mediacult looks back on a long history. The institute was founded in 1969 on the initiative and with the collaboration of several high-ranking international organisations, such as UNESCO, the International Music Council, and the International Theater Institute, with the goal of studying the effects of new media technologies on cultural development and implementing the results in cultural-political measures and contemporary educational concepts.
The institute is invariably tied to the name Kurt Blaukopf. The renowned Viennese musicologist, who managed the institute in its first two decades, provided the orientation in terms of content and organization. His successors, Irmgard Bontinck, Alfred Smudits, and Robert Harauer, have continued the tradition of empirically based and application oriented research into the cultural industry and adapted it to current demands. From 2006 to 2011 the institute was managet by Andreas Gebesmair. Since 2012 the Secretary General Alfred Smudits directs the institute.
In the 1970s, the institute took a pioneering role by turning its attention to young people’s new cultural behavioral patterns brought about by the influence of technical media. Shifting to the center of research in the 1980s and 1990s were the consequences of technological development (cable and satellite broadcasts, computerization, and digitization) for cultural and media policies (see publications). Nowadays, broader socio-political issues are increasingly being taken into consideration: mediacult researches all aspects of industrial cultural and media production, including gender specific inequalities, migration, and globalization.