Selected publications by Virgil Widrich and texts with references to his work

Intertextualität und Intermedialität: Theoretische Grundlagen – Exemplarische Analysen

This volume offers an introduction to theoretical foundations and central aspects of the relationality of texts and media. It traces the development from classical intertextuality (Genette, Kristeva) to more recent intermediality research (Rajewsky, Paech), but also addresses the question of the combination and competition of media from the rivalry of the arts in antiquity and the early modern period to contemporary media convergence. Three detailed chapters of analysis present possible applications based on literary and audiovisual examples.

Hans Moser. Weltschmerzkomiker

Text contribution "Hans Moser in North Korea", Virgil Widrich in conversation with Arno Rußegger, edited by Gottfried Schlemmer, Georg Seeßlen, Arno Rußegger. © Filmarchiv Austria, 2020.

To this day, Hans Moser is the epitome of Viennese humor and comedy that is perceived as typically Austrian. Even during his lifetime, his name became a household word and has become detached from his work. Even those who have never seen a film with him know what and who is meant when he is mentioned. Moser represents the comedic "legacy" of the First and Second Republics like no other. This book serves as a guide through the impressive oeuvre that Moser left behind. Rediscovering it today, over 50 years after his death, is like opening a treasure chest containing countless jewels. Hans Moser. Wiener Weltschmerzkomiker is nothing less than a multifaceted approach to Hans Moser as artist, icon, human being.

"Hans Moser is absolutely singular, incomparable, a solitaire in fact. A world actor!" Elfriede Jelinek

Data Loam Sometimes Hard, Usually Soft. The Future of Knowledge Systems

Big data: A matter of art

As a reaction to the dominant effect and interpretive authority of the digital, Data Loam combines radical approaches based on positions taken in the international practice of contemporary art.

Previously: insistence on indexicality and the instrumental reduction of knowledge. Instead: a new metric that requires play, curiosity, experiment, and risk. As an urgent response to the continually growing flood of information that libraries, search engines, and cultural institutions are exposed to, the authors develop approaches that suggest and permit sensual logic, causal permeability, and new forms of man–machine interaction.

Data Loam focuses on the future of knowledge systems in texts about artificial intelligence, cybernetics, and cryptoeconomics – as a means of counteracting end-of-the-world fears.

New approaches to AI, cybernetics, and cryptoeconomics in the context of contemporary art

Alternative models of data mining, indexing, correlation

The significance of knowledge in the 21st century as an expression of sense/sensuality, experiment, risk


Expanded Animation – Mapping an unlimited landscape

Text contribution "Images between Digital Realism and Analog Believability" by Virgil Widrich in: Expanded Animation – Mapping to Unlimited Landscape

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.

Found Footage (Korean Edition)

From the author Min Jin-young: This book introduces the film genre based on the image technique called "Found footage". Found Footage refers to creating a new visual work by bringing an existing image already taken and editing it according to the artists intention. These days, with the decline of the traditional theater-screened movie, the discourse of talking about the death of the movie or expanding the film to media art is increasing. This book defines Found Footage as a meeting between film and media art, reflecting the current epoch of film death or film expansion.

This book is divided into four parts. Chapter 1 defines the definition of found footage, the degree of global recognition, and its status in Korea. Chapter 2 deals with the history of found footage. Chapter 3 introduces 19 artists of found footage. These artists are artists who are often found in the worlds leading exhibition halls and are particularly attached to the idea of recycling movie archives. Chapter 4 deals with three themes as a reconstruction of the found-footage technique. Found Footage is an experimental movie, strong in nature, and has an intermediate character between movies and exhibitions. This is true not only in Korea but also in the countries leading the worlds major visual culture. However, I hope that the works introduced by this book will someday become a motif for future Korean visual culture.


Hundert Jahre Kupelwieser auf dem Mönchsberg

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

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

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

Car Fetish: I Drive Therefore I Am

"Fetisch Auto" presents the automobile as a source of inspiration for the art of the last 100 years. Starting with the Futurists, who saw in its beastly roar and thrilling, dangerous speed a new ideal of beauty, the book provides an overview of the most beautiful and inspiring of the artworks we owe to this "tin muse". Among them are examples of Pop Art and creations by the Nouveaux Réalistes, with Jean Tinguely as biggest Formula 1 fan. These are supplemented by thematic focuses such as "Traffic," "Withdrawal and Escape" and "A Fascination with the Accident / Danger." The extensive exhibition catalog places the automobile in the context of cultural history as a key cultural artifact of the 20th century, exemplifying the concept of the product, sexual and religious fetish. The automobile as a love affair in material form is a mirror for our life experiences: on the one hand a profane mode of transport, and on the other a carrier of meaning, a means for distancing ourselves from others and raising our individual profile – both uterus and personality prosthesis alike.

Bastard Culture! How User Participation Transforms Cultural Production (MediaMatters, Volume 6)

New online technologies have brought with them a great promise of freedom. The computer and particularly the Internet have been represented as enabling technologies, turning consumers into users and users into producers. Furthermore, lay people and amateurs have been enthusiastically greeted as heroes of the digital era. This thoughtful study casts a fresh light on the shaping of user participation in the context of, among others, popular discourse in and around new media.Schäfer's groundbreaking research into hacking, fan communities and Web 2.0 applications demonstrates how the dynamic of innovation, control and interaction have shifted the boundaries of the traditional culture industry into the user domain. The media industry undergoes a shift from creating content to providing platforms for user driven social interactions and user-generated content. In this extended culture industry, participation unfolds not only in the co-creation of media content and software-based products, but also in the development and defense of distinctive media practices that represent a socio-political understanding of new technologies.

Die Kunst des Einzelbildes: Animation in Österreich - 1832 bis heute

Cinema animation in Austria is a terrain of artistic activity of manifold manifestations. The common feature is the temporally manipulated artistic image. The book is determined by a broad view of the history of animation. Instead of insisting on a "dividing line" between commerce and art, the aim is to present the rich spectrum of manifestations of animation between pop culture and the avant-garde without devaluing or overvaluing any of the poles mentioned, and also to appreciate the fact of mutual influence and stimulation.

Robot Dreams

Talking iceboxes, learning seat electronics in cars, self-controlling vacuum cleaners, nano robots for medical use: research into artificial intelligence and its applications in practice may still be utopia and even cause fear today, but will already be used as a matter of course in household appliances tomorrow. The catalog "Robot Dreams" is dedicated to this exciting topic and shows what contemporary art has to contribute to the understanding and handling of this rapid advancement in the field of artificial intelligence. It accompanies an exhibition at Museum Tinguely Basel and Kunsthaus Graz and includes newly developed works by artists Luc Mattenberger, Jon Kessler, Thomas Baumann, John Bock, Daniel Reichmuth / Sibylle Hauert, Niki Passath, Francois Roche, Virgil Wiedrich, and Kirsty Boyle, as well as other works by Edward Kienholz, Tom Sachs, Nam June Paik, Richard Kriesche, Stelarc, Jessica Field, and others.

Catalogue "Alias in Wonderland"

Exhibition of the Digital Art Department/University of Applied Arts Vienna,
June 25th to July 12th 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.

Der Filmische Hypertext: Links im Film - Film als Link

Scientific Essay from the year 2005 in the subject area German Studies - Semiotics, Pragmatics, Semantics by Carola Unterberger-Probst.

After the Avant-Garde: Contemporary German and Austrian Experimental Film

Filmmaking in Germany and Austria has changed dramatically in the last decades with digitalization and the use of video and the Internet. Yet despite predictions of a negative effect on experimental film, the German and Austrian filmscape is filled with dynamic new experiments, as new technological possibilities push a break with the past, encouraging artists to find new forms. This volume of theoretically engaged essays explores this new landscape, introducing the work of established and emerging filmmakers, offering assessments of the intent and effect of their productions, and describing overall trends. It also explores the relationship of today's artists to the historical avant-garde, revealing a vibrant form of artistic engagement that has a history but has certainly not ended. The essays address such questions as the effects of transformations of cinematic space; the political effects of the breakdown of barriers between experimental film and advertising, and of the rise of music videos and reality TV; the effects of the collapse of the Soviet bloc, the rise of capitalism, and the European movement on experimental film work; and whether these experiments are aligned with mass political movements -- for instance that of anti-globalization -- or whether they strive for autonomy from quotidian politics. Randall Halle is Klaus W. Jonas Professor of German and Film Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Reinhild Steingröver is Associate Professor of German in the Department of Humanities at the Eastman School of Music.

The animation bible: a guide to everything – from flipbooks to flash

The Animation Bible covers every conceivable animation process and technique, explaining and exploring their use through case studies of eminent and cutting-edge animators past and present. Illustrated with 750 colour images, the book also includes a series of applications exercises where students can put into practice the techniques they have just been reading about. In addition, students are taken through all the stages of making an animated film, from pre-production concepts and scripts to the debut screening and distribution of the finished animation.

Processes of Transposition. German Literature and Film.

The essays collected in this book focus on the multi-faceted relationship between German/Austrian literature and the cinema screen. 

Scriptwriting: n. developing and creating text for a play, film, or broadcast (Basics Animation, Volume 1)

The Lion King. Spirited AwayWallace and GromitToy Story 2. What makes these animated movies great? The stories they tell, and the ways those stories are told. Animation can go where no other filmmaking can, and great scriptwriting can take animation where no other movies have. Basics Animation: Scriptwriting, the follow-up to the successful title The Fundamentals of Animation, looks at a variety of approaches to scriptwriting for animation using vivid examples from great animated movies. Author Paul Wells explores the distinctive qualities of animation as a form of creative expression and explains the choices and approaches available to the scriptwriter, the animator, and the director.

Science / Culture: Multimedia

The volume addresses New Media Design both in the context of its application in museums and in the field of CD-Rom, DVD and Web projects. On the one hand, it contains a qualitative analysis of multimedia projects on knowledge topics (Jewish Museum Berlin, Technical Museum Vienna, Salzburg's Carolino Augusteum, Documenta, Academy of Sciences, Whitney Art Museum, etc.), on the other hand interviews with experts (Dieter Bogner, Fons Hickmann, Joachim Sauter, Christian Doegl, Peter Messner and others) from the fields of content conception, teaching, design and evaluation. In addition, essays explore the question of the essence of multimedia communication in order to develop a design-theoretical model.

Introduction to Film Studies

Introduction to Film Studies is a comprehensive leading textbook for students of cinema. This completely revised and updated fourth edition guides students through the  key issues and concepts in film studies, traces the historical development of film and introduces some of the worlds key national cinemas. A range of theories and theorists are presented from Formalism to Feminism, from Eisenstein to Deleuze. Each chapter is written by a subject specialist, including four new authors, and a wide range of films are analysed and discussed. It is  lavishly illustrated with over 123 film stills and production shots, many of them in colour. Reviewed widely by teachers in the field and with a foreword by Bill Nichols, it will be essential reading for any introductory student of film, media studies or the visual arts worldwide.

Rollenspiele. Österreichische Filmkünstler im Portrait

Even more than all of life is a theater, it is a movie, and everyone plays his or her very own role in it. "Role-playing" is an essential part of how we all cope with existence and life. Who better to convey this truth than those who have made role-playing and its banishment on celluloid their profession?
In sensitive photo portraits that attempt to expose the interfaces between private and public, but also cultivate the gentle play with dramaturgical content, props and poses, photographer Manfred Pauker presents a masterful kaleidoscope of more than two dozen contemporary Austrian filmmakers.

Tonspuren: Musik im Film: Fallstudien 1994-2001

Includes the text by Arno Rußegger: Between Homage and Persiflage. Alexander Zlamal's music and sound design for Virgil Widrich's "Copy Shop" (2001).

Trickraum - Spacetricks

Animated films have a preference for showing fantastic, paradoxical, even impossible places that have little in common with our lived experience of the world. "Trickraum - Spacetricks" looks at international animation filmmaking today and brings together for the first time the sources of inspiration, working processes and materials used in the creation of innovative trick spaces. The rich visual material bears witness to the diverse working techniques of the approximately 25 filmmakers represented.

Das Motiv des Doppelgängers als Spaltungsphantasie in der Literatur und im deutschen Stummfilm

For the first time, a book discusses the enigmatic motif of the doppelganger, which is examined here not only in German literature, separately in drama, poetry, and epic poetry, and undertakes a broad attempt to build a bridge to (silent) film. What has only been hinted at in the secondary literature available so far is addressed in this interdisciplinary work, which also deals with splitting fantasies in painting and photography. The focus is on the richness of facets, ambiguity, and longevity of the fantastic doppelganger motif, which hardly loses its appeal even in literary realism or through the insights of psychoanalysis, and which makes an impressive comeback in the age of the technical reproducibility of psychic phenomena on the screen. This topic is just as interesting for literary and film scholars as it is for philosophically and psychoanalytically trained readers.

Future cinema: the cinematic imaginary after film

Throughout the history of cinema, a radical avant-garde has existed on the fringes of the film industry. A great deal of research has focused on the pre- and early history of cinema, but there has been little speculation about a future cinema incorporating new electronic media. Electronic media have not only fundamentally transformed cinema but have altered its role as a witness to reality by rendering "realities" not necessarily linked to documentation, by engineering environments that incorporate audiences as participants, and by creating event-worlds that mix realities and narratives in forms not possible in traditional cinema. This hybrid cinema melds montage, traditional cinema, experimental literature, television, video, and the net. The new cinematic forms suggest that traditional cinema no longer has the capacity to represent events that are themselves complex configurations of experience, interpretation, and interaction.

This book, which accompanies an exhibition organized by the ZKM Institute for Visual Media, explores the history and significance of pre-cinema and of early experimental cinema, as well as the development of the unique theaters in which "immersion" evolved. Drawing on a broad range of scholarship, it examines the shift from monolithic Hollywood spectacles to works probing the possibilities of interactive, performative, and net-based cinemas. The post-cinematic condition, the book shows, has long roots in artistic practice and influences every channel of communication.

Machine Times

In the wake of the recent millennium excitement, this publication takes a close look at the role of time in the constitution of our technological reality. At least since Einstein's theory of relativity and Bergson's aesthetics, we have been aware that time forms an indispensable dimension of the reality that surrounds us, and of the way in which we perceive this reality. The artists in "Machine Times" explore the manner in which time both delimits and constitutes our spatial reality. "Machine Times" is published on the occasion of the DEAF 2000 festival in Rotterdam, which investigates the phenomenon of time through a variety of formats--interactive image manipulation, sound performances and virtual environments--in art projects, stage events, essays, and interviews. A sequel to "The Art of the Accident" (1998), "Machine Times" includes essays, interviews and projects by Francisco Varela,, Detlef Linke, Isabelle Stingers, Peter Weibel, Perry Hoberman, Cybernetic Culture Research Unit, Helga Nowotny, Woody Vasulka, Eduardo Kac, tx-transform, Atau Tanaka, and several others.