A lyrical journey through Musikverein, the world’s first “fully objective concert hall”, where 32 statues observe, measure and analyse musical performance.

In 1833, Robert Schumann, a famous composer and music critic, was dreaming of a little machine: the "Compositionsseelenmesser". Whenever a young composer would come through the door to have their musical piece published, he would take their manuscript, put it in the machine, and when the magnet tongue wouldn't move, he could just tell the composer that their piece wasn't good enough, without having to insult or disappoint him.

When machines judge human activity, we expect fairness and unbiased truth. Without hesitation, we hand over responsibility and accept A.I. authority - it’s the promise of complete objectivity. I sing in one of Vienna's most prestigious choirs - and so to explore this strange phenomenon, I decided to develop a narrative that's set in a place that feels almost like home to me: Welcome to Musikverein, the world's first fully objective concert hall:

With their relentless judgement, the Critical Caryatids have caused a big fuss at Musikverein. I went there after the concert to collect some artifacts and voices for you:

©Johanna Pichlbauer