niij: It never had a meaning to begin with. || Michael Zeltner


Done (at some point)

This is a collection of the work that I've done, the categorisation is a rough outline to make it more readable.


Michael Zeltner works on, in and with bottom-up, self-organised and decentralised structures and ideas while occasionally starting the odd unfinished art project. As a school drop out he was lucky to have been re-socialised by the art-group monochrom, which taught him about agency and its implications*

He writes/contributes to Free Software, previously for Plone during the 1.0 to 2.0 version bump, but also under the umbrella of Graffiti Research Lab a.k.a. G.R.L. (specifically as the localised Viennese cell) and keeps an open GIT repository.

Another prominent part of his endeavours is community building and maintaining: for example by facilitating the distribution of €500.000 by the first self-organised government funding pool NetzNetz as part of its coordination team, with his long-standing involvement in the Viennese hackerspace Metalab (and the hacker community at large) or by co-founding an art-spaces like mo.ë.

As of autumn 2015, Michael holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from UoP/TI.

Presently, Michael has an ambivalent relationship with art, activism, and computers. Feel free to inquire why.

Group Exhibitions

  • 'Ouch!', Color Print Graphics, Production – Quo Vadis Logo (Vienna, 03)
  • 'Wohnstrasse', Interactive Object – From the Street to the Box (Vienna, 07)
  • G.R.L. Vienna: 'Powerthief', Video – 2 Years INOPERAbLE (Vienna, 08)
  • G.R.L. Vienna: 'G.R.L. & Ape', Video Installation, Ink on Paper – Sioseh (Vienna, 08)
  • G.R.L. Vienna & London: 'G.R.L. vs. Memory9', Outdoor Installation, Ink on Cardboard, Open Workspace – subvision. kunst. festival. off. (Hamburg, 09)
  • 'Concerning Transitive Closure' (Partial), Cross-processed Photography, Prepared Blotting Paper — Repurpose. - mo.ë Pre-Opening (Vienna, 10)



  • Ear Cinema: 'Late Noon Sun'
    • Institute for Contemporary Arts (London, 08)
    • Arnolfini (Bristol, 08)
    • Salisbury Arts Centre (Salisbury, 09)
    • Shunt (London, 09)
    • Colchester Arts Centre (Colchester, 09)
    • School of Music & Performing Arts at Bath Spa University (Bath, 10)
  • Touch, Don't Touch: 'Featherbox' – Middlesex University (London, 08)
  • 'Shifts' – Kinetica Art Fair at P3 (invited but not participated due to time constraints) (London, 10)
  • Entrance – Repurpose. - mo.ë Pre-Opening. (Vienna, 10)

Lectures & Talks

  • 'Social Engineering and the Art Community' – Ars Electronica (Linz, 07)
  • G.R.L. Vienna: 'G.R.L. at Work'
  • G.R.L. Vienna: 'Graffiti Research' – DigiTaika (Helsinki, 07)
  • G.R.L. Vienna: 'G.R.L. = D.Y.I.' – net culture lab: Make Your Own Thing (Vienna, 08)
  • G.R.L. Vienna: 'Freedom of Speech and DIY according to the Graffiti Research Lab' – 100 Stunden Open Museum, 100 Jahre Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna, 09)
  • NetzNetz: 'Erstprojektförderung Intro' – Digitale Kunst, Die Angewandte (Vienna, 10)
  • 'On Interactivity' – Metropolitan State College of Denver (Denver, 10)
  • 'Das ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) und warum wir uns mit "Intellectual Property" beschäftigen muessen.' – das que[e]r (Vienna, 12)
  • 'The Social Sphere of Hack*spaces'
  • Visiting Lecturer for the MultiMediaArt programme at University of Applied Sciences (Salzburg, 13)
  • 'tor2tcp': lightning talk on location anonymous services in the clear – Chaos Communication Congress (Hamburg, 13)
  • Guest lecture on Hacker Culture at NYU for 'Introduction to Digital Art' (NYC, 14)


  • G.R.L. Vienna: 'LED-Throwies' – Metalab (Vienna, 07)
  • G.R.L. Vienna: 'Graffiti Research'
    • DigiTaika (Helsinki, 07)
    • Make Your Own Thing (Vienna, 08)
    • FH Joanneum (Graz, 08)
  • G.R.L. Vienna: 'L.A.S.E.R. Tag' – Chaos Communication Congress (Berlin, 07)
  • G.R.L. Vienna: 'Mobile Broadcast Unit' – MuseumsQuartier (Vienna, 08)
  • G.R.L. Vienna: 'LED-Throwies & L.A.S.E.R. Tag' – Hackers on Planet Earth (NYC, 08)
  • 'openFrameworks Introduction' – Metalab (Vienna, 10)
  • 'openFrameworks' (with Arturo Castro) – Linux Wochen Linz (Linz, 10)
  • 'Praktische Datensicherheit'
  • 'Limited Conclusions About the Role of Identity in Human Networked IO'



  • 'Massively Multiplayer Thumbwrestling'
  • G.R.L. Vienna
    • Heise Online on 'L.A.S.E.R. Tag' at the Chaos Communication Camp (Finowfurt, 07)
    • Ö1 Matrix, discussing Metalab and 'L.A.S.E.R. Tag' at MuseumsQuartier (Vienna, 07)
    • Puls TV, Various interviews on streetart and 'L.A.S.E.R. Tag' (Vienna, 07)
    • Okto, Multiple interviews on 'L.A.S.E.R. Tag' (Vienna, 07)
    • FM4, live radio interview on 'L.A.S.E.R. Tag' (Linz, 07)
    • Kurier, Article on 'L.A.S.E.R. Tag' & Paraflows (Vienna, 07)
    • YLE TV2, Live TV interview on 'L.A.S.E.R. Tag' and LED-Throwies (Helsinki, 07)
    • Various Finnish newspapers, articles on 'L.A.S.E.R. Tag', 1 frontpage (Helsinki, 07)
    • Make Magazine, Interview on 'L.A.S.E.R. Tag' (mentioned on Wired, BoingBoing) (Berlin, 08)
    • Numerous Spanish Newspapers, Articles on 'L.A.S.E.R. Tag' (A Coruña, 08)
    • ORF1 ZIB24, TV Interview for the 100 Years Technical Museum 'Night of Art' (Vienna, 09)
    • Various German newspapers reporting on subvision. kunst. festival. off. featuring Graffiti Research Lab & L.A.S.E.R. Tag (Hamburg, 09)
  • Press conference for the opening of 'Raum D' (Vienna, 08)
  • Die Presse, Article on 'QDK' and young media art (Vienna, 08)
  • Futurezone, Interview on 'NetzNetz' (Vienna, 08)
  • Various British Newspapers, Articles on 'Ear Cinema' (London, 08)
  • Big frontpage, 2 page interview/portrait for the 'Sonntaz' edition of the German taz (Berlin, 09)
  • Wired's Underwire featured Shifts as part of Kinetica Art Fair (London, 10)
  • Various interviews (by i.a. Wienerin, ORF) on CryptoParty and its related topics (Vienna, 12 - 13)


A list of those who deserve thanks.

Possibly you.

Limited Conclusions About the Role of Identity in Human Networked IO

… (or lc9 for short) is (while also being a joke) meant to be taken literally: the project inspects anonymity, pseudonymity and identity in the context of contemporary online communication, and finds its main outlet in casual conversation, workshops and 1-on-1 consultancies. Rather than claiming any kind of authority over the subject matter, it considers itself one contribution of many and aims to share a critical approach instead of a finished and/or polished block of information. As an artwork it blends ephemeral process with the concrete but non-linear output and the secret engagement with the public presentation in many of its various facets.

August 2013 – Present

Palimpsest; A Course Comprising n Lessons

Palimpsest is a series of picture frames that use photography as a hook to lure its audience into interaction with sound. Each piece is juxtaposes different perspectives on particular memories with literal instant photography and metaphorical sound. Its content focus' on the past inspired the deliberate choice to incorporate nostalgia into the visual and sonic aesthetic of the piece.

Each photograph is listened to with a stethoscope, effectively blocking its visual nature, moving the audience's focus to their hearing.

September 2010 – May 2013

Concerning Transitive Closure (Unfinished)

While it has been exhibited statically, Concerning Transitive Closure finds its purpose in the performative, personalised and hyperconscious act of sharing its pieces.

Cross-processed photographs of the artist's mentors Johannes Grenzfurthner and Andreas Leo Findeisen placed into the physical and psychogeographical entity that is mo.ë, as well as MRI scans of the artist's heart and brain, are printed on perforated blotting paper imitating sheets that would more commonly be laced with LSD.

Lending the First-Order Logic related concept of Transitive Closure, the question is posed whether expanding world views induced by human interaction (as opposed to the intake of chemicals) can be actively distributed within a decentralised graph such as a social network.

(MRI scans of heart and brain are yet to be done.)

Photography by Kerstin Kollmann

April 2010 – Present


mo.ë is a ~1000m2 big art space comprising several multifunctional rooms, studios, offices, a workshop as well as an Artist in Residence programme. Located in the 17th district of Vienna, the facility was originally used as metal works factory, which was prominently featured in the semi-biographical yet fictional novel from 1984 'Ewigkeitsgasse' ('The Forever Street') by Frederic Morton.

Having changed owners several times since its inception in 1888, mo.ë extends the already present realities, rather than applying the tabula rasa approach of a white cube setting.

Collaboration with Rashid Badreldin, Daniel Benedek, Valerie Bosse, Julia Huber, Karin Meisel, Hannah Menne, Ari Moumeni, Martin Nimmervoll, Agnes Peschta, David Postl, Horacio Reyes, Diane Sittinger, Agnes Wächter, Michael Weidhofer

February 2010 – March 2011

Shifts (Unfinished)

Shifts exists in three parts: one, a sound-piece, two, permanent tattoos of the sound-piece's waveform, and three, a photograph combined with an audio-kinetic installation presenting the relation between one and two.

On all of these layers the work is based on the premise of "shifting" the (artist's) body closer to the mind and emotion. It forms a self-portrait, communicating a self-reflective sonically based visual reminder of the process of moving onwards.

As an installation, Shifts is brought closer to the artist's body by dripping small amounts of his blood from the picture onto the ground.

Tattoo by Franz-Nikolaus Scheichenost at Happy Needles. Photography by Audrey Penven. Mechanical consulting by Jonathan Moore, Amir Hassan and Stefanie Wuschitz. Engineering by Daniel Schatzmayr.

March 2009 – Present

Touch, Don't Touch

Touch, Don't Touch is an interdisciplinary exploration of participatory artworks and tangible interfaces. It aims to create various instruments that tie in with the human propensity for multi-modal experience.

The current project 'Featherbox' was created by Wajid Yaseen as part of his M.A. thesis at Middlesex University's Sonic Arts course.

Collaboration with Wajid Yaseen and Charles Matthews

October 2008 – Present

Ear Cinema

Ear Cinema is a collaborative multi-platform installation and performance piece, incorporating animation and film footage on 4 screens, sonic art techniques on 8 speakers arranged as a cube, and live performance in the enclosed space. Its focus lies in the ability to deliver a story through "Immersive Theatre", blurring boundaries between all incorporated media.

Collaboration primarily with Wajid Yaseen, Gadi Sassoon and Dave Hunt. Full credits.

October 2008 – Present

Graffiti Research Lab

The Graffiti Research Lab (G.R.L.) was founded 2006 in New York City and is dedicated to outfitting graffiti writers, artists and protesters with open source technologies for urban communication.

Following a lose collaboration with Florian Hufsky and Florian Frühauf in which we reinterpreted the work of the G.R.L. mother cell as well as implemented a hostile takeover of the quartier21, Kunsthalle Wien and MUMOK, we founded G.R.L. Vienna due to an invitation to Ars Electronica in September later that year.

Collaboration with Florian Hufsky, Florian Frühauf, Evan Roth, James Powderly, Theo Watson and the G.R.L.'s greater collective.

July 2007 – December 2009


NetzNetz was the self-organised funding pool for New Media Art, Activism and Culture, supported by the MA 7 (Vienna's arts and culture council), department for film and new media. It has been awarding €500.000 annually from 2006 to 2009.

The involved communities and free agents were not only able to influence the grants handed out by the government, but also the course of NetzNetz itself. Through coming up with and participating in different models of application and voting in conferences, plenary sessions and other meetings, the participants developed and tested democratic decision making processes that bypassed boundaries of governmental funding structures.

Collaboration primarily with Agnes Peschta, Andreas Leo Findeisen, Joanna Pianka, Florian Lauber, Manfred Krejcik. The NetzNetz community consists of more than 400 validated members.

December 2007 – December 2008

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