Promoting creativity, technology and spaces for creative use
Elisabeth Noever-Ginthör, Head of Creativity & Business at the Vienna Business Agency, in an interview with VIENNA ART WEEK
Not only since the pandemic have cultural institutions been increasingly concerned with the question of how they can expand their offerings with the help of digital solutions and address new target groups: from software for ticketing to the use of virtual and augmented reality for exhibitions and performances to new forms of mediation through gamification.
As the location agency of the City of Vienna, the Vienna Business Agency therefore launched a funding priority in 2022, the first stage of which was explicitly aimed at museums and technology-oriented creative companies.VIENNA ART WEEK talks to Elisabeth Noever-Ginthör, Head of Creativity & Business at the Vienna Business Agency, about the potential of projects at the interface of culture and technology, especially in the museum sector, and about the current Creatives for Vienna competition.
VIENNA ART WEEK: With the focus on Culture & Technology and the funding competition of the same name, you looked for digital solutions for the museum sector in 2022.
Elisabeth Noever-Ginthör: With the Culture & Technology funding competition, we are addressing questions such as “How do we create dialog and emotional participation on the part of the public? What digital solutions make cultural heritage tangible and understandable? How do cultural institutions and collections become more accessible to researchers and learners?”. To this end, we developed a two-stage funding process. We focused on innovations in the areas of audience experience, research and outreach, exhibition design, and archiving and documentation.
The first stage was an ideas competition in which the 10 best digital concepts from Viennese museums were awarded prize money of EUR 5,000. The next step was the implementation of the awarded projects: four museums in Vienna received a grant of up to 100.000,- EUR for the implementation of their project.
VIENNA ART WEEK: Can you tell us more about the funded projects?
Elisabeth Noever-Ginthör: The MAK, for example, already has a diverse digital offering and wants to expand this further with the MAK DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) project. The project revolves around aspects of co-design, blockchain, but also mutual appreciation and recognition of visitors, users and the museum itself. Through opportunities for active co-determination, everyone can make their mark for themselves, for the museum, for the community.
With their project “The Curse of Precision”, the Museums of the City of Vienna create an interactive Escape Game in the Clock Museum, combining augmented reality and elements from “real life” to bring precious contemporary witnesses back to life. At the Austrian Film Museum, “Abenteuer Alltag” makes amateur:innen films accessible in a new way: they are tagged to the second, described, and made accessible with contextual materials such as letters, photographs, oral history interviews, and geodata. And the Technical Museum Vienna is developing a softwareLAB together with the Austrian Media Library under the motto “Playful Collecting.” The museum’s collecting activities were expanded to include digital cultural objects in 2022. This requires complex, experimental and innovative solutions. The project explores long-term preservation possibilities of digital culture using the example of experimental video games and graphic methods with a connection to Vienna and Austria.
VIENNA ART WEEK: What other funding opportunities does the Vienna Business Agency offer in this area?
Elisabeth Noever-Ginthör: Our white paper Culture & Technology, which we published on the occasion of the funding competition and which brings together best practices, interviews and essays by experts at the interface of “culture & technology”, provides a very good overview of the possibilities for other funding programs.
Basically, all of our current funding programs are available to companies in Vienna. In the creative_pioneer program, we award up to 50,000 euros per project for start-up projects. In creative_project, up to 150,000 euros are available for creative product and service developments. In the Innovation funding program, we award up to 200,000 euros for the development of innovative services, products or processes.
We also keep getting to know great new studios and companies in the field of digital design through our Content Vienna competition. Here, the funding is designed as production support for projects in development. In each case, 10,000 euros go to creative, digital projects – from games to virtual reality to animation.
And for our Culture & Technology Podcast, we regularly invite artists, curators, and researchers to talk about how technology is shaping the future of cultural experiences and opening up new possibilities – from exhibition design to performing arts.
VIENNA ART WEEK: What is the importance of the creative scene for Vienna?
Elisabeth Noever-Ginthör: The work of creative people enriches Vienna, creates quality of life and contributes to the spatial, economic and social development of the city. Communities, networking and collective intelligence are of particular importance in this creative work. A crucial factor for the development of creative projects is available and affordable space.
That is why we are launching a competition on November 17 entitled “Creatives for Vienna – Making Spaces.” Specifically, the aim is to promote new types of spaces and uses of space that complement and expand the existing range for the creative industries. The competition is aimed at creative professionals, space operators and space entrepreneurs. The best concepts will receive prize money of 15,000 euros. The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2023.
You can find all information on funding and other offers from the Vienna Business Agency at wirtschaftsagentur.at.