Oliver Grau

Profile Picture
Currently based
Vienna, Austria
Affiliated institution
Society for the Histories of MediaArt, Science and Technology; Archive for Digital Art (Director)


20 years Chair Professorships for Image Science. More than 350 lectures and keynotes worldwide, including Olympic Games culture program and G-20 Summit.
Grau's “Virtual Art. From Illusion to Immersion”, MIT Press 2003 (Book of the Month, Scientific American) is with 2600+ citations internationally the most quoted art history monography of recent decades (H-Index), it received 90+ reviews. It offered for the first historic evolution in image-viewer theory of immersion and a systematic analysis of the triad of artist, artwork and beholder in digital art.

He has received several awards and his publications are translated in 15 languages. His main research is in histories of media art, immersive images, art and emotion, the history of telepresence, artificial life and digital humanities. His work has been featured in numerous international publications including Frankfurter Allgemeine, Tagesspiegel, ORF, Wired, Scientific American, NZZ, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Standard, Nature, DIE ZEIT, Süddeutscher Rundfunk, SFB, Berliner Zeitung, Stuttgarter Zeitung, Deutschlandfunk, Wall Street Journal, European Photography, Museums Journal, Svenska Dagbladet, Syrian Arab News, Estado de Sao Paulo, ...

Grau is a founder of the field of MediaArtHistories and founding director of its Conference Series: Banff 2005, Berlin07, Melbourne09, Liverpool11, Riga13, Montreal15, Krems/Vienna17, Aalborg19, Venice23. The volume MediaArtHistories, MIT Press 2007, received 50+ international reviews. "Imagery in the 21st Century", MIT-Press 2011 opened the field of Image Science. Recently: Museum and Archive on the Move (2017), Digital Art under the Looking Glas (2019) and Retracing Political Dimensions (2021)

He conceived new Digital Humanities tools for image science and directed the project "Immersive Art" of the German Research Foundation (DFG) developing the first international Archive for Digital Art (ADA, since 1998) recently funded by FWF and bmbwf with 1,1 Mio Euro. Since 2005 Grau was also head of the of the Goettweig Graphic Print Online-Collection, Austria's largest private collection with 30.000 works, from Duerer to Klimt.

Grau developed new international curricula: MediaArtHistories MA, Image Science, Digital Collection Management, the EU supports the MediaArtsCultures Program with 5.5 Mio. Euro. 2000 Grau was elected into the Young Academy of the BBAW & Leopoldina, 2015 he was elected into the Academia Europaea, 2014 he received a doctor h.c., in 2016 a symposium in honor of his research was held in Tel Aviv and 2019 he received the Science Award of L. Austria.

New Research Project: Tool Development for Image Data Literacy: Understanding Digital Art with complex data analysis (ImDaLi), ca. 280.000.- EUR
New Research Project: Lehr- und Forschungsinfrastruktur für Digitale Künste an Hochschulen (LeFo), 1.200.000.- EUR
2019 Lower Austria Science Award
2017 Conference Co-chair (with Prof. Dr. Inge Hinterwaldner): Re:Trace, 7th International Conf. for Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology, Krems/Göttweig/Vienna 2017
2016 Symposium in Honor of Oliver Grau’s research, Open University of Israel, 23. Nov 2016
2015 Member “ACADEMIA EUROPAEA, elected – The Academy of Europe, Among 2020 Members: 74 Nobel Laureates
Erasmus+ Master of Excellence on Media Art Cultures
Joint Program with Alborg University, University Lodz, City University Hong Kong
2014 Honorary Doctorate (Dr. h.c.) from the University of Oradea
2014 Co-Development of the master programme 'Data Studies' at Danube University
2014 - 2024 Media Arts Cultures, Erasmus+ (EU) Joint Master Degree Program, app. 5,500,000.- EUR.
2013 Research grant from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) for the project AT.MAR including the development of the Archive of Digital Art (former Database of Virtual Art)
2013 Editorial Board Member Revista de Estudios Globales y Arte Contemporaneo
2013 - 2016 Research Project: Interactive Archive and Meta-Thesaurus for Media Art Research (AT.MAR) (PI), FWF – Austrian Science Fund, approx. 460,000.- EUR.
2012 The publication 'Virtual Art - From Illusion to Immersion' became one of the most cited books in the field of art history (Source: H-Index)
2012 Board Member of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research, St. Petersburg.
2011 International Declaration "Media Art Needs Global Networked Organisation and Support"
2011 Key note lecture in Seoul (Korea) for the lecture series 'Humanism 2.0 in the digital age'
2011 Host of the conference of Austrian art historians ('Tagung österreichischer Kunsthistorikerinnen und Kunsthistoriker'), 30.09.-02.10.2011
2011 Offered Chair Professor, City University Hong Kong, not accepted
2010 - 2013 Research grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for the project "Reconsidering Australian Media Art History in an International Context"
2010 Key note at the 'tech+ forum 2010' in association with the G-20 Summit Meeting, by Invitation of the Ministry of Knowledge
2008 Director of the Second International Conference on Image Science at Goettweig Monastery
2008 Development of the master programme 'Cross Media' at Danube University
2006 Inauguration of the Danube TeleLectures Conference Series
2006 Development of the master programme 'Media Art Histories' at Danube University
2005 Chair Professor and Head of the Department for Image Science at the Danube University Krems
2005 Founding Director of "Refresh! First International Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology"
2005 Visiting Professor at the University of Caxias do Sul
2005 Visiting Professor at the University of Siegen
2005 Head of the Database of the Graphic Art Collection of Goettweig Monastery
2005 Development of the master programme 'Image Science' at Danube University
2003 Habilitation from the University of Art and Design Linz
2003 Research Scholarship from the Villa Vigoni
2002 - 2005 Establishment of the MediaArtHistory Conference Series
2001 - 2005 Assistant Research Professor at the Humboldt University of Berlin
2001 - 2002 Visiting Professor at the University of Art and Design Linz
2001 Voted Member of the "Young Academy" of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the Leopoldina
2000 Most cited monograph in Art History according to H-Index
1999 - 2005 Initial Development of the Archive of Digital Art (former DVA) at the Humboldt University of Berlin
1998 - 2005 PhD in Art History at the Humboldt University of Berlin
Art&Science: limits of knowledge, hybrid models for art.

Barcelona Science Biennial, organized by City Council

ISTANBUL: "Amber Art and Technology Festival"

Invited Lecture

AMBER FESTIVAL 17 dec 2014 – 21 feb 2015


ISTANBUL: "Amber Art and Technology Festival"
HONG KONG: 20th International Conference on Virtual Systems & Multimedia (VSMM 2014), City University Hong Kong


OUR DIGITAL CULTURE THREATENED BY LOSS: The Complex Expression of Digital Art and its Impact on Archives and Image Science/Digital Humanities

HONG KONG: 20th International Conference on Virtual Systems & Multimedia (VSMM 2014), City University Hong Kong
Conference 'Image as Location' (San Francisco)

Lecture at the Conference 'Image as Location' at the University of Berkeley/Goethe Institute (San Francisco, USA)

Conference 'Portable Reality' (Basel, CH)

Keynote at the international conference 'Portable Reality' at the Haus für elektronische Künste (Hek) in Basel

Exhibitions & Events