The Reading Room #1: On the Archaeology of Imaginary Media

The Reading Room #1: On the Archaeology of Imaginary Media
Special guest: Eric Kluitenberg

March 30, 2015

19h – 21h
Location: Vrije Academie Gemak, Paviljoensgracht 20-24, 2512 BP, The Hague


We welcome you to the first session of the Reading Room, hosted by the Hague-based artist initiative Platform for Thought in Motion.

The Reading Room is a series of reading groups revolving around short texts provided by invited guests – contemporary researchers, cultural theorists, philosophers and artists – who join us to provide insight and context to the topics at hand. The Reading Room is a joint cooperation between the artist-initiatives Platform for Thought in Motion and iii

For this session we are delighted to be joined by media theorist Eric Kluitenberg. We will be reading his essay entitled On the Archeology of Imaginary Media. We ask that those interested in joining please reserve a spot by sending an email to We will also provide you with a copy of the text.

On the Archaeology of Imaginary Media

Imaginary Media are machines that mediate impossible desires. They are objects from the realm of phantasy and imagination that attach themselves incessantly to the media and machines we actually use, but onto which we project dreams of the impossible: The end of work, being in more than one place at the same time, transcending death and the divides with the hereafter and the ones who have passed on, escape into space and many other wondrous imaginaries.

When examining the history of media and technology we find that the imagined and the actually realised continuously in and out of each other, never fully coincide, producing impossible desires that propel the quest for the ultimate communication medium which will never be found because of our all too human failings…

Eric Kluitenberg, On the Archaeology of Imaginary Media, in: Erkki Huhtamo & Jussi Parikka (Eds. 2011)): Media Archaeology Approaches, Applications, and Implications, University of California Press, June 2011.

Guest Biography

Eric Kluitenberg is a theorist, writer, educator, and advisor working at the intersection of culture, media, and technology. He taught theory of interactive media and technological culture for a variety of academic institutions, including the University of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences of Amsterdam, Academy Minerva Postgraduate Studies in Groningen. He was a scientific staff member of the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, and head of the media program of De Balie, Centre for Culture and Politics in Amsterdam (1999 – 2011)

In 2013 he was a research fellow at the Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.

He currently teaches media and cultural theory at the Art Science Interfaculty in The Hague.

Recent publications include The Book of Imaginary Media (2006), Delusive Spaces (2008), the theme issues “Hybrid Space” (2006), and “(Im)Mobility” (2011) of Open, Journal for Art and the Public Domain, The legacies of Tactical Media (2011), Techno Ecologies (2012). Editor in Chief of the Tactical Media Files, an on-line documentation resource for Tactical Media practices.


A special thanks to Vrije Academie Gemak and Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie for supporting the Reading Room series.