IMMV: Interactive Music Mapping Vienna: Exploring a City, 1945 up to the present day


The project’s focus is the valorisation and the mediation of the capabilities of music as an urban identification tool. The interaction between music and urban texture (identity, political symbolism, mental determination, imagination) should be made accessible to academic and to a wide audience through interactive Visual Analytic Technologies.

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The questions of how music acts in the urban context as a social identification instrument and how music is functionalized to urban symbolic politics form the starting point of the research project conducted by the MUK (Music and Arts University of The City of Vienna). The music component of mental determination of urbanity is created using the example of City of Vienna: How the "sensual" medium of music, generator of atmosphere and mood, produces not only ideological subjects, but also the notion of specific urban spheres? Linked to the aforementioned are cultural and social practices (habitus) that need to be identified and developed. Vienna’s site-specificity is associated to its acoustic-phonetic structure more than any other European city. Strategies and processes in music will be explored in terms of “politics of emotion” city configuration that shaped Vienna’s image and continues to do so. Concrete subject of research selected are the festivities in the public space of Vienna in a by many considered underexposed period of Austrian history, that of the Second Republic: 1945 up to the present day (under a comparative insertion of retrospect into the period before 1945). City’s spatial configuration with the chronological mode of festivity constructs the axes of a narrative in reciprocal relation. Selected Viennese festivity-events are going to be presented, developed from until now neglected and untapped primary sources of information, extending from text, image and sound data to film, television and radio recordings.

Creation of multi-medial platform as an interactive dissemination space has been planned with the Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems at TU Wien, which using the visual analytic technologies creates the contents synchronous and at the same moment individually accessible. This platform will map all forms of media. Cartographic representations, aesthetic image-strategies and multidimensional artistic translations for the selected events will make the complexity of multiple layers and ambiguity (contingency) of history sensory experience. The visualization mode provides simultaneous media experience (visual, auditory, textual) and differentiates the reception of real and imaginary space constructions. The visual analytic solution is conceived for different user-typologies (for an educated audience as well as for interested laymen and laywomen without previous knowledge in this field).

The following cooperation partners will accompany the project: Vienna Museum, Austria Film Archive, Vienna City Library, Austrian Media Library, Institute for Contemporary History at the University of Vienna, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for History and Society, and ORF-Archive. The project has been scheduled for a period of three years. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Susana Zapke has assumed the IMMV’s project management.