Desertmed Collective


The aim of Desertmed is to investigate the essence of the deserted condition of islands of the Mediterranean.

Desertmed is an ongoing interdisciplinary research project since 2008. The “blind spots” on the European map serve as its subject matter: approximately 300 uninhabited islands in the Mediterranean Sea. A group of artists, architects, writers, and theoreticians traveled to 40 of these often hard-to-reach islands in search of clues, impartially cataloguing information that can be interpreted in multiple ways. A pool of photographs, drawings, and audio and video recordings was the result. It is an inquiry into or an attempt to create something akin to maps through sound recordings and images. Such maps examine the myriad ways in which the individual islands are used and, accordingly, their significant political, economic, and historical interrelationships. The notion of the deserted island as a place of retreat still functions today as the quintessential vacation dream and myth for those seeking refuge from society – a place of yearning, of the production of desire, which has little to do with reality. Desertmed attempts to confront this mythos with an unsentimental cataloguing and factual description of the mostly unknown islands of the Mediterranean.

As it turns out, the reality of the islands is much more a reflection of the forms and concepts of state –and non-state– based land use, according to which the islands can be divided into various groups or typologies, although the distinctions are fluid.


Desertmed Collective began as a collective in 2008. Its objective is to study, conduct research on and catalogue the deserted islands of the Mediterranean. Amedeo Martegani (b. 1963, Milan, Italy) lives in Milan and is an artist that works with various media. Armin Linke (b. 1966, Milan, Italy) lives in Berlin and is an artist that works with photography, video and various media. He is also a professor of photography at the HfG Karlsruhe. Giulia Di Lenarda (b. 1977, Udine, Italy) lives in Milan and is a photographer and researcher. Giovanna Silva (b. 1980, Milan, Italy) lives in Milan and is an architect, photographer, and artist. She is also a co-founder of the magazine San Rocco. Giuseppe Ielasi (b. 1974, Rome, Italy) lives in Vimercate and is a musician. He is also a co-curator at Senufo Editions. Renato Rinaldi (b. 1966, Codroipo, Italy) lives in Cividale. He is a musician and also works with soundtracks for theater and radio dramas.