation between students of the Art & Science master’s programme and the Doctoral School of Sustainable Development uses Biosphere 2 as a starting point to develop a transdisciplinary play that enacts "biospherian" versions of sustainability.
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checkpointmedia, 2014

Silhouette International – Film to mark 50th anniversary

An almost 3-minute animated film marks the 50th anniversary of Silhouette International Schmied AG, whisking the viewer on a rousing journey through the history of the world’s leading brand in light eyewear. The film depicts each decadal chapter in the company’s history using a unique graphic style.

The 1960s: the largely French-influenced fashion of the time led to the internationally catchy name, Silhouette, being chosen at the launch of this Austrian, family-owned company. The prevailing lifestyle of consumption swiftly led to the worldwide export of the eyewear. 

The 1970s were epitomised by a new feeling of freedom: ‘love, peace and music’ was the maxim of the day. The motto "think pink", take it easy, inspired the creation of the first rimless frames – a concept that would become Silhouette’s core competence.

1980s fashion was characterised by a boom in fitness clothing, whilst masculine looking  eyewear was designed to summon more respect and space for a woman. "Enlightenment" was provided with new materials such as the SPX plastic, specially developed by Silhouette for its eyewear.

The 1990s saw Silhouette creating eyewear decor with African wild animal patterns, transforming puristic spectacles by providing them with never-before-seen lightness and technical perfection, and finally launching a technological masterpiece onto the market with the first Titan Minimal Art eyewear.

In the 2000s, Titan Minimal Art was launched into outer space on 35 separate NASA missions and since the end of the decade the barely felt, hingeless and rimless eyewear has graced modern faces on the Earth too.
Exhibition, University of Applied Arts, 2013

Crucial Experiments

An exhibition of the University of Applied Arts Vienna during Vienna Art Week 2013
November 19th to 22nd, 2013
MuseumsQuartier/Ovalhalle, Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna

The exhibition project aims to re-enact scientific experiments that are considered as crucial. What is a crucial experiment? Some explain it as an experiment that takes place at a fork and helps us to decide which way to go. Think, for instance, of Einstein’s theory of relativity: His famous "Gedankenexperimente" were elegant, but how to prove that they relate to reality? Or think of Newton’s prism experiments to show the composition of light. In our time, a crucial experiment may test the "De-Broglie-Bohm trajectories for indistinguishable particles" to reconsider the wave-particle duality. There are crucial experiments considered as being successful, and others that failed miserably: see, for example, the article in the journal American Society for Psychical Research from 1907, in which a physician comes to the conclusion that the soul substance weighs on average 21 grammes. Finally, there were highly controversial crucial experiments, which were wiped from the scientific agenda as if their authors had claimed to have created gold from sand. However, the question of whether a chemical transfer of knowledge is possible or whether cold fusion can solve our energy problems might still be a worthwhile pursuit.

The exhibition presents case studies of crucial experiments, which students of the Art & Science master degree programme elaborate by examining the topic of crucial experiments in the sciences. The methodological framework of "re-enactment" enables the exploration of historical or contemporary, realistic or fictional, sceptical and obsessive approaches to creating experimental set-ups by means of different artistic media and research strategies. The outcome of this artistic research should give an impression of the messy interface and intricate relationships between theory and practice, models and observations, predictions and desires.

The compilation of the case studies was conducted in collaboration with cooperation partners at various scientific institutes in Vienna. The Art & Science students visit and learn at these institutes on a regular basis in order to develop their own artistic projects in the field and in relation to current issues in research. Drawing from these existing networks, the group-works by the students on "crucial experiments" have been developed in a process of interdisciplinary exchange with the partner institutes. These re-enacted experiments will be presented at Vienna Art Week 2013, passing on the resulting questions to a public audience for discussion.
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2013

Experimenta Heilbronn – Music workshop

checkpointmedia develops and installs a new music workshop with three studios for experimenta Heilbronn.

The workshop provides children and grown-ups with the chance to form their own bands and create their own songs in five different musical styles. Visitors can arrange and compose new songs by choosing from a wide variety of preset bars (sequences of notes, sounds), which can be used in individual song sections depending on the style and instruments selected.

After the visit, the songs are available as a score and can also be downloaded as audio files via a link. All the songs are stored in a database, allowing visitors to listen to and rate any song they wish on the “jukebox”.

The task facing checkpointmedia was to make work with music and the development of songs accessible to people with no musical knowledge. The experience is made complete by the creation of a studio atmosphere with soundproofed walls, high-end audio equipment and user interfaces based on professional audio software.

Visitors are greeted at the studio terminals and begin by picking up their audio equipment which consists of headphones, controller, cable and instrument connector. Songs can be composed alone, with the aid of the computer or with a band of up to four members. The music workshop’s mascot, the little rock star, accompanies visitors throughout the workshop, offering tips, explaining procedures and recommending ways of developing the song arrangement and structure.

For each musical style, four instruments are available which correspond to a complete band’s line-up. The musical styles resemble those of well-known groups and artists from the international charts.

The equipment is wired up to the studios, the software providing live feedback via every connector. Instructions are entered on a touch screen and by means of a controller specially developed by checkpointmedia. The controller is used to program and listen back to instrument tracks. Thousands of variations are available for use in any combination. As soon as they are selected on the screen, the variations are displayed as musical notation. All the variations are available as MIDI files, which allow the appropriate instrument sound to be produced in real time by means of a sample database.
Exhibition, University of Applied Arts, 2013

The Essence13

Annual exhibition of the University of Applied Arts Vienna
Künstlerhaus, Karlsplatz 5, 1010 Vienna
Exhibition duration: June 26 to July 14, 2013
Opening hours: daily except Monday 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m., Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 09:00 p.m.
Exhibition, University of Applied Arts, 2013

14/16, on-site research

micro-exhibits at six places
In order to investigate the relationships between different artistic and scientific representational cultures, students of the master degree programme "Art & Science" left the studio at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and dispersed to several scientific partner institutions. They entered worlds with different questions and found open-minded researchers and scientists to carefully observe. Being not invisible themselves, the observers unwittingly left marks in their field of observation and quickly became study subjects as well. To reflect on this process of ‘observed investigation’ 16 students implemented 14 small site-specific works at the partner institutes creating a larger network of ‘micro exhibits’. A bus tour circumscribing the new found interlacing relations and now much-extended lab space of the students concludes this winter semester’s journey: the search for correlations between art and science went beyond distanced observation and started to inspire relationships between different types of researchers.
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All places with exhibits:
Department of Limnology, Althanstraße 14, 1090 Vienna
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, Savoyenstraße 1, 1160 Vienna
Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Am Campus 1, 3400 Klosterneuburg
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna
Kea Lab, Haidlhof 204, 2540 Großau/Bad Vöslau
Art & Science Studio, Vordere Zollamtsstraße 3, 1030 Vienna
Publication, 2012

Hundert Jahre Kupelwieser auf dem Mönchsberg

"Eine kleine Haus- und Familiengeschichte" by Hans Widrich, editor: Virgil Widrich
Stage, Screenplay

Black Cat/New Angels

A stage musical for one tenor, two dancers and a baroque ensemble, based on the novella "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe. Music by Johann Sebastian Bach and David Sylvian. Conceived by Martin Haselböck, Frank Hoffmann and Virgil Widrich. World premiere 19/11/2012 at the Théâtre National du Luxembourg.
A co-production of the Théâtre National du Luxembourg and Musikkonzept Wien.
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2012

Museum of Natural History Vienna – The Meteorite Gallery

As one of the world’s foremost museums of natural history, the Natural History Museum Vienna looks after 30 million artefacts and specimens that form the basis of extensive scientific research. Its oldest collections date back over 250 years.

For the reopening of the world’s largest and oldest collection of meteorites on 14 November 2012, the vast collection of extraordinary exhibits is expanded by the skilful inclusion of media stations, interactive hands-on stations and animations.

In partnership with the curators of the Natural History Museum Vienna and a team of architects from Arno Grünberger/Spurwien, checkpointmedia has developed a contemporary form of knowledge transfer.

Specific aspects of general meteorite research and the unique Vienna collection, in particular, are introduced to visitors in informative video clips that contain a wealth of images. A hands-on station allows visitors to interactively control the extent of potential devastation that a meteorite impact could cause to Vienna, while an animated presentation of the birth of the solar system is guaranteed to amaze.

Particularly interesting exhibits can be studied in detail through a magnifying glass which provides additional information on a screen. In an interactive quiz, visitors are invited to guess whether a particular meteorite or stone pattern emanated from the skies or originated on Earth.
Lecture, 2012

The Night of the Avant-garde - Film Seen Differently

To mark the 50th Viennale, ORF Kultur presented treasures of Austrian avant-garde cinema spanning some five generations. The programme began at midnight on Monday 22 October 2012. The spotlight was on works by young filmmakers. “Kein MTV ohne Kurt Kren” is the rubric used by international critics for this world-acclaimed genre from Austrian cutting rooms.
The programme was presented by filmmaker Virgil Widrich,  who observed that "Whereas feature films deal with the conscious, the avant-garde chafes at the unconscious. That often makes it sinister, but also very appealing."

Monday 22 October 2012, 12.00 midnight, ORF 2, 120 mins.
Exhibition, University of Applied Arts, 2012

The Essence12

Annual exhibition of the University of Applied Arts Vienna
Künstlerhaus, Karlsplatz 5, 1010 Vienna
Exhibition duration: June 27 to July 15, 2012
Opening hours: Monday to Wednesday, Friday to Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m., Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 09:00 p.m.

The title Here and There refers to an on-going research and investigation project of the students of the Art & Science master  programme. At the beginning of the summer semester, the programme entered into a cooperation phase with several scientific institutions in Austria, and students began to perform ethnographic research, in various scientific fields of their choosing. Through means of participatory observation, it was (and is) an attempt to deepen their understandings of research practices and scientific lifestyles.
Here and there also relates to an oscillating emotional and intellectual (and epistemological) moving between world-views, disciplines, practices, rituals, languages and theories. This travelling between art studio and scientific lab, artist and researcher, attempts to give the students the opportunity to track down a matter of concern and to develop a research question, with the potential to be elaborated into a master thesis. The work on display mirrors some of the experiences and reflexions of the participants in these cooperations.
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2012

Erste-Campus-Schauplatz – Visitor centre for Erste Group’s new headquarters

The future headquarters of the Erste Group – the Erste Campus – is brought to life for the benefit of staff and visitors through a multimedia exhibition in Vienna.

In the middle of Vienna’s new district "Quartier Belvedere", Erste Group is building its new headquarters, due for completion in 2016, on the site of the former Südbahnhof railway station. With this extensive project, Erste Group presents itself as an innovative and visionary corporation: the highly accessible location next to the new central railway station and the open architectural design create, not least as a result of shorter access routes and optimal communication channels, a living and working environment that is unmistakably geared towards the future. The Erste Campus will be a meeting place and a source of motivation and inspiration for staff and customers alike.

The visitor centre "Erste-Campus-Schauplatz" arouses curiosity and stimulates interest: even before the construction is completed, visitors can view, experience and discover the new headquarters. Why did Erste Group choose this site? How will this modern co-working space influence staff and customers? And what role does the open-plan architecture of the Erste Campus play?

The exhibition room invokes through a curving white wall the biomorphic form of the four building complexes that make up the Erste Campus. Large captions serve as a graphic signage system, while text passages, facts and figures as well as renderings and design plans provide information about key topics.

The directors of Erste Bank discuss the project in video clips, and the architects, Henke Schreieck, explain the design concept of this urban landscape. Multimedia presentations illustrate the development of the Erste Campus: a multimedia model enables visitors to undertake a virtual exploration of the building, interactively directing the building work completed so far. An animated artist’s impression reveals how the appearance of the Erste Campus will change with the seasons.
Research, University of Applied Arts, 2016

Liquid Things

Materials have always been transmitters of messages. Today they have acquired a new relevance as a result of the increasing flows of information that shape our societies. Consequently, many scientific fields are simultaneously developing ways of expanding the potential of matter to handle these flows. On the road to realising concepts like "programmable matter" or "adaptive architecture", research groups on "mediated matter", "transitive materials" and "metamaterials" have recently emerged. However, these young realms are characterised by a mechanistic way of thinking which leaves promising aspects of these novel, active and metamorphic materials unelaborated.
Considering Gaston Bachelard’s poetic essays on the influence of matter on imagination and that fact that our culture has been charged with ideas about transformations since the apparition of Ovid’s "Metamorphoses" two thousand years ago, we propose a practical and critical approach to the genuine advances in this field made by computer and materials sciences, physics and chemistry to face questions regarding issues such as the physical resonance of materials becoming active or their potential to cause a renegotiation of our material reality.
We take both referential contexts, namely the scientific developments and the imagination applied to transformations of matter and combine them to present new ideas, concepts and concrete actions with the intention of expanding artistic perspectives.
The project Liquid Things is organised in three modules: Material/Technology, Theory/Reflection and Art/Process, each including several international invitations for concentrated, time-limited cooperations ending in individual presentations. The first module focuses on experiments with novel materials; the second deepens the context and sets the theoretical framework for our research; and finally, the third consists of the creation of artistic prototypes. The main outcomes are presented in: two workshops on the artistic manipulation of active materials, a symposium that reflects on the theoretical and practical field addressed in the project in relation to art-based research, an exhibition that places the prototypes in a public venue for open discussion and a final published book, which summarizes the processes, collaborations, activities and results of the project. The three modules are deeply intertwined and allow the development of a critical and simultaneously deep and original collaboration with matter.
Roman Kirschner
Publication, 2011

An envelope for arts, sciences, politics and us

Mixing realities and mediating myths & methods
Editors: Valerie Deifel, Bernd Kräftner, Virgil Widrich

Sealed in the book/envelope are a variety of thoughts, images, considerations, and theoretical references about the immediate and broader context of establishing an Art & Science class at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Two main sources of material are combined: first, contributions that document the development of the department; and second, contributions by invited guests and interesting positions that refer to a wider art/science field. The compiled materials reflect upon experimental investigations into the reality of production of systems, discourses, and institutional structures. The book contributes to the questions of how artistic and scientific methods and practices relate to each other, and how these relations can be enriched and transformed.
Abstract by Valerie Deifel
Exhibition, University of Applied Arts, 2011

Things that talk

A showcase from the Friends of the Natural History Cabinet Association archives
A cooperation between the University of Applied Arts Vienna/Art & Science and the Museum of Natural History Vienna during Vienna Art Week 2011.
Naturhistorisches Museum, Burgring 7/Central Staircase, 1010 Vienna

"The items exhibited on the central staircase of the Museum of Natural History Vienna have been selected from the long-standing collection of the Friends of the Natural History Cabinet Association. The initiator of the first soirées in the mid-eighteenth century is said to be the illustrious Emperor Franz I (Franz Stephan of Lorraine) himself, whose private Natural History Cabinet is considered to be the origin of the Museum of Natural History. In pursuit of new scientific insights, the Emperor gathered a circle of like-minded amateur collectors and well-known experts, forming an association with the aim to present and create a discussion around current research. Members of the club started to collect objects that were of special interest to their discussions. Over the following decades, this compilation of items seems to have grown more in peculiarity than in number, which is why it has been suggested that parts of the collection have gone lost. Also, rumour has it, in the years it has been stored and almost forgotten in the cellar of the museum, some items have been assumed part of the collection, which were not previously included. The social tradition of the Friends of the Natural History Cabinet Association continues still today, with current members holding regular meetings in the form of a dinner at the museum each week. For this current exhibition selected items from the association’s collection were prepared for display by the Art & Science class/University of Applied Arts Vienna in collaboration with the Friends of the Natural History Cabinet Association."
Publication, checkpointmedia, 2011

Presentation and new Media – 10 Years checkpointmedia: concepts, paths, visions

Since 2001, the Vienna-based company checkpointmedia has produced multimedia Gesamtkunstwerke for exhibitions, museums, visitor centres and organisations. Besides an overview of projects carried out over the last ten years, the book "Presentation and New Media - 10 Years checkpointmedia: Concepts, Paths, Visions" contains essays by leading contemporary protagonists on the current discourse in the media, worlds of experience, communication and internet sectors. Seven chapters of the book are devoted to experts' contributions, interspersed with illustrations of checkpointmedia projects. The book elucidates the various aspects of the company's work, from research, artistic involvement, storytelling and the provision of information on subjects such as design, architecture and the integration of new technologies such as websites and content management systems, to the exploration of questions of identity, culture, communication and implementation - all of which are inextricably linked to one another.
Published by Springer-Verlag Vienna/New York
Exhibition, University of Applied Arts, 2011

The Essence11

Annual exhibition of the University of Applied Arts Vienna.
MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts, Weiskirchnerstraße 3, 1010 Vienna
Duration of the exhibition: 28. June to 17. July 2011, opening times: Tuesday 10:00 to 24:00 , Wednesday to Thursday 10:00 to 18:00.
Screenplay, Film

warning triangle

A 2011, short film, Video, 4:3
Length: 6 min.

A found footage film collage about the destructive triangle between a man, a woman, and her car. Produced for the exhibition "Car Fetish. I drive, therefore I am." for the Museum Tinguely, Basel.
YouTube: film
Exhibition, University of Applied Arts, 2011

Parameter{world} - parameters for every or no thing

Exhibition University of Applied Arts Vienna
On 29/03/2011, the preview of the exhibition "parameter{world} - parameters for every or no thing" took place. Students from the master's course in "Art & Science Visualization" at the University of Applied Arts (artistic director: Virgil Widrich) showed their projects. The exhibition ran from 30 March to 1 April 2011 at Vordere Zollamtsstr. 3, 1030 Vienna. Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Flyer download.
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2010

Exhibition "90 Years of the Salzburg Festival – The Great World Theatre"

In 2010, the Salzburg Festival celebrated its 90th anniversary. A traditional style exhibition with panels, objects and models seemed inadequate for presenting the sheer variety of artistic brilliance. Consequently, the displays and texts were "fanned out" to reflect the scope of the Festival's history. Soundtracks and spoken excerpts from key documents in the history of the Salzburg Festival became generators of exhibition areas, which then carried the content in the form of timber "ribs". As a result, the history of the Salzburg Festival was physically brought into the room: visitors could not only view the events but move around in them. The timber “ribs” were connected by a timeline that traced the development of the Salzburg Festival over the decades. In this way, it was possible to present not only individual personalities and their work but also the connections to political and social events, and the ambiguities, caesuras and continuities that shaped and still shape the Festival.

The individual exhibits were placed on the surfaces of the "ribs", thereby freeing them from the restraints of the traditional, two-dimensional form of presentation. This created "windows", opening up views into 90 years of Salzburg Festival history. Costumes and an "Everyman" installation protruded out of the "ribs" into the surrounding space and across the visitors' path.

The high point and grand finale of the tour was the central installation of the "World Stage" - a stylised stage with multimedia features. The media installation " The Great World Theatre" was a "meta-performance" distilled out of the leading productions of the last nine decades and reassembled into a new presentation. The stage was an abstract model, quoting and replicating all the stages and venues of the Festival, quite in the spirit of Max Reinhardt's motto, "The city as a stage". The projection was devised using the so-called "augmented reality" approach: the projectors were focused onto the model, capturing its form pixel by pixel. A different video could be played on each of the model's 22 surfaces arranged on the stage area.

July 17th to October 26th, 2010 at the Salzburg Museum.
Exhibition, University of Applied Arts, 2010

The Essence10 – Hyperactive Prototypes

Annual exhibition of the University of Applied Arts Vienna
Künstlerhaus, Karlsplatz 5, 1010 Vienna
Exhibition duration: June 24 to July 18, 2010
Opening hours: Tue to Sun, 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m., Thu 10:00 a.m. to 09:00 p.m.

Hyperactive Prototypes
As part of the annual exhibition of the University of Applied Arts Vienna, which bears the title "The Essence 10", from June 24 to July 18, 2010, the Digital Art Department will be presenting 15 pieces of work by digital art graduates under the title "Hyperactive Prototypes" in the Künstlerhaus, Vienna.
The range of selected works on display encompasses interactive and network-based installations, algorithmically designed sculptures, sensor-controlled objects, reactive sound sculptures, sound environments and mobile sound installations.   
The works are prototypes of differing forms of artistic approach and media aesthetic realisation. They are the results of an  experimental, artistic involvement with a process-oriented spatial mediality determined by algorithms.
This catalogue is a concise record of the projects presented.  All the projects represent diploma artwork submitted by students during the academic year 2009/10. (Diploma supervisors: DI Architect Nicolaj Kirisits, a.o.Univ.-Prof. Mag. art. Ruth Schnell and Univ.-Prof. Virgil Widrich).

Vienna, June 2010
Univ.-Prof. Virgil Widrich

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Screenplay, Film


A 2010, short film, Video, 4:3
Length: 5 min.

A surreal montage of science fiction films about the public image oft the robot, collected for the exhibition "Robot Dreams" at the Kunsthaus Graz and the Museum Tinguely, Basel.
YouTube: film
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2009

Exhibition "Linz. City in Luck" – Linz 2009 European Capital of Culture

As a regional capital, Linz is a special case. For a long time, the city had to struggle with its provincial image, enduring for many years a poor reputation as a stinking industrial town without charm, its history overshadowed even today by that hapless period when it was the "Führer's" favourite city. However, since the 1970s, the city has undergone a profound transformation. The aim of both a research project directed by Thomas Philipp (LIquA - Linz Institute for Qualitative Analyses) and the exhibition itself was to adopt a definite position towards the central questions concerning the city’s development. What makes Linz an industrial and cultural city? Which events have imprinted themselves on its collective memory? How do the people who live and work in Linz see their city? The history of Linz is examined on the basis of various perspectives - some of them very personal. This has made it possible to avoid the classic approach to presentation that is frequently encountered in a municipal museum, enabling the local audience to be addressed directly and exposing national and international visitors to the Cultural Capital Linz09 to new approaches. The exhibition was staged as a stylised residential house, in which each room accommodated a theme. As such, the spatial installations could be understood not only as design elements but also as commentaries. Information was conveyed via texts and newspaper articles from the respective periods. Embedded in the space were video installations showing interviews with people from Linz talking about their city.
Exhibition, University of Applied Arts, 2009

The Essence09 – Digital Traces

Annual exhibition of the University of Applied Arts Vienna.
Vordere Zollamtstraße 3, Room EG11, A-1030 Vienna, Exhibition duration: June 26 to July 15, 2009, opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Digital Traces
As part of the annual exhibition of the "Angewandte", which this year bears the title "Essence09", the Digital Art Department will be presenting the diploma work of its students from the 2009 summer semester.
The ten works selected are representative prototypes for differing artistic approaches and medial-aesthetic realisation. At the same time, they also exemplify the diversity of the fields of production and research within the digital art sphere, which are developed and taught at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. 
The range of works on display incorporates interactive installations and video sculptures, GAMEArt, Internet and webcam projects, and kinetic objects.
They are the result of an artistic analysis of the effects of the information technology-related changes in our perception and concept of reality in the age of the digital code.

Vienna, June 2009
Univ.-Prof. Virgil Widrich, Mag. art. Ruth Schnell

Download catalogue
Exhibition, University of Applied Arts, 2009

Alias in Wonderland

Exhibition of the Digital Art Department/University of Applied Arts Vienna,
June 25th to July12 2009, Freiraum/quartier21, Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Wien

Text for the exhibition by Univ.-Prof. Virgil Widrich and Dipl. Ing. Arch. Nicolaj Kirisits:
The shaping of reality takes place using references and images. In the digital age, the number of images has grown exponentially. In computing, a reference point is designated as an "alias". The alias was invented in order to be able to use memory capacity in a more efficient manner.  The alias is subject to size limitations, but nonetheless already provides an idea of the original to which it refers. Thus an alias in a computer is a signpost to a larger file and a reference to data that exists elsewhere. Accordingly, in other words, an alias is a type of key, or "rabbit hole" to memory. 

In the economics of attentiveness, the alias can also be understood as a unit of currency. The more frequently a scientist employs quotations, an artist creates recipes or a star is commented upon, the higher the social and monetary value. At the same time, the alias constitutes a reduction of the original, whereby images are more easily scaled down than artistic formats such as theatre, performance or interactive art.  Artistic formats, which cannot employ reduction as a quality, are among the losers. By contrast, there are banal interventions, the reduced images of which, attract attention and can be easily disseminated in digital forms as an alias, and thus achieve undreamt of success.
Like everything else, art is created in the mind of the recipient and therefore, even the original can be understood as a reference to the actual place where reality is created. 
The concept of the "Alias in Wonderland" exhibition facilitates the simultaneous and compact representation of the diversity of both the "Digital Art" class and its work. For every "original", an alias has been created, whereby on occasion the alias can itself be the original. An area 30x30x30cm has been stipulated for the exhibits, which are contained in a mobile base. Visitors in Wonderland can move every alias and two docking stations are available for the release of classified, supplementary information and media content from the work. The originals are elsewhere.
Publication, University of Applied Arts, 2009

Catalogue "Alias in Wonderland"

Exhibition of the Digital Art Department/University of Applied Arts Vienna,
June 25th to July12 2009, Freiraum/quartier21, Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Wien

Text for the exhibition by Univ.-Prof. Virgil Widrich and Dipl. Ing. Arch. Nicolaj Kirisits:
The shaping of reality takes place using references and images. In the digital age, the number of images has grown exponentially. In computing, a reference point is designated as an "alias". The alias was invented in order to be able to use memory capacity in a more efficient manner.  The alias is subject to size limitations, but nonetheless already provides an idea of the original to which it refers. Thus an alias in a computer is a signpost to a larger file and a reference to data that exists elsewhere. Accordingly, in other words, an alias is a type of key, or "rabbit hole" to memory. 

In the economics of attentiveness, the alias can also be understood as a unit of currency. The more frequently a scientist employs quotations, an artist creates recipes or a star is commented upon, the higher the social and monetary value. At the same time, the alias constitutes a reduction of the original, whereby images are more easily scaled down than artistic formats such as theatre, performance or interactive art.  Artistic formats, which cannot employ reduction as a quality, are among the losers. By contrast, there are banal interventions, the reduced images of which, attract attention and can be easily disseminated in digital forms as an alias, and thus achieve undreamt of success.
Like everything else, art is created in the mind of the recipient and therefore, even the original can be understood as a reference to the actual place where reality is created. 
The concept of the "Alias in Wonderland" exhibition facilitates the simultaneous and compact representation of the diversity of both the "Digital Art" class and its work. For every "original", an alias has been created, whereby on occasion the alias can itself be the original. An area 30x30x30cm has been stipulated for the exhibits, which are contained in a mobile base. Visitors in Wonderland can move every alias and two docking stations are available for the release of classified, supplementary information and media content from the work. The originals are elsewhere.
checkpointmedia, 2008

Identity Film "What makes Erste Group great?"

In honour of Erste Bank's 190th anniversary, the film brings to life the original vision that inspired the founding of the bank in 1819 and links past, present and future. The historical outline illuminates the origin and growth of the Erste Group and aims to emotionally anchor the knowledge in the minds of staff and clients. The film is a mixture of statistics, facts and an animation compiled of historical and present-day images and is suitable for all target groups in every country, even those without previous knowledge of the company, and acts as a means of strengthening a collective sense of identity. The goal of the project is to show the film to 50,000 employees using internal communications, and to clients by means of various platforms, in order to convey the key message: "We opened our doors 190 years ago and have not closed them since."
Exhibition, University of Applied Arts, 2008

The Essence08 – Digitale Kunst

Annual exhibition of the University of Applied Arts Vienna. MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts, Weiskirchnerstraße 3, 1010 Vienna, duration of the exhibition: 27. June to 13. July 2008, opening times: daily 10:00 to 18:00, Tuesday 10:00 to 24:00, closed on Monday.

In Place of a Title
No motto is comprehensive enough to cover all the works of "digital art" that I was able to select for THE ESSENCE 08:
What heading could convey both the deceleration of old video games (Matthias Kassmannhuber: Mode x) and the reinvention of the invention of moving pictures (Ile Cvetkoski: MOBIPRAXINOSCOPE)?
Into what single category do Stephan Wiesinger, who has us reassemble pixels in Analog vs. Digital, Friedrich Zorn, who shows what a blind man cannot see in Vienna in walking, and Peter Tilg and Nicholas Wormus, whose work BREAKING NEWS at last proves that there is nothing on television, fit?
Nina Kataeva visualises the fear factor at the stock exchange using airbags (C[R]ASH). Florian  Waldner’s tweeters, that hang from the ceiling and cast audible waves around the room, and the sound-producing plants in Nina Tommasi’s biogenous instrumentation are acoustically related.
In SWAPPING PLACES, Ruth Brozek triggers sex changes by means of asynchronicity. In Günter Seyfried’s Mutants from Innerspace, image data is stored in living organisms as genetic code where it mutates into new images under the influence of the environment.
Sophie Wagner uses GPS to survey an uninhabited island and composes images and sounds along its medial borders (Brzina hodanja).
Gottfried Haider approaches the same island from above, scanning it from a balloon (Nebelmeer über Plocica). Finally, as if rounding off the diversity and openness of the 13 works presented, Jan Perschy drifts off into the cosmos with his model of a system for creating a model of the cosmos.
Prof. Virgil Widrich, June 2008

Download folder.
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2008

Krones AG – Company Museum

Krones AG is the global leader in plant construction for filling and packaging technology in the beverage industry. On entering the Krones headquarters in Neutraubling, Bavaria, visitors are greeted by a row of five upended monitors. They show macro photos of liquids in movement: a drop of water hitting a surface, a glass of wine being filled, Coca-Cola fizzing, the slow pouring of oil. The customised software enables the film to be modified and tailor-made for each visitor in less than 15 minutes so that each guest can be received in an individual way. The company museum presents 50 years of history and technical development at Krones. A backlit exhibition wall, 30 metres long, displays its history in short texts, images and original exhibits; monitors also function as "photograph albums in motion". Glass display cases containing original objects extend out of this wall and into the surrounding space. Situated opposite, and acting as a counterbalance to the virtual narrative, is an exhibition of massive historical machines, whose functions are in turn shown on screens.
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2007

Swarovski Crystal Worlds – Redesign 2007

The Swarovski Crystal Worlds is among the most popular tourist spots in Austria. As part of the redevelopment of the Chambers of Wonder in 2007, additional highly appealing attractions were conceptualised and installed, which work with spatial scenarios and striking multimedia elements. In the section entitled "La Primadonna Assoluta", the visitor meets Jessye Norman, who can be seen in a performance in the Crystal Dome. The high-quality audio and video presentation gives the spectator the feeling of being in the middle of a live performance of the final aria from Henry Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas". In the passageway leading from this section, a stylised subaquatic world is presented in "Poseidon's Puzzle". Lamellae, arranged in perspective, draw visitors onwards with light and sound compositions. With every step taken across a bridge, the world of images is transformed and the acoustic impression changes. Brian Eno's "55 Million Paintings by Brian Eno" shows the technical implementation of a concept developed by the artist, a generative artwork formed of image and sound sequences constantly re-assembling themselves into new configurations. The section "Reflections" is staged as a crystalline kaleidoscope, demonstrating the organising principles of micro- and macrocosm. A sophisticated lighting control system and a 16-channel sound installation create a walk-in multimedia stage for the visitor. Various themes are played out in the form of images, graphics, illustrations, mirror and filmed animations on a total of 48 polyhedra and more than 300 screens.

University of Applied Arts Vienna

On 1.10.2007 Virgil Widrich became Professor for the class "Digital Arts" of the University of Applied Arts Vienna.
On 1.10.2009 he took over the direction of the new master course "Art & Science" and as a result resigned from "Digital Arts" at the 30.9.2010. He was succeeded by Univ.-Prof. Ruth Schnell.
On 12 June 2014 appointment as a main member of the Senate of the University of Applied Arts Vienna, of which he is still a member today.
Film production, 2006

Every Seventh Person

A/Lux 2006
Documentary, 35 mm, Dolby SR
Length: 74 min.

Every seventh person in the world is a Chinese farmer. Between 2002 and 2005 the filmmakers Elke Groen and Ina Ivanceanu carried out numerous interviews in three Chinese villages documenting everyday life – without any censorship whatsoever. At the same time, the inhabitants of the villages shot their own short films about their surroundings, their hopes and their dreams – short films that have become part of "Every Seventh Person". The result is an exceptional documentary film that provides insight into life in China away from the urban and industrial centres – a life between socialism and market economy in which the villages become the testing grounds for democracy and self-determination.
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2006

Mozarthaus Vienna – Multimedia Exhibition

Vienna, Domgasse 5: since 27 January 2006 (Mozart's 250th birthday), this fully refurbished house containing Mozart's former apartment, the only one of his Viennese residences still in existence today, has paid homage to the life and work of the musical genius. The exhibition is on three floors and covers an area of approximately 1,000m². The audio-visual installations in the Mozarthaus are inspired by media techniques and "worlds of wonder" of Mozart's time. At that time, decades before the invention of photography and film, optical experiments and illusions, automatons and mechanical tricks were becoming fashionable and made people gasp in astonishment. A video and sound installation in the roofed courtyard shows a Montgolfier balloon on multiple monitors rising up with the lift. The journey continues on the top floor, with a flight over historic Vienna and the most important places associated with Mozart's "golden years" in the imperial capital. A mini "perspective theatre" and a large panorama projection across the "Graben Nymphs" present the gallant, dashing side of the 18th century as an erotic game of discovery. An installation on the theme of "Figaro" combines the principle of old puzzle dice games with modern aesthetics and video technology. The grand finale is the multimedia homage to Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute"; a stage set made of scenery, projections and lighting effects showing a short version of "The Magic Flute" as virtual "mirror opera" from 1791 to the present day. Film footage of legendary productions is projected into the partly real, partly virtual stage landscape. Papageno moves as a projection through space and time and presents the main arias from the opera.
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2005

Exhibition – Palais Epstein

During the 130 years of its existence, Palais Epstein has been used for more than a dozen different purposes: as a residential and commercial building for the Epstein family, as the headquarters of the English Gas Board, as a local authority office building (for Austria's Higher Administrative Court, the Vienna School Board, and the Department of Building of the Governor of the Reich under the NS regime), as the city headquarters of the Soviet army, a branch of the Academy of Music and the Performing Arts, and once again as the seat of the Vienna School Board, before it was finally adapted for parliamentary purposes.

Five media stations equipped with high-format 30-inch screens enable visitors to call up texts, pictures, graphics, animation films and short video clips. One animation film shows "Owners and utilisation of the buildings on the Ringstrasse in 1914", another provides an overview of the inhabitants of the Palais Epstein building complex during the last century. A special station was developed about the Epstein family, with a family tree interface and a family tree animation film. The presentation of this Jewish family's social network was researched on the basis of an extensive address book. The Palais as a residential and bank building is presented by means of a drawing that allows visitors a glimpse inside, as well as providing information about the rooms, their uses and their inhabitants. Objects from the building's long history, exhibited in specially manufactured showcases, also form part of the exhibition, as do original pieces of furniture and paintings.
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2005

Vienna Parliament Visitor Centre

Multimedia to convey knowledge
The visitors' centre at the Austrian Parliament, created by architects Geiswinkler & Geiswinkler, represents an opening up to the outside world and provides a gathering point for tourists and interested citizens. The use of multimedia serves above all to convey knowledge and is integrated into the architecture, e.g. the stations behind tinted glass are only perceived when they are switched on and active.
On their arrival, visitors are greeted by an oversized media wall showing a film as an overture. At the first station, the process of making laws, which is the principal task of parliament, is presented simply and intelligibly on three synchronised monitors. The basic tenets of parliamentary democracy in Austria are elucidated in an interactive installation based on four elements: "Citizens", "Members of Parliament", "Laws" and "Enforcement".The Wheel of Time shows video clips that provide an overview of the historical cornerstones of Austrian parliamentarianism. It is operated by a large rotating mechanical wheel, by means of which one navigates along a time line. The Time Machine also allows larger groups to watch a film about the history of parliamentarianism in a "cinema atmosphere". With the "Time/Reading Glass" feature, a multimedia installation that combines virtual and mechanical elements, the public is able not only to explore the exterior of the Parliament building in great detail but also look inside it. Hotspots communicate interesting information about the architecture and functions of the building. In 2006 the visitors’ centre of the Austrian Parliament won the Austrian State Prize for Multimedia in the category “Public Information and Services”.
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2005

Salzburg Museum – Sattler Panorama

The Sattler Panorama, completed in 1829 and presented in a mobile rotunda, became a pan-European attraction. Supplemented by an interactive module, the original panorama is now once again open to the public at the Salzburg Museum. Looking through a "time/reading glass", visitors can move a screen continuously over an image of the Sattler Panorama and alternate between 1829 and the present day in the selected section. A change-over switch accesses detailed information on the city's development since 1925; original sounds from city life enhance the virtual experience. The original Panorama can also be observed from a round rostrum using a specially prepared "telescope", which simulates the feeling of distance and perspective. The screen can be moved in front of any part of a reproduction of the huge painting (the original is nearly 5 metres high and 26 metres in circumference and has a surface area of 125 m²) and the corresponding detail of Salzburg as it is today appears for comparison. There is also a switch that can be used to obtain detailed information on the city's development since that time. checkpointmedia was responsible for the entire project: from the original idea to the exhaustive preparation of photographs for the digital aspects of the city, to software development for the time/reading glass and its functions, the design of the information unit and on-site hardware installation. Although the installation may appear very simple it actually consists of over 200 single parts, most of which were specially produced, and over 1000 screws.
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2005

Hans-Moser-Exhibition – Austrian Theatre Museum

The exhibition Hans Moser on the popular Austrian actor and the virtual national institution was one of the most successful exhibitions ever held in the Austrian Theatre Museum. Its objective was to present the artist without resorting to clichés and to create new approaches to his work.
A large-scale video installation combined famous scenes from Moser films in five parallel projections. The production cast a new light on Moser, with his comedic talent, his characteristic body language and his unique interpretation of human characters. In addition information-steles with written texts and integrated audio elements showed views of the life and work of one of Austria's most popular actors.
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2003

Swarovski Kristallwelten – Redesign 2003

The Crystal Worlds, designed by André Heller in Wattens, Tyrol, was opened in 1995 for Swarovski's 100th anniversary. Since then it has been continually expanded and further attractions have been added.
The audio-visual scenario of the meditation room, “Crystalscope”, provides a counterpoint to many of the other attractions in the Swarovski Crystal Worlds. A high-definition rear projection running quietly shows an over-dimensional crystal on the ceiling, the colours in its virtual facets constantly changing. Ambient sound from invisible speakers accompanies visitors who can lean on one of the concentrically arranged steles and gaze up at the ceiling to view the crystal from an ideal angle.
The "Corridor of Metamorphoses" shows an animation on multiple monitors, aligned next to one another, which proceeds to document - in the direction of the walking tour - the metamorphosis of fractured forms into crystalline structures and finally into crystal sculptures.
"The Giant's Belongings" presents utility objects such as gloves or an accordion in larger-than-life proportions. They are moved mechanically by a special control system, which also regulates the synchronicity of lighting and lighting effects.
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2003

Red Bull Hangar-7 – Multimedia Staging

The Red Bull Hangar-7 at Salzburg Airport fulfils many purposes, which at first glance seem to conflict with one another. It is an air show centre with an air base for aerobatic troops and an aircraft showroom with numerous restored classic, veteran planes. It is also a location for art and lifestyle events and top-class gastronomy. The multimedia installations produced by checkpointmedia for this "high-tech entertainment area", reflect the building’s multiple uses.
The entertainment factor is of prime importance and aims to give visitors a great experience, full of surprises and excitement, in line with the company's image. After dark, visitors are shown the way to the hangar by means of a huge projection of the Red Bull logo.
Next to the entrance is the Doppler Foyer, which transforms a scientific topic into a sensory experience: centrally controlled light devices conjure up an artistic visualisation of the Doppler Effect (named after the Salzburg physicist Christian Doppler); transparent DVD-steles serve as information carriers and add audio elements to a sound collage.

The opening of Hangar-7 on August 22nd, 2003 stayed with the topic of flying and featured its own 1960s-style stewardess costumes for the hostesses. Steles shaped like aircraft tail assemblies displayed videos, pictures and information about the exhibited aircraft. Invitations were designed like VIP tickets and sent with a specially made folder and box. A Hangar-7 umbrella was designed and produced in the oval shape of the hangar. The main attraction in Hangar-7 is the Mayday Bar, which was equipped with interactive features between 2003 and 2010. The almost circular surface (270°) was conceived and developed as a continuous screen for interaction with the worlds of animation played out on it: aircraft of the Flying Bulls hovered over the Salzburg landscape, wrapped themselves round glasses, or fled from ashtrays. In a second setting - New York, comic style - amusing waiters interacted with cocktail glasses and mobile phones. Visitors to the bar could communicate with each other via a virtual communicator, a contemporary version of the legendary table telephone. In 2003, the technical implementation of the Mayday Bar was a complex matter: 38 PCs in 18 modules, each with a projector, detected what was happening at the bar through infrared sensors. The computer registered the data objects, which in turn triggered a programmed interactive response. The technology was integrated into the bar counter and completely invisible to guests.

There are mini-multimedia gimmicks in Hangar-7 as well, like the WC chat: guests can create cartoons and speech bubbles – virtual graffiti – with which to communicate between the ladies' and gents' toilets. In the hangar’s interior, tailored audio-visual equipment was conceived and developed both for the main area as well as for the gastronomy zones and private VIP rooms.
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2003

Exhibition "Archbishop Paris Lodron" at the Dommuseum Salzburg

For the exhibition "Archbishop Paris Lodron (1619-1653), Statesman between War and Peace" at the Salzburg Dommuseum, checkpointmedia designed and installed a complex projection installation and an information display for the entrance hall of the Salzburg Dommuseum. No other archbishop has left his mark on both the city and province of Salzburg to the degree that Paris Lodron has done. Besides his work as a statesman, his outstanding achievements include the completion and furnishing of the new cathedral. Its consecration in 1628 was the most magnificent celebration Salzburg had ever seen. The famous copperplate engraving by Christoph Lederwasch showing the procession to the cathedral consecration is "brought to life" in a projection installation.
Screenplay, Film, 2003

Fast Film

A/Lux 2003, short film, 35 mm, 1:1,66, Dolby SRD
Length: 14 min.

"Fast Film" is an animated homage to motion pictures, hand-made by folding 65,000 print outs of film frames into three-dimensional objects. The film won 36 international awards.
Download photos
YouTube: making of Fast Film
Link to film's website

Amour Fou Film

In August 2001 Amour Fou Filmproduktionen GmbH is founded, together with Gabriele Kranzelbinder, Alexander Ivanceanu and the Wiener Volksbildungsverein/Polyfilm. In December Amour Fou Filmproduktion GmbH. and Virgil Widrich Film- und Multimediaproduktionen G.m.b.H. move into their new office at Lindengasse 32, 1070 Wien.
2007 Virgil Widrich resigns as a partner. Alexander Ivanceanu continues the company together with Bady Minck while Gabriele Kranzelbinder founds a new production firm, "KGP - Kranzelbinder Gabriele Production GmbH".
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2001

Museum Ladin – Media stations

The Museum Ladin in St. Martin/Thurn im Gadertal/Val Badia in South Tyrol contains an impressive account of the history of the Ladin people in the Dolomites, which stretches back over more than 2,000 years: the multimedia station "Historical Panorama" portrays their history using video animations and audio commentaries in four languages; the interactive "Language Atlas"offers entertaining insights into the Ladin language. The complex organisation (voice recordings in four languages), content editing (in cooperation with Ladin experts) and the overall supervision of the technical features (animations, video clips, large-scale projections) plus the coordination of the exhibition designers and technical equipment providers for these stations were all the responsibility of checkpointmedia.
Exhibition, checkpointmedia, 2001

Lower Austrian Provincial Exhibition 2001 – Media stations

The Lower Austrian Provincial Exhibition "Mystical Waldviertel", "Meaning & Being", "Castle & Man" in Waldreichs and Ottenstein in 2001 made use of a large number of interactive media stations. checkpointmedia was responsible for developing the majority of the media stations and the hardware and software. In one project, two sound installations, one of which has 16 channels and both covering several rooms, were conceived and installed in cooperation with Wolfgang Mitterer, the sound artist and composer.
Screenplay, Film


A/F 2001, short film, DV-CAM
Length: 4:09 min

Interviews with Bady Minck, Ruth Beckermann, Hans Hurch, Peter Tscherkassky, Florian Flicker, Alexander Ivanceanu, Michael Kreihsl and Wolfgang Lehner about "left" and "right" in film and politics.

checkpointmedia GmbH – Multimedia Productions

In 2001 a network of people who had been working with multimedia for many years decided to join forces and found their own company – checkpointmedia. In autumn of the same year, they moved into their new office in the Haus der Musik, 1010 Vienna.
As one of the most successful representatives of "Creative Industries Vienna/Austria," checkpointmedia acts as an interface between arts/culture and the business world. Apart from the three founders and managing directors, Stefan Reiter, Stefan Unger and Virgil Widrich, the firm now consists of a large network of project partners. Since 2015 the company is named "checkpointmedia GmbH" and is located in Seilerstätte 13, 1010 Vienna, Austria.
Screenplay, Film, 2001

Copy Shop

A 2001, short film, 35 mm, 1:1,66, Dolby SR
Length: 12 min.

The story of a man who copies himself until he fills up the entire world. The film won 37 international awards and was nominated for the Oscar 2001 (best short film).
Youtube: film and making of
Link to film's website

"A dazzling nightmare" - The Guardian, London
Exhibition, 2000


tx-transform, a film technique that was presented at the Diagonale festival in 1999, has been developed further in the year 2000. This time, a team consisting of Martin Reinhart and Virgil Widrich is presenting the tx-transformator. This automat, based on the theory of relativity, allows viewers for the first time to modify their perception of the familiar relation between space and time by experiencing time in a transverse flow to their spatial movements. Thereby, an interactive and astonishing new perception is made possible in real time. Hence, the regular sequence of motion is turned upside down: visitors, who keep staying at the same location, are being stretched, abrupt movements are compressed. Limbs are moving away from bodies, heads get unwinded. Behind the tx-transformator's plain design, developed in the former German Democratic Republic (by Robotron 1983), not only a sophisticated technology is hidden, but also an intriguingly simple idea, which can be explored by means of a short video.
Link to filmwebsite
YouTube: film
CD-ROM, 2000

Hands on Media – CD-ROM

The CD-ROM "Hands on Media" presents a short cross-section through the works and services of music media (Thomas Kerbler, programming, music), Tonstudio Saturn (Hermann Langschwert, sound design), AV-Consult KEG (Stefan Unger, audio and video solutions), Checkbox (Stefan Reiter, multimedia – text – project management) und Virgil Widrich Film- und Multimediaproduktions G.m.b.H. (Virgil Widrich, concept, production) in the field of multimedia. Particular attention was paid to the latest joint major project: the multimedia stations of the re-opened Technisches Museum Wien.

"Hands on Media" introduces a network of specialists, who join together for each project in a specially tailored Association. Resorting to a large know-how pool, they always comply with the various needs and customer requirements.

System Requirements:
Internet (Netscape or Explorer version 4.0 or later)
120 MHz PowerPC (recommended: 200 MHz or faster)
Mac OS 8.1 (recommended: OS 8.6 or later)
32 MB RAM (Recommended: 64 MB or more)
Screen resolution of 800 x 600 with thousands of colours
Screenplay, Film, 2000

Brighter than the Moon

Europe 2000, feature film, 35 mm, 1:1,85, Dolby Surround
Length: 88 min.

A moonstruck comedy about robbers and lovers. City of Salzburg's Screenplay Award 1997, award for Lars Rudolph (Festival Angers France), LVT-Subtitling Award (Festival Angers France).
YouTube: trailer
Link to film's website
Film production, 1999

webfreetv.com Cinema Spot

A 1999, cinema advertising, 35 mm, 1:1,66, Dolby SR
Length: 30 sec.

Cinema spot for internet TV station webfreetv.com, which was shown in November 1999 in 65 Austrian cinemas.
Exhibition, 1999

100 Media Stations for Technisches Museum Wien

From 18 June 1999, the Technisches Museum Wien presents the first part of its redesigned exhibitions. The Technisches Museum Wien becomes the first Viennese museum to incorporate new media in every aspect of its display concept. The new media used range from large-screen projections and video loops to audio stations, interactive mini cinemas, selectable videos, interactive terminals and internet research stations. In all, around 100 media stations enhance the displays.
In cooperation with the curators, presentation concepts were developed and multimedia screenplays were written. Virgil Widrich Film- und Multimediaproduktions g.m.b.H then edited the content and implemented the technology as appropriate for each of the media.

Interactive terminals: information can be viewed on over 1500 screens with links leading to more in-depth knowledge. The screens can be browsed in sequence or specific areas of interest selected. The navigator, a graphic element in the user interface, acts as a guide and shows an overview of the station’s entire content. The texts are illustrated by approximately 200 images showing current and historical subjects. Visitors can zoom in on interesting details. Processes are illustrated by over 50 animated sequences that bring theoretical approaches to life (e.g. historical conceptions of the world in astronomy). Around 100 audio recordings and 120 video clips open the topics to the senses and aid understanding. A dozen interactive games complete the information on offer.

Audio stations: At the audio stations, visitors can select texts from the relevant literature for more detail, sound documents and (especially for music/instrument-making) music excerpts for comparison.

Internet research terminals: At these terminals, visitors can view current websites relating to the subjects presented in the museum.

Interactive mini cinemas: Here, visitors can select films on the topic in question and so gain an insight into historical developments and see films as historical documents. Newly made film clips present exhibits in action and provide important information in the documentary form.

Selectable videos: video terminals allow fast access to film footage on the topic in question.
Screenplay, Film


A 1998, short film, 35 mm, Cinemascope, 1:2,39, Dolby SR
Length: 5 min.

tx-transform is a film technique that transposes the time axis (t) and one of the space axes (x or y) with one another. Normally, each individual frame of a film depicts the entire space, but only a moment in time (1/24 second). With tx-transformed films, it is just the opposite: each frame shows the entire time, but only a tiny portion of space – if one cuts alongside the horizontal space axis, the left portion of the picture turns into the "the before", the right one into "the after". This produces phenomena such as those described by Einstein in his theory of relativity.
Link to filmwebsite
YouTube: film
CD-ROM, 1997

Salzburg Festival – the CD-ROM

The world-famous Salzburg Festival presents itself and its work on a double CD-ROM for the first time. The curtain rises for an acoustic and visual presentation of over 40 topics on the interactive festival stage. A multimedia reference book contains every performance from 1920 to 1997 including the names of every artist and performer, more than 1,000 biographies, plus photos, texts, reviews and audio and video clips. Exclusive interviews were conducted for this CD-ROM with stars such as Cheryl Studer, Sir Georg Solti, Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Helmut Lohner, Otto Schenk and many others. Hyperlinks take you through thousands of memorable evenings of theatre, concerts and opera with video and audio clips from 78 years of Festival history!
CD-ROM, 1997

Maths Trainer – CD-ROM

The “Maths Trainer” takes users to "Universe City" where they can follow the school adventures of Nina, Van and Alpha. Each of the four CDs contains the topics covered in one school year (5th, 6th, 7th and 8th year of upper secondary school). The topics are based on the syllabus of a secondary school with a focus on science and therefore provide a solid basis for all schools offering graduation with university entitlement. The linear structure of maths — nearly every chapter builds on what was learned in the previous chapters — is taken into account: the four school years proceed step by step but are thematically linked. 
CD-ROM, 1996

A CD-ROM for species protection. The children's book bestseller "Robbi - a seal pup escapes to the wild beasts" by the Tyrolean Günther Aloys was adapted into one of the most elaborate multimedia productions ever made in Austria for the medium CD-ROM. "Robbi - Adventures on CD-ROM," tells the story of a baby seal, which comes on the run from the sealers to the wild animals on a jungle island. The children have the opportunity to interactively participate in the course of the story thus helping Robbi. "Robbi - Adventures on CD-ROM" was presented to great acclaim at the Frankfurt Book Fair 1996, the first 10,000 copies were sold in Germany within five days. Presskit is here.
Film festival, 1995

Diagonale 1995 – Festival of Austrian Film

"Following the success of the 1994 Diagonale, at which audience figures were over two and a half times higher than the year before, the 1995 Diagonale was held in Salzburg from 1 – 8 December 1995.
The first two years of its existence were enough for this festival of Austrian Film to establish itself as a must for audiences and the film industry alike. In 1994, over 600 accredited visitors came to Salzburg. The retrospectives shown to date (1993: "Max Fleischer", "Elizabeth T. Spira", "Salzburg im Film"; 1994: "Willi Forst") were very well received, with some even leading to follow-up events in other cities.
Apart from the main programme of current Austrian film productions (divided into the categories of feature film, short film, documentary, avant-garde and new media), comparison with other countries is a central aspect of the Diagonale. In 1993, Holland guested in Salzburg, followed by Denmark in 1994. In 1995, Switzerland will be invited to present a detailed overview of the country and its filmmaking.
A retrospective will also form the centrepiece of the 1995 programme which is entirely devoted to a master of the art of film: the Diagonale is preparing a presentation of the work of Fred Zinnemann, born in Vienna in 1907. Besides his best-known works – HIGH NOON, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, THE DAY OF THE JACKAL, JULIA and A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS – he directed a total of 22 films. The Diagonale will show not just these seminal works in the history of filmmaking, but will also highlight some lesser known aspects of  Zinnemann’s work.”

From the 1995 press release
Film festival, 1994

Diagonale 1994 – Festival of Austrian Film

"After a successful festival start in 1993 – presenting 260 films and hosting more than 400 guests – the second DIAGONALE will be held from December 1 - 8, 1994 in Salzburg."
From the 1994 press release.
Film festival, 1993

Diagonale 1993 – Festival of Austrian Film

"Austria has a new national film festival. The first DIAGONALE will be held this year from 1st to 8th December 1993 in Salzburg.
The aim of DIAGONALE is to give a representative overview of all forms of creative filmmaking in Austria, exposing trends and offering visitors the opportunity to spend eight days in December getting to know the best of Austrian films produced during the preceding twelve months.
The topical programme will be accompanied by tributes, retrospectives and special events, creating a diverse portrait of contemporary film production and of historical developments in Austrian cinematography.
A director and five executives working in the areas of feature film, short film, documentary film, the avant-garde and new media, will be responsible for selecting films and compiling the festival programme.
In order to ensure that the event retains its dynamic profile over the long term, DIAGONALE will be structured in such a way that there is a change of festival programme selectors every two years.
DIAGONALE will be organised and run by the Austrian Film Commission."

From the press release 1993
Exhibition, 1992

100 Objects to represent the world

Introduction by Peter Greenaway


Not so long ago, the Americans sent a payload off into space to represent the world. You weren't asked to contribute to this representation, and neither was I. What sort of world were they seeking to represent if you and I weren't asked?

If you and I were not represented, could their payload be considered to be a contribution to any picture an extra-terrestrial might have of Earth? Imagine if the world's men were represented by your father. Imagine if the world's women were represented by your mother. Imagine if the world's animals were represented by your dog. What sort of picture would the extra-terrestrial have of men, woman and animals?

Go to the Naguru National Park and look at the forty-second zebra to the left under the eucalyptus tree with the broken branch – is that zebra truly representative of all zebras – and if it is not, would you know why? If the storm comes tomorrow and the zebras scatter, would you be able to recognise yesterday's forty-second zebra? You'd be able to recognise your mother after a storm, why can't you remember a zebra?


At it's heaviest the spaceship's payload was 77 kilos. It is well understood that they could not send the British Museum Reading Room or the Metropolitan Museum, New York, or the Louvre, or the Tah Mahal or the Great Pyramid of Cheops or St. Peter's Rome. But what can be represented of the world in 77 kilos? They could manage a photograph of each one of these buildings and the photographs could – possibly – tell you about photography and paper – and if scrupulously examined about cameras, light, acetate, silver nitrate, pulped rags- maybe. Could the photographs tell you about relative scale and building materials, books, stuffed animals, the Mona Lisa, M.I.Pei, grief, Hinduism, triangles,despotism, Michelangelo, Christianity, crucifixion the right way up and upside down? It is a curious thing but on the evidence of the way we look at ancient civilisations, Michelangelo is going to be better remembered than St. Peter and St. Peter's is going to be better revered than St.Peter – maybe Michelangelo one day might be better known than Christ? Perhaps amongst some, he is already.

If the American spaceship was sent in 1976, it is probable that its payload of representative details – all packed into 77 kilos and a space 772 centimetres by 845 centimetres by 964 centimetres – will tell you just a little about the mid – seventies – perhaps the American mid – seventies from the point of view of middle – class, white Americans with a bias for bureaucratic and scientific matters. Not so much a bias, perhaps, so much as a prejudice. To the fortunate – or unfortunate – extra-terrestrial, before that spaceship has travelled one light- year, it might just as well be representing the Emperor Ho Ching in the Peking of 543, or the Aborigine populations of Southern Australia four thousand years ago, or Vancouver island two thousand years hence.


And yet.


It is a commonplace that everything represents something else but that no two things are exactly alike, that language is vague, but amongst three hundred and forty-seven billion Earth words, a perfect synonym is impossible to find. There is another thing, the payload space in Apollo 16 is 772 centimetres by 84 centimetres by 964 centimetres which is exactly the same size as the inner – inner sanctum of Cheop's Great Pyramid. These two entirely different man-made spaces are now linked by a French system of metrical measurement and the fact that they have both been mentioned together on this page.I am sure – had we the patience and the willingness – we could think of another ten thousand ways that they are linked. So maybe you and I were represented after all on the Apollo Spaceship 16, a spaceship that is now – and will be until the year 3000 – somewhere within the Galaxy of the Milky Way, awaiting examination.


However, when they come to send another spaceship on a similar mission – we all ought to be able to have a say in what gets sent to represent us in our diversity, in our vulnerability, in our inferiority and in our megalomania. This exhibition – in the Semper, Viennese spacecraft – is a second attempt.


A museum, a gallery, a collection of artefacts assembled under one space, one idea, one heading, by one curator – is a sort of representation of the world. This one mocks human endeavour by seeking to be totally representative encyclopedically – but in brief. It takes care of scale and time, masculine and feminine, cat and dog. It acknowledges everything – everything alive and everything dead. It should leave nothing out – every material, every technique, every type of every type, every science, every art and every discipline, every construct, illusion, trick and device we utilise to reflect our vanity and insecurity, and our disbelief that we are so cosmically irrelevant. Since every natural and cultural object is such a complex thing, and all are so endlessly interconnected, this ambition should not be as difficult as you might imagine.

Film festival, 1987

Classic Films – Film distribution

Classic Films, a film distribution company specialising in art films, is founded in May 1987 together with Marian Toncic-Sorinj und Leopold Moser. The 60 films comprising its rental program include the Oscar winner Babette's FeastThe World According to GarpEraserhead by David Lynch, John Huston's last film, The Dead – and a film directed by a then-unknown Spanish director, Pedro Almodóvar, entitled Law of Desire. The distribution exists until 1991.
Download distribution program.
Screenplay, Film

The Spirit of Time

A 1983-1985, Super-8-mm
Length: 112 min.

A genre cross-over mixing action, horror and science fiction in the past, present and future. Virgil Widrich completed this full-length film at the age of 17.

"Two hours of cinematic fireworks." (Horst Christoph, Profil)
Screenplay, Film

Monster in Salzburg

A 1982, Super-8-mm
Length: 12 min.

A gigantic insect-like monster destroys the city of Salzburg. An oedipal drama.
Screenplay, Film

Color can dream

A 1981, Super-8-mm
Length: 9 min.

Animated film by the then 13-year-old Virgil Widrich about a man and a small worm fleeing environmental destruction.
Screenplay, Film

3 times Ulf

A 1980, Super-8-mm
Length: 12 min.
On behalf of Arnulf Komposch.

Documentary about the Carinthian "mirror artist" Arnulf Komposch.
Screenplay, Film

Fried Meat

A 1980, Super-8-mm
Length: 11 min.

Crime story: A woman is killed in a Restaurant and served to the guests.
Screenplay, Film

My Homelife

A 1980, Super-8-mm
Length: 6 min.

Documentary about the old house of the Widrich family.
Film, 1980

Gusti Kupelwieser

A 1980, Super-8-mm
Length: 6 min.

Documentary about Gusti (Auguste) Kupelwieser (1907-1987), the grandmother of the director.