Kiraṇ Kumār, Kiwi Menrath & Laurie Young

Imaginary Archives is a collection of documents that enlist imagination as an instrument to question and rearrange archival practices. In archives, documents are identified and contextualized, while at the same time it is this very process of cataloging that constitutes documents in the first place. The collaborative box-set Imaginary Archives relates to this dynamic quality in three parts: “Letters to V,” expands the processes of handling and criteria for organizing an archive to an active participating user. Understanding the multi-sensory human body as an archive in dance spectatorship and beyond can dissolve ideologically confined categories of such practices. Archives are conventionally implicated in imperialistic forms of knowledge production, perhaps most exemplified in cartography from the time of European maritime expansion. In “Phantom Islands” the erroneous remnants of such colonial documents are used as an entry point for a critical reopening of the European imaginary. By intersecting practices of writing and dancing from the Indian Ocean rim, “Postcards from the Peacock Islands” unpacks layers of stories and histories embedded within living traditions. Here, an entanglement of epic, myth, and fiction opens up the archive to varied ways of storytelling.


Interweaving the three themes of dance spectatorship, coloniality of archives, and speculative philology, each contribution of Imaginary Archives is composed of disparate materials. This content offers readers the possibility to work through these themes and materials hands-on to further investigate possibilities of the serendipitous in archival encounters. You are welcome to read “Letters to V,” “Phantom Islands,” and “Postcards from the Peacock Islands” as individual works, or to rearrange, file, order, display the pieces to uncover how these materials might collide, confuse, and cohere within the world of the imaginary archive.

Imaginary Archives. A project by Kiraṇ Kumār, Kiwi Menrath & Laurie Young with 57 postcards, 1 map, 1 booklet, 27 index cards and 27 matching stickers, 7 letters, and 27 cue cards. Texts, art, and photography by Kiraṇ Kumār, Laurie Young, and Kiwi Menrath with Andrew Pekler; design and layout by K. Verlag with Wolfgang Hückel.



Box-set with content

in various dimensions




Forthcoming in September – available for pre-order