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26 May 2008

Call for applications: Imaginary Property

Designed by Metahaven

Imaginary Property


Deadline: 15 June 2008
Symposium: 6 June 2008

+31 (0)43 350 37 24
+31 (0)43 350 37 59

Academieplein 1
6211KM Maastricht
The Netherlands

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Imaginary Property

— research project

The research project Imaginary Property consists of three parts that are inextricably linked up with each other and are to be addressed simultaneously rather than consecutively.

The first part is analytical in nature and traces the primarily non-juridical impact as well as the practical implications of the concept of 'imaginary property' through various disciplines such as philosophy, psychoanalysis, economics, cybernetics, architecture, new media and design theory. The analytical part will start off with a symposium (on 6th June) that shows the scope of the project and its impact on contemporary design practices. The symposium will bring about an interview and lecture series in which guest speakers partake.

The second part consists of a series of evaluations and examinations of experimental design, 'counter-design' or 're-design' projects. Specific proposals for new models of ownership based on open-source and free circulation of networked images will be developed and realized. Supposing that images are the products of struggles for imagination, this part examines in a practical way how social relationships are configured, designed and performed in connection with the images that are supposed to be owned, used and displayed as one's property. The relationship between the owner of an image and the image owned is not at issue in this project. Imaginary Property deals with the imagination and the redrawing of social relationships with people who could also use and enjoy images, modify or alter images, play images or play with images. Is it possible, practically and conceptually, to (reverse) engineer 'imaginary property'? How to show highly valuable images and visualize processes in a way that anticipates and allows for modulations, modifications and unpredictable proliferation? Can a museum redesign a show and make it or even parts of its collection freely accessible through the digital public domain? Is it possible for a political campaign to go fully 'open source'? How can such a public release be realized and what would it actually look like?

Thirdly, the results of the analytical part and the examinations will be documented more or less in real-time and made accessible on a multimedia website. The idea is further to make a publication in print as well as a collaborative, networked video project.

The research project Imaginary Property is looking for design practitioners who wish to tackle fundamental issues and query conventions of disciplines such as film, multimedia, web design, networking and architecture. It further seeks to involve theory-minded researchers who are not afraid of 'an image'.

Symposium: 6 June 2008.


Candidates interested in this project can apply by submitting a research proposal. Selected candidates gain the position of researcher at the Design department of the Jan van Eyck Academie.

For more information on the practical side of your application, financial questions, and other matters, please consult the website or contact the academy via Leon Westenberg,, telephone +31 (0)43 350 37 24.