Notice Served to Public Netbase in the Museumsquartier
Press release, April 11, 2000
Public Netbase has been notified that the lease for its premesis in the Museumsquartier will be terminated. This action threatens to bring an end to the internationally successful achievements of one of Europe's most respected media-culture institutions.
That is because, in Austria, the clock ticks with a different beat. In Europe, development and expertise in the field of new media receives a broad base of support. But here in Austria, Public Netbase – a successful model of expertise, skill and mediation – is nearly at its end after years of successful work and achievement; after serving as a provider in 1,200 important art and cultural projects.
The step taken by the Museumsquartier Errichtungs- und Betriebsges.m.b.H threatens any further development of an important, innovative cultural center in Vienna. Moreover, it confirms all of the fears and criticism that have been expressed about the Museumsquartier since its own beginning.
Austrian cultural policy and administration obviously has no interest in creating or securing conditions for free and active cultural activities and development. Despite – or perhaps even because of? – the indisputable international, and even national, recognition of Public Netbase, the existence of all organisations like ours is under serious threat.
FACTS REGARDING THE NOTIFICATION OF TERMINATION OF THE PUBLIC NETBASE LEASE
Service-Discourse-Mediation in the Museumsquartier
Since 1994, Public Netbase in the Museumsquartier has developed from a small, active cultural project into one of Europe's most respected media-culture institutions. Embedded in a tight Austrian and European network, Public Netbase focuses on work that lies on the cutting edge of technology and art. This is shown through our successful activities, projects and events in the Museumsquartier as well as throughout Europe – such as the New Media Projects of the cultural capital Brussels 2000.
Through several years of discussions with the Museumsquartier Errichtungs- und Betriebsgesm.b.H., Public Netbase was planned as an essential and integral part of the new Museumsquartier. After extensive negotiations, not only was the presence of Public Netbase secured, but so was the substantial expansion and development of new media.
In the summer of 1999, we had to accept with great regret that even though it already had been financed, our Media-Space in the Museumquartier's Oval Hall H would be replaced by the presentation of a model of the Museumsquartier. Our efforts to find a new solution were not successful – and have so far resulted in material damages totalling 6 million Austrian schillings.
Despite substantial proposals made by Public Netbase to the Museumsquartier – based on the skill and expertise of Public Netbase - no productive solution could be reached.
ENDANGERING THE FUTURE
On April 5, 2000, the existence of Public Netbase in the Museumsquartier was thrown into chaos with the serving of the lease termination notice. We learned from the notice that the Prekarium (lease) would be cancelled as of April 2001. In addition to this, renovations inside the Museumsquartier would begin in the summer of 2000 – meaning that Public Netbase work would be severely disrupted long before our lease ended.
Because the notice of termination does not propose any substitute premesis for Public Netbase, nor a date for returning to the original one, we must believe that through the pretext of "necessary renovations", one of the most successful and valued cultural institutions will lose the base of its existence.