Ongoing Projects

The Belvedere's in-house research work is complemented by external research projects that are funded by third parties. Research results obtained from such projects find their way into various exhibition and publication projects and are therefore also accessible to the interested public.

Man looking into a Screen
Photo: Ina Aydogan / Belvedere, Vienna

Right to the Museum?

 

Cooperative project with the Laboratory for Cognitive Research in Art History, University of Vienna.
Funding body: Anniversary Fund of the Austrian National Bank (No. 18432)
Term: September 2020 – August 2022
Project management: Luise Reitstätter (University of Vienna)
Project team: Anna Frasca-Rath, Karolin Galter, Andrea Mayr (University of Vienna)
Cooperative partners at the Belvedere: Christian Huemer, Johanna Aufreiter, Monika Mayer (Research Center)

Illustration: Stefanie Hilgarth

In democratic societies, the right to a museum has been guaranteed through public access to cultural assets since the founding of the modern museum in the 18th century. Still, historical sources suggest a gap between idealized and actual accessibility, such as when stringent admission regulations systematically restricted visits. Today, museums claim to be open to all, even if the actual number of active cultural users is no more than 10–15% of the population. "Right to the Museum?" is a project that examines these contradictions through archival work and field research.

 "Right to the Museum?" is a project that examines these contradictions through archival work and field research. The project's goal is to systematically gather information on the public conception of museums by analyzing historical museum texts and empirically surveying contemporary museum concepts. Archival research will focus on textual museum concepts, from founding statutes to today's mission statements, which will be systematically collected and evaluated in terms of source and content. The field research will examine museum perception from citizens' perspectives, by means of a quantitative preliminary survey, accompanied museum tours, and a subsequent qualitative survey. With this combination of methods, the project will create a unique scientific source to historically classify current museum developments and give impulse to museum practice reflection.

"Right to the Museum?" is a project conducted by the Laboratory for Cognitive Research in Art History at the University of Vienna in cooperation with Haus der Geschichte Österreich,  Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, MAK - Museum of Applied Arts, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, and Volkskundemuseum Wien.

 

Right to the Museum?

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Dust and Data

 

Cooperative project with the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, the Institute of Computational Perception at JKU Linz, and Koerdtutech.
Funding body: Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Program PEEK (FWF AR 532)
Duration: July 2019 – June 2021
Project management: Nikolaus Wahl (Academy of Fine Arts)
Project partner: Arthur Flexer (Institute of Computational Perception, Johannes Kepler University Linz)
Project team: Irina Koerdt, Alexander Martos, Sanja Utech (Academy of Fine Arts)
Cooperative partners at the Belvedere: Christian Huemer, Johanna Aufreiter (Research Center)

Photo: Christoph Panzer

 

Dust and Data explores the role of curators in the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI), an age in which computers not only gain an understanding of the meaning of artworks, but become creative themselves. Digital copies of existing artworks are already standard practice; but the ability of computers to comprehend, analyze, and catalog these copies and sort thousands of works into meaningful contexts has yet to be integrated into curatorial work.

Dust and Data searches for curatorial, architectural, and digital paths across museum collections, always guided by the premise of restoring physical form to the results. The two-year artistic research project seeks to explore the curatorial potential of AI by using the Belvedere's Online Collection and other museum collections as examples: the goal is to calculate semantic paths through the Belvedere's art collection and thus enable co-curation between humans and machines.

 

Dust and Data

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InTaVia

 

Cooperative project as an associated organization.
Funding body: InTaVia is a H2020 Research and Innovation action funded by the European Commission under the call DT-TRANSFORMATIONS-12-2018-2020 “Curation of digital assets and advanced digitization” (project ID: 101004825)
Duration: November 2020 – October 2023
Project consortium: The InTaVia team comprises nine European institutions dedicated to research and development in the field of digital cultural heritage: Danube University Krems, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Aalto University, University of Southern Denmark, Austrian Academy of Sciences, University of Stuttgart, Fluxguide, University of Helsinki
Project coordination: Florian Windhager, Eva Mayr (Danube University Krems)
Associated cooperative partner at the Belvedere: Christian Huemer, Dagmar Diernberger (Research Center).

© InTaVia-Konsortium

Access to cultural and historical data in cultural heritage databases has improved remarkably due to a wide range of digitization initiatives across Europe. Tangible cultural objects, on the one hand, from museums, archives, and libraries, have become accessible online and aggregated across countries by platforms such as Europeana. On the other hand, intangible assets – such as language-based accounts of artists’ lives – have been organized and shared as biographical databases on a national level. Although these developments provide a sound foundation for the improved reception, use, and promotion of European cultural heritage, various limitations prevent the full utility of the existing data.

The InTaVia project aims to overcome some of these barriers through a deliberate combination of research and development objectives. First, tangible and intangible assets of European heritage will be drawn together to enable their mutual contextualization. Second, new means of data creation, curation, and transnational integration will be created. Third, a visual analytics environment will be created to help cultural heritage experts better access, analyze, and visually communicate cultural collections and related biographical and contextual knowledge to the interested public. Thus, InTaVia will develop an information portal for the integration, visual analysis, and communication of tangible and intangible cultural assets that supports synoptic sensemaking and storytelling about European heritage – with implications for research, pedagogy, journalism, cultural tourism, creative industries, and heritage institutions.

The InTaVia project aims to address major research challenges and bridge the semantic gap between large object databases, biography databases, and users. The project will conduct research and development across multiple domains: from digital humanities, natural language processing, and semantic web technologies to visual analytics, human-computer interaction, and historiographical research.

 

InTaVia

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