What Does A Topographic Memory Of Vienna Look Like?
You may know Vienna as the setting for that Ultravox song from the 1980s and home to the father of psycho-analysis, Sigmund Freud. It’s also the subject for visual artist Robert Seidel’s latest piece called Erratic. The piece is a collaboration between Seidel and musician Richard Eigner and features a live audiovisual performance that recently debuted at the Vienna Independent Shorts festival this June.
Seidel’s work often takes inspiration from biological organisms interspersed with abstract imagery so you can’t tell the two apart. His latest work, which “reconstructs a topographic memory of the city of Vienna,” further explores these imagined worlds of shifting organic forms, which are created using scientific data and influenced by memories. Form, memory, and science are woven together into a rich visual tapestry so they become unrecognizable, informed by and informing the other, to create something new.
Seidel explains his new piece:
The audiovisual performance “erratic” reconstructs a topographic memory of Vienna. In exfoliations of the molecular mechanics inside our brains, decoupled and abstracted parts of the city’s architecture and ornamental repletion appear, forming a distant and loosely morbid tableaux. The seemingly familiar, postcard-like places interfere with a myriad of anticipated differences encountered while traversing a real city. In its crackling and flickering, the work makes reference to the gas-lighting that disappeared from Vienna in 1962, replaced by electrical light sources.