Eric Kluitenberg's and Tatiana Goryucheva's workshop

at the Hungarian Fine Art University Doctorate School and Intermedia Department

I want media with gigabytes of imagination, instead of memory
Peter Blegvad - On Imaginary Media (2004)

13-18 May 2012, Doctoral School, Hungarian University of Fine Art

Imaginary Media Imaginaries
Reflections on art, media, and imagination
Tactical Media and the Conquest of Hybrid Space

Eric Kluitenberg is an independent writer, theorist, researcher, and curator on culture, media, and technology. He is the editor-in-chief of the Tactical Media Files, an on-line documentation resource for Tactical Media practices worldwide ( He was head of the media program of De Balie, centre for culture and politics in Amsterdam (1999 - 2011), and has been involved in a large number of key international events in the field of new media culture, such as the net.congestion - international festival of streaming media (2000), the Next 5 Minutes festivals for Tactical Media, the first and second International Symposium on Electronic Art, ElectroSmog - International Festival for Sustainable immobility (2010), and the Economies of the Commons conference series (2008 - 2012, on-going). His most recent publications include the Network Notebook Legacies of Tactical Media (Institute of Network Cultures, 2011), the theme issues Im/Mobility (2011) and Hybrid Space (2006) of OPEN - Journal for Art
and the Public Domain, Delusive Spaces (essays, 2008), the Book of Imaginary Media (2006), and regular contributions to academic and cultural publications internationally. Rethinking new media design for the networked-in public: learning from the history of institutional critique in theory and art.

Tatiana Goryucheva is a theorist, curator and lecturer based in Amsterdam. In her recent research and projects she has been exploring themes of politics of technological design, culture of democracy and social
engagement with technology. Her latest projects include: "ElectroSmog" International Festival for Sustainable Immobility, panel "Food and Global Mobility"; the experimental participatory media platforms "Cool Mediators" and "Cool Media Hot Talk Show".

14th May 2012
Imaginary Media Imaginaries, Reflections on art, media, and imagination
13 P.M.
Meeting with students and discussion of my workshop idea (Imaginary Media) -
introduction to the theme.

15th May 2012
Tactical Media and the Conquest of Hybrid Space
10 A.M.
Lecture / Presentation 1
12.00-13.00 A.M.
lunch break
13 P.M.
Lecture Presentation 2 + discussion.

16th May 2012
Rethinking new media design for the networked-in public
10 A.M.
 Lecture / Presentation 1
12.00-13.00 A.M.
 lunch break
13 P.M.
Lecture Presentation 2 + discussion.

18th May 2012
Group discussion of workshop results / student works
10 A.M.

Eric Kluitenberg

Imaginary Media Imaginaries
Reflections on art, media, and imagination

It would be an absolute fallacy to limit imagination to the realm of the arts. When looking at the histories of media and technology close scrutiny reveals that imagined and actually realised media (technologies)
continuously weave in and out of each other. Taken in a more common sense way, the histories of media and technology turn out to be far more 'artistic' than often thought. Imagination itself always threatens to
cross over the boundaries with mysticism. Similarly, the believe-systems invested both in historical as well as in contemporary technologies can never be fully understood when looked at within an exclusively
rational frame.

The Archaeology of Imaginary Media project shifts attention deliberately from the actually realised media to the visionary imaginaries of possible, impossible, and desired media. It explores the dreams of an
ultimate communications medium and the deep longing for technological transcendence. Surprisingly, highly similar media narratives and imaginaries appear time and again across different historical and
cultural settings. These recurrences, obviously, have no fixed structure. They do not point at a supposedly cyclical nature of human, technological, or for that matter cultural development. Instead they hint at
generally hidden desires underpinning the drive for technological and media development.

With media archaeologist Siegfried Zielinski I very much agree that artistic subjectivity has a crucial role to play here: to 'drive out these technological media and conditions to the extreme' (Zielinski), to reveal the
hidden machineries of desire and uncover the secret pathways in (technological) history that may help us to find our way into the future.

Tactical Media and the Conquest of Hybrid Space

Tactical Media employ the 'tactics of the weak' (Michel de Certeau) to operate on the terrain of strategic power by means of any media necessary. Tactical Media had been recognised in the early 1990s by artist
David Garcia and theorist Geert Lovink in their foundational text "The ABC of Tactical Media" as a particularly productive transdisciplinary practice that built upon the wide availability of consumer electronics and newly opened media and communication infrastructures to push a variety of dissident artistic and political practices into the public domain. Tactical Media cut right across all the stifling division between art, social and political activism, alternative and mainstream media, technophobe and geek cultures, in search of temporary spaces of possibilities.

Throughout the 1990s vibrant media cultures and media art experimentation sprung up all across Europe and particularly in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, exploring a terrain in turbulent social and
political change. In recent years, and most evidently so in 2011 the emphasis seems to have shifted to the Mediterranean region resulting in a remarkable string of deeply media-saturated protests against
authoritarian regimes in Northern Africa and the Middle East, and massive anti-austerity protests in Southern Europe.

Two key-elements are particularly significant about the wave of protests that happened in 2011. First the intensive use of internet to connect local groups and movements directly, across extremely different
geographical, social and cultural contexts. Secondly, the super-imposition of physical public space and media space as a result of the radical dispersal of mobile devices able to record images and sounds and transmit them virtually instantly around the globe. Both developments signal new social dynamics that have already been partially theorised but that have now manifested themselves so tangibly that they
cannot be ignored anymore.

Tatiana Goryucheva

Rethinking new media design for the networked-in public: learning from the history of institutional critique in theory and art.

When the Internet became public in the early 90s and the technical term “network” acquired a social meaning, ideas of open and free communication were turned into a practical imperative. Importantly, they
concerned not only the ideology but the practice of both use and production of the new media tools for global network society. Open source, open standards, open web have been conceived as at the same
time conceptual and functional bricks in collaborative construction of an open and free electronic public environment.

However, with the popularization of the Internet and the expansion of applications for information exchange and social interaction online, the attempts to impose influence and control over the emergent
practices has increased too. This process, when companies, governments, other formal organizations and associations, or in general - institutions, introduce particular rules and codes, and exercise their power to bind people to comply with them, is characterized in sociology as institutionalization. Today it concerns different aspects of people’s behaviour on the Internet: starting with how your personal profile on a social
network website is defined and ending up with invisible technical protocols of how your data flows are used by the third parties. It also concerns people’s rights to access information and services, levels of
responsibilities, degrees of transparency.

The problem is that public engagement with those issues is minimal due to the lack of knowledge and practical possibilities. At the same time the priorities with regards to apps design are still predominantly
concerned with the features and easiness of use while little attention is paid to the meaning of changing conditions of mediated public interaction. For example, currently dominant social web services providers
like Facebook and Linked-in thrive on enclosing the network territories and non-reciprocally defining rules of social engagement within those territories in contradiction with the values of the open web.

In order to rethink critically relations between new media design and users agenda vis-à-vis institutional agenda on the public web, I will review the theories of the public sphere and its institutionalization. I will
also look back at the history of the institutional critique movement in art, from 1960s conceptual art till internet and activist art, as well as its theoretical background. Revisiting it can provide some fruitful ideas
about inter-relations between the design of the environment and means for public interactions on the one hand, and institutional frameworks which define them on the other.