me, kdg
Kim de Groot is a design researcher with an MA in new media. She is part of the lectoraat Communication in a digital age and teaches new media at the Willem de Kooning academy Kim's research deals with the inverted relation between image and reality. Moving from representation to the performative, from the visual to the infrastructural, images are no longer created to represent a reality but to manage it. Kim examines images as informational objects and traces the relations between image, event and media.

research

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KdG

Decentral Editing: a life in metadata An intervention by Kim de Groot at Onomatopee

Between the 4th of june until the beginning of july I will be working on an intervention at the Onomatopee project space in Eindhoven as a part of the Form and Frame project.

Whereas politics and printed media used to speak with the voice of authority, we are now taking matters into our own hands. For example by continually posting comments online, writing blog entries, or twittering. The authority of the traditional media like newspapers is increasingly judged by what it can immediately provide us with: what we see is what we judge. The classical top-down cultural regulation through dissemination to the masses has become inoperable because of its one-to-many construction without any flexibility for editorial positions.

However, the traditional media can only be judged from the margins, by commenting on articles. Outside of these traditional media, authority increasingly transforms itself from a central organ into a hybrid body of metadata: stacking multiple layers of information, and formed in a decentralized and modular way.

Which forms of opinion are allowed by online media? Does the form of online media permit a sufficient amount of nuance that prevents opinion from remaining an ‘expression of thought’, and the grading of commentaries via the ‘Like’ button? The new construction of online authority includes, among others, the following questions about editorial and visual design:

What exactly is the position of the editor/reader in the metadata game: how does it support the construction of a new type of authority?

What is the form of online opinion?

Which forms of opinion are possible within the decentralized metadata structures?

Kim de Groot researches and creates images about metadata culture in which text, image, and opinion are superimposed. Within the context of ‘The Form and the Frame,’ Kim will (re)design several infrastructures for opinion in which the evolution of form and frame through new media will occupy a central position. Starting June 4, she will elborate on above questions as a supplement to the exhibition ‘The Form and the Frame.’



KdG

The image of art as operational image

Matthijs Kouw from the Virtual Knowledge Studio (Amsterdam/Maastricht) invited me to give a talk as a part of the workshop: The digital making of art and science at the Maastricht university.

The main thread of my talk was:
The transformation of images turning into network protocols and into units of production and how it inspires me to reinvent existing institutional approaches, such as that of museums, to images. The process of restoration in museums can turn into an inhouse copy culture if only one would focus on the concept of metadata for example...

Matthijs writes in his report on the event:
"Kim de Groot presented her work on the networked image, and presented various configurations and reconfigurations of 'the image' as facilitated and enabled by digital technologies."

Sarah de Rijcke blogs about my work and that of Coralie Vogelaar:
"It is very interesting how their work really embodies the idea that images are not merely tools, but are themselves sites of knowledge production and dissemination."
http://tiny.cc/tjubm


Other speakers at this event were: Sarah de Rijcke of the Virtual Knowledge Studio in Amsterdam, Peter Peters (Maastricht University, Hogeschool Zuyd) and Ruth Benschop (Hogeschool Zuyd) on Artistic Research, Stijn Verhoeff (Jan van Eyck academie), Klaas Kuitenbrouwer (Virtueel Platform), Angelo Vermeulen (Artist) and Caroline Nevejan.



KdG

Flickrs of Possibility, an interview in The Copyist

Metahaven talks "metadata" with Kim de Groot as she maps opportunities for change in institutional approaches to the contemporary image economy.
For the Copyist, a journal that accompanies the Play Van Abbe, Metahaven interviewed me about my research on image production in Flickr and You Tube and the concept of the operational image.
(download the interview below)

Extracts from the interview:

KdG: With my 3D models I aim to show internal hierarchies in the image, by looking at its ‘popular spots’. I try to design the image as a unit of production, and reproduction. Images are permanently (re)produced according to the growing amount of users and tags that are added to it. Comment sections and other metadata categories start to integrate with the image itself. The production and distribution of the image is no longer a preface to the end result, it is part of the image. Definitely, metadata is one of the founding mechanisms behind this transformation

[..]

MH: What is an operational image?

KdG: Museums should think about how art exists as an image, and not only how it should be presented as art. Application means to put things into operation. The image of art offers potential to do this. Corporate art collectors acknowledge this or at least make use of it by using art as a visual brand. What is the potential of the image of art for a museum? I think that considering the artwork as an operational image may allow the museum to design new dynamics around the actual work. The museum could produce series of derivative images, itself based on a kind of information and metadata which only the museum possesses.

Lissitzky DecayLissitzky Decay



KdG

JVE yearbook 2009

My Image Map research in the JVE yearbookMy Image Map research in the JVE yearbook



KdG

reconfiguring the camera lense

With designing mounting devices for camera lenses I try to reflect on the transformation of the image as a modular and preprogrammed visual object and speculate on how it could affect the tool, a camera in this case.

Instead of annotating the image in a separate web-based context I’m integrating the annotation process into the technique of the camera. In that way, the annotation process returns as a visual gesture within the image. I have designed (conceptual) annotation caps which should be attached to the lens.
The annotation caps also reflect on the concept of preemption in image production. With phone camera's the photographer is aware of the future context and use of the image. An example is the existing digital camera’s that come with You Tube capturing mode. Shoot, easy upload and share! is the advertising slogan. No more DIY digitizing, resizing or encoding, the camera does it all for you. I have reconfigured the tool in such a way that the distributive contexts are already embedded within the tool.



KdG

the tool (in the) image

“Reimagining the camera” is one project in which I will trace the camera as ‘the tool in the image’. My two main questions are: How do different technologies such as web-applications and weblogs transform the role of the camera in the image event? Can the camera be reconfigured on the basis of the networked image? youtubecamera

To reimagine the camera allows me to work on the dualistic relation of tool and image. It enables me to move between the transformation of the image through tools and the reconfiguration of the tool departing from the new image.
I will compare images on the level of camera functionality, presence and general usage. Starting with classic photography such as press photo’s in which the presence of the camera and the recording of the image is hidden or invisible. Moving to camera phone imagery in which the camera plays a central role in the image event. Think of happy slapping images in which the presence of a (mobile phone) camera and its future networked live on You Tube is part of the violent act against a person. What is the significance of the camera being part of the image? How does it change the relation between the photographed subject and photographer?



KdG

Image relations: Figure & Medium

The figure/medium relation in the image is a topic I have started to work with in the context of a collaborative .imp project called: The Noise Margin, at the van Abbe museum, Eindhoven. “The image of the medium” is my working title for a project on the decay and restoration of images.
Lissitzky animationLissitzky animation, a reconstruction based on the colors of the gaps in the painting. This way the painting itself becomes an image of its decay

When restoring a painting the restorer is constantly managing a noise margin between figure and medium in which the figure gets priority. In a sense through restoration the figure cannot become something else since the medium is constantly being updated by the restorer. While the decay of the medium could potentially lead to its transformation into another object or multiple images. I’m interested in how a disappearing object, the medium, claims visuality. It could be an image…



KdG

Image Map

Startingpoint for the Image Map research is the Add note feature of photo-sharing application Flickr and image recognition software. The remarkable transformation going on here is the introduction of the image metadata as a visual layer on top of the original digital image, a painting in this case.

Image Map diagram +Image Map diagram +

The image with notes turns into a kind of map, a diagrammatic collection of notes linked to the image; an abstract image. A map of comments but at the same time a map of relations between people, images and camera’s. They map out the network of this particular image, they are organograms, visualizing the organization of the internal image architecture of data as well as social relations of Flickr users through images which the image as data repository is collecting. Both the original data + metadata are in fact in one interface: the image itself.



KdG

Image Evolution Diagrams

Image evolutions: from image plane to modules, to globes

Image Evolutions DiagramImage Evolutions Diagram

My object of study is the production and distribution of different kinds of digital networked images in and by networks. Central to this research is the exchange between the visual and the infrastructural. One of my main questions is, whether the structural and organisational role of images in digital networks has become more important than the visual representation of images?
Through making diagrams I try to include both the findings of my research as well as to speculate on the current status of the (digital/networked) image. For my case studies, the Image Map & Modular image, i'm interested in the way the image body is disintegrating, moving from surface or plane to modules and globes.



KdG

Case study: Flickr 'add note' feature

One of the questions of my research for Imaginary Property is: What are the production mechanisms of digital images that are being produced today? On the basis of various case studies, I'm trying to map out image production mechanisms through the images that result from these mechanisms. Flickr Add note feature

At this moment my case study is the Add Note feature of Flickr concerning the Flickr image production. I'm wondering how much the deconstruction of existing image production mechanisms will allow for the design of an alternative model of production?



KdG

Workshop at Montevideo

Territorial In/-/formation

This saturday, March 18, I will join a workshop by Linda Hilfling at Montevideo, Amsterdam. http://www.nimk.nl/nl/

This workshop examines the performative gaps in between laws and their structure of participation in offline as well as online territories. A number of casestudies and artistic projects will serve as the starting point for a discussion of the different, yet interacting materialities of territorial information.
Physical spaces as well as information architectures are being explored: From the art of misspelling as an intervention into the corrective info regimes of search engines, to a house on wheels as a circumvention of building regulations or the extra-territorial paradox of virtual embassies. Following these examples, the participants are encouraged to work individually or in groups developing their own interventions or strategies for mapping out territorial in/-/formation.



KdG

Monitoring image

Digital image devices, such as camera phones and digital camera’s, with a connection to various networks and being an ever present eye on the world, instigate a performative role of the image; monitoring. The eye of the interconnected camera does not just capture, it observes, evaluates and sometimes predicts.

The resulting imagery is inextricably connected to its productive technology, many times performing preprogrammed network protocols. A camera phone image of her dog’s poop in the metro configures the future of a Korean girl at the moment the image is being recorded and instantly uploaded to the web. Networked images allow for the management of power relations inscribed to it by software. This ‘image utilitarianism’ is a result of the social productivity stimulated by web-applications as well as by the easy access to recording devices. The combination of these tools makes imagination applicable, directly linked to implementation.



KdG

Indexing image

Google Earth

While digitizing land new borders arise; borders between images. Is Google Earth a map or is it a political act of imaging land to own its image? Google earth/maps is one example of the indexing image. It illustrates the madness of imaging every bit of reality while finding the opportunity to reconfigure certain political and cultural concepts under the header of the semi-neutral concept of the map. The imaging of land by satellite corporations and Google eventually delivers them a valuable image. An image that contains powerful 'user' information on the basis of which Google updates its software: preferences.

One of my conclusions is that images are no longer created to represent a reality but to manage it. The image existence as data, being described by metadata, makes it readable and therefore manageable by the network. The visual and infrastructural meet on the meta(data) level of files and applications. Within this meta(data) context the image’ utilities and profits are measured and further developed; how useful is it? The image as facilitating entity is being developed by the network consisting of humans and even more of machines. People have become aware of the image as a tool, of its multiple uses and benefits such as indexing, besides its singular aesthetic richness.



KdG

Opening week lecture at Jan van Eyck

Slide Presentation In this post you can read the introduction of my lecture for the january 2009 opening week at the JvE:

The digital networked image and its modes of existence as a technical and political object.

Imaginary Property starts from the idea that the notion of the real is changing.  A change that has a lot to do with the current status of the image. Thousands of images are created everyday to capture different accounts of reality. The image is constantly being copied and manipulated. We live images, to control our reality. Imagination is crucial in this process.


KdG

Govcom.org Jubilee

Last week Govcom.org has celebrated its 10th anniversary. "Govcom.org is an Amsterdam-based foundation dedicated to creating and hosting political tools on the Web. Much of the work involves mapping issue networks on the Web, using the Issue Crawler software, where one now may auto-request an account." http://www.govcom.org/

The jubilee week started with 4 very interesting talks by Warren Sack, Alexander Galloway, Greg Elmer and Anat Ben-David. From tuesday to friday 4 projects were developed, Studying Software, Alternative Algortihms, Code Politics and Cyberlands.

Here you can find information about the talks and projects of the jubilee week.
http://wiki.issuecrawler.net/twiki/bin/view/Dmi/GovcomorgJubilee



KdG

Imaginary Property

jvejveFrom september 2008 until august 2009 I will be working on a project called Imaginary Property at the Jan van Eyck academy Maastricht, initiated by Florian Schneider. http://imaginaryproperty.com

For me, as a new media researcher and designer, Imaginary Property incites to reconsider intellectual property, ownership and the status of the digital networked image as concepts of web culture(s). It is a challenge to act upon those concepts by deconstructing them and materialize their virtual values. Think about interfacing the property relations or knowledge a digital networked image contains. Is it a transparent image or a module of a map?



KdG

Election Issue Imagery

obama issue spaceobama issue space
How dominant is the opposing candidate in the other candidate's issue spaces? A research project done through using Google Image Search.
A DMI project, developed with the digital methods team at the University of Amsterdam. Analysis and design by Kim de Groot & Esther Weltevrede.

Read project description:
http://wiki.digitalmethods.net/Dmi/ElectionIssueImagery



KdG

Elfriendo, taking the work out of networking

A project developed by the dmi team at Montevideo:

Elfriendo.com
"Taking the work out of social networking"

Deleting your MySpace page is painful. You had friends, too few or too many. It had taken over your life, or you wish it had. Was your profile stale? Were you too active? Let's give you a new look.

Elfriendo is a new MySpace related service, founded on 30 January 2008, on the occasion of the International Delete Your MySpace Account Day, as a remedy. These days one hardly has time to fill in one set of fields before another update request comes in. Elfriendo reduces the number of form-filling steps to a bare minimum, without sacrificing quality or depth. People used to neglect their profiles, leaving them stale and deficient. We offer fresh sets of interests and an active look for your profile.

Our business is profilization - professionalizing, optimizing and automating your profile on MySpace, the world's largest social networking site. Elfriendo is a service that keeps your profile active fresh.



KdG

DMI, Digital methods initiative

DMI, the digital methods initiative. A group of researchers that I have joined in 2008 as a designer researcher. Together with Marina Micheli, an intern at Mediamatic, Micheal Stevenson, Esther Weltevrede, Richard Rogers and Sabine Niederer I have been working on the interface design of the Google scraper. Other projects I have worked on are Election Issue Imagery and Elfriendo, a myspace related online service.

"The Digital Methods Initiative, supported by the Mondriaan Interregeling, is concerned with the techniques of study that are sensitive to the specificities of the new medium. The director of the projects is Richard Rogers. Sabine Niederer and Esther Weltevrede manage the Digital Methods Initiative, and Anne Helmond and Kim de Groot are the analyst-designers, together with Michael Stevenson. Erik Borra is programmer, also for Govcom.org. Marieke van Dijk is Govcom.org designer."

http://dmi.mediastudies.nl

Google Scraper sketchesGoogle Scraper sketches



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