Current Team

Peter Mörtenböck / Director

Peter Mörtenböck is Professor of Visual Culture at TU Wien and Research Fellow at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His current work focuses on urban speculation, global resource consumption and new data publics. He is also developing new research around the notion of “Building Capital” – how architecture’s capacity to both materialise and signify the production of value is being enlisted in the creation of new geographies of investment. Mörtenböck has held several visiting professorships in visual culture, fine art, cultural and media studies and has served as an external advisor and examiner at numerous universities and art schools. He is the founding director of the Visual Culture Unit of the Faculty of Architecture and Planning at the Vienna University of Technology, the first of its kind at architecture schools in the German speaking world. Together with Helge Mooshammer he is currently working on three major book publications – the edited volumes Data Publics: Public Plurality in an Era of Data Determinacy and Incorporating Informality as well as the monograph Building Capital: Urban Speculation and the Architecture of Finance.


Helge Mooshammer / Director

Helge Mooshammer is an architect and theorist based at TU Wien and Research Fellow at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He has initiated numerous international research projects around questions of (post-)capitalist economies and urban informality. Mooshammer has a track record of two decades of independent research on contemporary spatial and cultural dynamics and ten years as director of international research projects. He has been principal investigator of the FWF-funded research “Relational Architecture” (2006-09), “Other Markets” (2010-15) and “Incorporating Informality” (2018-2022), pursuing basic research into the changing valuation of informal urbanism from peripheral phenomenon to key market interest. In 2008, he was awarded a research fellowship at the International Research Centre for Cultural Studies (IFK) Vienna, during which he studied migrant community markets in Vienna and Budapest. His research on informal markets dates back to his participation in the EC-funded project “Networked Cultures” (2005-08, led by Prof Mörtenböck at Goldsmiths, University of London) which focussed on the role of cultural relations in periods of political and economic deregulation.
His book publications together with Peter Mörtenböck include, amongst others, Visual Cultures as Opportunity (Sternberg 2016), Informal Market Worlds: The Architecture of Economic Pressure (with Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman, nai010 Publishers 2015), Occupy: Räume des Protests (transcript 2012) as well as the forthcoming Building Capital: Urban Speculation and the Architecture of Finance.

Christian Frieß / Researcher

Christian Frieß is an architect and researcher trained at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and the Vienna University of Technology, where he currently is Project Assistant (FWF) at the Visual Culture Unit.
His multidisciplinary practice spans from the architectural design of the Soundstudio Lobby in the Semperdepot in Vienna, the critical design project Vierzig Morgen at the memorial site Mauthausen to the graphic poem Away from there (Luftschacht Verlag 2015). He co-founded the working group Das Kollektiv and the society Korona Mai – Verein zur Förderung einer interdisziplinären Auseinandersetzung mit der gebauten Umwelt.

Benjamin Gerdes / Fulbright Specialist

Benj Gerdes is a Brooklyn, New York-based artist, writer and organiser working in film, video and other public formats, individually as well as collaboratively. He is interested in intersections of radical politics, knowledge production and popular imagination. His work often focuses on the affective and social consequences of economic and state regimes.
Gerdes’s work has been exhibited and screened at venues including the Centre Pompidou (Paris), National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), New Museum (New York), Museum of the Moving Image (New York), REDCAT Gallery (Los Angeles), Rotterdam International Film Festival, the Tate Modern (London) and the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar. His writings have been published in October; The Journal of Aesthetics + Protest; Incite Journal of Experimental Media; Public; and Rethinking Marxism. With artist and filmmaker Lasse Lau, he is co-curator of the recent exhibitions Past is Not Post (Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, 2017) and Rewriting Histories (Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen, 2015). His studies include Brown University, Hunter College–City University of New York and the Whitney Independent Study Program. Lectures and visiting artist engagements include California College of the Arts, NYU, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Duke, Cornell and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, as well as teaching at Bard College, Parsons, Cooper Union and Long Island University.

Kamile Batur / ÖAW Doctoral Candidate

Kamile Batur is an architect and researcher at the Institute of Art and Design, Vienna University of Technology. Her Ph.D. research project, funded by Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), focuses on the relationship between emergency thinking, affective technologies and spatial production, particularly in respect to the convergence of the politics of natural disaster and economic development. Her diploma thesis on the urban transformation process in Istanbul was awarded the Rudolf Wurzer Prize.

Andrea Börner / Doctoral Candidate

Andrea Börner is an architect by education and Assistant Professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, where she directs the Urban Strategies department at the Institute of Architecture (IoA), and recently held a lecturer position at the Institute of Art and Architecture, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna; Geography, Landscape, Cities. In teaching and research, she addresses contemporary and future living environments, in narration, mapping and film. As instructor and coordinator of the Postgraduate Program Urban Strategies (2011-2015) she investigated the urban condition of coastal cities at the fringe of Europe, and was project coordinator of the Intra-Island Joint International Master Program TPAI – Territorial Planning Art, Design and Innovation, New Zealand, Sardinia. In 2016/17 she co-directed two Cross-Over-Studios at the IoA (Energizing Vienna, Urban Ecologies 4.0), and was partner project-leader of the European Mobility Project Active Public Space. In her current research, she investigates the spatiality of the sea to revisit questions on the urban condition, in both the micro- and the macro-scale.

Ignacio Valero / 2017-18 Professorial Fellow

Ignacio Valero has a PhD from the University of California a Berkeley and is an associate professor of humanities and sciences at the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, in the Graduate Fine Arts, Design, Critical Studies, and Diversity Studies Programs. Valero’s current research interests include: affective capitalism and the shared economy, semiocapitalism and the knowledge economy, technology and the creative industries, the political economy and epistemology of the image, consumption, desire, social media, and the society of the spectacle; globalization, environmental sustainability, informal markets, social movements and the commons; and the aesthetic, philosophical, social, and cultural dimensions of “archaic modernity,” utopia and dystopia in science fiction, anime, gender, sexual difference, and pop consumer culture. Stemming from these interlocking issues, he has been researching and writing on innovation, ideology, and global neoliberalism, big data, fake news and post-truth media, populism & democracy, social ecology, biopolitical production, and aesthetics, art labor and gentrification, under his developing concepts of EcoDomics, the Aesthetic(s) of the Common(s), and the Emotariat.
He is also interested in understanding practices leading to critical and creative pedagogies.