Black Holes of Popularity

A.B.Melchiorre (IT), O.Lesota (RU), M.Schedl (AT), F.Schubert (AT), M.Moscati (IT), D.Penz (AT), E. Dobetsberger (AT), J.Usorac (BA), A.Hausberger (AT), S.Pile (RU), A.Ebner (AT)

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Black Holes of Popularity (BHP) is a gamified art exhibit that exposes the imbalance of music popularity on online music consumption platforms. Popular tracks not only enjoy vast public attention but, as algorithms recommend them to millions of listeners, their popularity increases more and more. In this “riches-getting-richer” cycle, the few very popular tracks effectively overshadow the many more niche and lesser-known tracks and artists who struggle to reach an audience. In BHP‘s allegorical music universe, planets, stars, and comets represent existing music tracks of various genres. The most popular tracks, however, appear as black holes that threaten to swallow the other cosmic bodies, leaving nothing behind. Only the visitor’s intervention can change the fate of the doomed cosmic bodies and save them from disappearing into the black holes.


A.B. Melchiorre, O. Lesota, & M. Moscati are PhD students at JKU. M. Schedl is a professor at JKU and Linz Institute of Technology.
F. Schubert is a senior lecturer at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and the FH St. Pölten.
D. Penz is a PhD student at JKU and TU Wien.
E.Dobetsberger, J.Usorac, & A.Ebner are students at JKU. S. Pile is a Post-doc at JKU.


BHP received financial support from the Linz Institute of Technology, the State of Upper Austria, and the Federal Ministry of Education, Science, and Research.