Imar de Vries

Expertise & interests
Wireless media; Media Archaeology; Augmented reality; Social Media

In 1993, I began my academic career as a student of Computational Science at the University of Utrecht. Not too happy about the seemingly lacking focus on the social and cultural embedding of new media technologies, I switched to Theater-, Film- and Television Studies in 1997 and specialized in New Media & Digital Culture from 1999 onwards. After my graduation in 2002 I continued my work as a junior teacher, and in 2003 I became a junior teacher/researcher, dedicating 50% of my time to teaching and the other 50% to writing my PhD thesis. I obtained my doctoral degree in 2008. My current position is that of assistant professor New Media & Digital Culture at the Department for Media and Culture Studies, where I work primarily on media archaeological analyses of wireless technologies, social media and augmented reality.


Theater, Film and Television Studies & Communication and Information Studies [Bachelor]

  • Theorie en praktijk van de nieuwe media (2001-2002)
  • Nieuwe media: theorie (2001-2002)
  • Media, cultuur & maatschappij (2002-2003)
  • Nieuwe media en populaire cultuur: Computergames (2002-2003)
  • Filosofie van media en communicatie (2002-)
  • BA-eindwerkstuk: Draadloze dromen (2006-)
  • Interface culture (2009-)
  • Theorie & Analyse van Audiovisuele Media I (2010-)

New Media & Digital Culture [Academic Master]

  • Wireless Future: The cultural impact of mobile telecommunication (2001-2008)
  • New Media Archaeology: Tracing recurrent myths and epistemological breaks in media evolution (2002-)

Publications, lectures, workshops

Books, articles and book chapters (Dutch and English):

"Mobile Telephony: Realising the Dream of Ideal Communication?", in: Lynne Hamill & Amparo Lasen (eds.), Wireless World: Mobiles - Past, Present and Future (London: Springer, 2005) [pdf]
"Mobiele telefonie: Dromen van ideale communicatie", in: Hans van Driel (ed.), Digitaal Communiceren 2.0 (Amsterdam: Boom, 2005)
"Propagating the ideal: The mobile communication paradox", in: Shenja van der Graaf and Yuichi Washida (eds.), Information Communication Technologies and Emerging Business Strategies (Hershey: Idea Group Publishing, 2007)
"Wireless communication: Venturing into the familiar unknown", in: BLIK 1.2 (2008) [magazine contents]
"Altijd verleidelijk dichtbij: Communicatieve interactie in ‘het telefonische’", in: Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis 11.2 (2008) [abstract]
"The vanishing points of mobile communication", in: Marianne van den Boomen et al. (eds.) Digital Material: Tracing New Media in Everyday Life and Technology (2009) [book pdf]
"The Musical Madeleine: Communication, Performance, and Identity in Musical Ringtones", in: Popular Music & Society 33.1 (2010) [article page]
Tantalisingly Close: An Archaeology of Communication Desires in Discourses of Mobile Wireless Media (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012) [order & download book]

Lectures and workshops:

"Mobile Telephony: Realising the Dream of Ideal Communication", lecture at the Fourth Wireless World Conference, Guildford 2003
"Researching the Mobile Society: How about Software?", lecture at the 1st Paris-Utrecht Mini Seminar (PUMS), Utrecht 2004 [pdf]
"Nieuwe Media & Digitale Cultuur", workshop at Syntens Cross-Media Communicatie, Utrecht 2004 [ppt]
"Unzipping Mediated Spaces", panel lecture at the 55th Annual International Communication Association (ICA) Conference on Communication: Questioning the Dialogue, New York 2005
"The mobile phone: An ever-changing manifestation of the unchangeable", lecture at the 2nd Paris-Utrecht Mini Seminar (PUMS), Paris 2006
"Ringtones, Bling Phones and Floating Fabulousness: Representation, performativity and identity in musical ringtones", lecture at the 2nd Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC) Annual Conference, Oxford 2006
"Floating Fabulousness: Representation, performativity and identity in musical ringtones", lecture at the 4th International Mobile Music Workshop, Amsterdam 2007
"Relentless Unison: The Subliminal Lure of Mobile Communication Devices", lecture at Uncanny Media, Utrecht 2008
"Geotagging: Urban Mobile Communication", lecture at The Intermedial City: Practices, Technologies, Imaginaries, Montreal 2008
"Mobile Mementos: Expanded Archives, Fragmented Access", lecture at Media in Transition 6: Stone and Papyrus, Storage and Transmission, Cambridge, MA 2009 [article pdf]
"Doubling Up: Virtual Tourism As Gateway To Past, Present And Future", lecture at NECS 2009: Locating Media, Lund 2009
"The topoi of Mobile Augmented Reality", keynote lecture at Media of Tomorrow conference, Utrecht 2010
"Wireless dreams, longings and fears", lecture at SETUP Infobesitas conference, Utrecht 2010
"Archaeologies of New Media", Guest lecture in the RMA programme at University College, Maastricht 2010
"Through the Looking Cellphone Screen: Visions of a transparent society in an age of mobile and networked augmented reality", lecture at Network Politics: Objects, Subjects and New Political Affects, Toronto 2010
"The Real Me: identiteit in een wereld van sociale media", Guest lecture at Studium Excellentie MCI, Amsterdam 2010

Media appearances:

Radio interview on mobile telephony and ideal communication in Dinsdag Desmet (2003) [real stream, Dutch (at 1:33.15)]
Television interview on moral panics about mobile videos in Editie NL (29 March 2006) [online video, Dutch]
Interview on mobile telephony etiquette in Metro (7 April 2006, page 26)
Radio interview on digital media and news reporting in Open Thread Radio (2009) [web radio, English (at 00:18.10)]
Interview on print media and the future of publishing in UBlad (2010) [article page, Dutch]
Television interview on mixing the virtual with the real within the simulation game Real Time Racing in RTL4 Nieuws (2010) [online video, Dutch]
Radio interview on Wikileaks and whether the Internet has gone out of our control in Knooppunt Kranenbarg (16 December 2010)
Television interview on the supposed revolutionary characteristics of social media in Nieuwsuur (3 February 2011) [online video, Dutch]

Papers written as a student within the New Media & Digital Culture programme (Dutch):

Media, cultuur & maatschappij: "Hoi, met mij": Verschuivingen in het gebruik van telefoon en e-mail (1999) [pdf]
Emailtaal en hypertekst: Gebruik van backchannels en addressivity in grafische chat-omgevingen (2000) [pdf]
Remediatie en digitale cultuur: Communicatie in MUDs (2000) [pdf]
Videogames and new ways of storytelling: Immersie in virtuele 3D-werelden (2000) [pdf]
Technobodies in cyberspace: Menselijk vs. computer geheugen - Beter door imperfectie? (2000) [pdf]
When old media were new: The history of a screen practice (2000) [pdf]

Graduation thesis (Dutch):

Nieuw! Nu nog beter! Hoe de droom van ideale communicatie de ontwikkeling van media beïnvloedt (2002) [pdf, zipped]