Less waltz more disco— Austria


The Austrian capital is experiencing a second cultural wave but this time, instead of opera and art museums, it’s electronic music and pop-up galleries causing all the buzz.

Dorian concept, Fine arts, Georg Kargl, Parabol, Section.a, fm4 radio

Three key facts:
1: There are 70 theatres and four opera houses.
2: ‘Town Town’ is a new eco-friendly high-rise.
3: There are 20,000 media companies.

The espresso brews on the stove in the kitchen of Patrick Pulsinger’s two-storey recording studio. Down a short hallway, Andy Butler, the creative force of the band Hercules and Love Affair, gushes over the reputation of Pulsinger, one of the deans of Europe’s electronic music scene.

“I approached my management and said I wanted to do my next record in Vienna,” says Butler, a Denver resident whose 2007…

Five Viennese cultural players

1 section.a Created to convince the private sector of the power of artists and creatives, section.a organises some eye-catching public art installations.
2 FM4 radio A mix of English-language programming, including Gilles Peterson’s weekly show, FM4 is Vienna’s tastemaker for indie and alternative music.
3 Dorian Concept Jazz and funk beats overlaid with orchestral synth arrangements that have won praise from DJs around the world.
4 Georg Kargl Fine Arts The leading light of the contemporary art scene, Kargl opened his gallery in an old printing shop on a quiet street 12 years ago. Many more have followed since.
5 Parabol This annual publication is produced by section.a and sister agency section.d and curated by a different artist each year. Parabol routinely wins design awards.

Vienna essentials

Without a harpsichord museum in sight, here are some contemporary gems:

Pratersauna Housed in a 1950s sauna, this club takes Berlin’s creative space interpretation and blends it with Viennese refinement. It attracts an international roster of DJs while bands play on a stage in front of a stained-glass wall.

Das Weisse Haus One of the city’s “off-spaces”, this pop-up gallery is guided by the curatorial hands of Alexandra Grausam and Elsy Lahner, who put on first-time exhibitions of media artists on two floors of a mid-century building.

Restaurant in the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) Viennese architects Gregor Eichinger and Christian Knechtl are behind the smooth, muted interior, which contrasts with the MAK’s neo-classical elegance. The views of the Ringstrasse are excellent from the terrace.

Modul University In a city of august universities, Vienna’s newest is equipping the next generation of managers with a new media skill set on pace with the rapidly advancing digital age.


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