The Desire of the Medium

This book is the elaboration of a dissertation on the affective capacities of media and their collaborative function with the artist. It originated from a series of ideas and propositions that aspired to counter some orthodox modes of thinking within the field of media theory and design philosophy. The quest was based on an extensive series of educational programmes which have been developed that partly dealt with the supposition that the role of and interplay between media can best be measured on the basis of their affective capacities (iso-affectiveness) rather than on their ontological setting. In our view, it is more important to focus on what media do rather than on what they are. To achieve this requires a thorough appreciation of the equality of each medium in the spectrum of media typologies, which is not always the easiest thing to accomplish.The ‘voice of the medium’ is key in this process, and therefore it is time to ask again: ‘What is the desire of the medium?’ This question, however, has no conclusive answer. Instead, the question itself becomes a rhetorical and recursive starting point for addressing an interplay in which both human and nonhuman actors contribute to the creation of something new that is different from the sum of its parts.

230 pages, photography in colour, 17 x 24 cm, paperback, English


Most of Marc Boumeester’s thinking falls under affect theory, a philosophy of a new generation, which in its turn is fueled by Deleuzian scholarship. Boumeester formulates new and contemporary concepts that can be put into action in art and design education through an operational style called "intensive thinking". In the book, many interesting examples of educational programmes and works of art are accompanied by images relating to how this theoretical approach can be applied in art and design practice. Boumeester concludes that education in art and design is also about the design of education: what we learn and how we learn are inseparable.

Table of Contents

Glossary: Tools of the trade


1. Liquid field:Introducing the workings of the grey mouse

2. Ethoscape: Affective and intensive thinking

3. Ideoscape: Concepts, assemblage, desires,and pedagogy

4. Form of content: Affordance in the technoscape

5. Form of expression:Non-anthropocentric desire in the mediascape

Conclusion: Suspended between Pensiero debole and amor fati



List of images


Desire travelled ahead of love. 

This is why the launch of the book ‘The Desire of the Medium’ took the shape of a journey through Holland, just one day before Valentine’s day.

Its travel on the 13th of February 2018 took this publication from the dense ‘sottobosco’ (undergrowth) paintings by Otto Marseus van Schrieck in the Rijksmuseum Twenthe to the enlightened, pulsating sounds of the Amsterdam nightlife. During its railroad journey it shared its content by means of a series of public lectures and a mid-journey performance. Ultimately it finished its journey in the Rijskmuseum Amsterdam.

See more images in the gallery.


If you are interested in organizing a lecture or a seminar concerning the topics of the book, you might consider to invite the author to introduce the themes and elaborate on the book. Please contact us for bookings and conditions. If you would like to order your own copy of the book, please use the button below.



The book features a prime selection of photographic work made by starting and acclaimed international artists. The work does not serve as mere illustration: it forms a different narrative that underlines the theoretical exposé. The publication includes fullcolour work by: 

Arjan Benning, Ahmet Polat, Bert Teunissen, Donald Weber, Danique Hofstee, Hisaji Hara, Leo Erkens, Mika Ninagawa, Natsumi Hayashi, Ramazan Barlas, Sjoerd van Oevelen & Elodie Hiryczuk, Verena Eckloff


Author: Marc Boumeester

Publisher: ArtEZ Press

Editorial coordination: Minke Vos

Final editing and correction: Patricia Garvin

Copy-editing: Lucy Klaassen

Design and typesetting: Josse Pyl and Jungmyung Lee, Amsterdam

Lithography and production: Colour & Books, Apeldoorn

Printing and binding: Platform P, Rotterdam

ISBN 978-94-91444-40-1
NUR 651

Illustrations: Sabrina Robles De Medina

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