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.


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Slices of networked production

Last week all the researchers, staff, advising researchers celebrated the opening of 2010 with a great and interesting opening week at the Jan van Eyck. New advising researchers Mladen Dolar and John Palmesino introduced themselves and the whole week kicked off with Martha Rosler, Armin Linke and Anton Vidokle talking about the 'new'.

Here's a summary of my lecture.

What else can an image be? Slices of networked production

Central to my research is the expansion of the concept and visuality of the image with the invisibility of its networked infrastructure, production and distribution which in general i will refer to as image management.
What i think is interesting for designers right now is to approach image management as the underlying structure of design that asks for an interesting and challenging aesthetic parallel. To approach management as an aesthetic involves for example the introducing of fiction into standardization processes that networks are based on.
The exchange between visible and invisible is what i think an image is, a slice of networked production. The production and distribution of the image in various networks is no longer a preface to the end result, it is the image. The image performs certain network protocols, linking people, connecting camera's etc.
Image management involves a decision to apply an image and produce a networked cycle of events.
How is management as a structural and abstract process included in the image as an aesthetic as it is part of the creation of an image?

>>more to read...


Image Evolution Caroussel

This is an experiment with making moving object out of the 3D sculptures that represent the evolution of the image, going from a flat plane to a collection of loose modules.


The materialization of the digital double of the artwork

I’m examining the relations of the museum with its collection, more specifically focusing on the potential of the digital double for the museum as a unique variant of the original.*1 Studying the digital management of the artwork, I aim to find the museum collection’s potential doubles or even multiple other.

The fact that the artwork is a different image in the context of the museum shop, the museum’s website or in the process of restoration, interests me. These contexts produce different property relations between the museum, the collection, the artwork and its image. Embedded within these relations are multiple representations of an original artwork. One could say, these relations produce an applied and desired image of the artwork. How can these images start to level with the collection's original?


The camera that portrays itself

As a follow up on the annotation caps that pre-divide your images, I have designed a cap as a mirror. Taking pictures with this mirror cap would introduce the image of the lens in the image. This work questions the presence of the camera in the image event.


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.


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?


reconfiguration of the painting

For this project I’m working with a painting by El Lissitzky. On the basis of digital footage of the gaps in the painting, I am reconstructing it according to different methods. All methods are based on the reconfiguration of the painting from the perspective of the digital networked image. The visual decay of the painting could be interpreted as metadata. In visualizing the change of the painting through time I try to show its possible evolution as an 'original'. What multiple images are part of a painting?


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…


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.


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.


To walk around an image

The method I’m using for my visual research is to develop concepts in Sketchup, a 3D modeling software. The most interesting and inspiring aspect of the software is that it allows me to walk around an image. collection of notes detached from image planecollection of notes detached from image plane

playing with notes on the Flickr imageplaying with notes on the Flickr imageIn many ways it opens up the potential of the image. For example, turning the image in SketchUp into an architectural model, allows me to work with the archival potentials of the digital image.

In translating the notations added to the image (its metadata) into an 3D model, the status of the original image (the painting) is challenged.
SketchUp enabled me to manipulate the Image as Map of interconnected Note objects. A question is how the 3D models in SketchUp could represent the internal networks of the image at the same time to allow for a rescripting of relations and protocols of the Flickr image?
Does the Image as Map allow for a protocological development of this particular image?


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?


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.


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.


Imaginary Property - Project description

Image MapImage Map

The digital networked image as a technical and political object, moving from the visual to the infrastructural

Imaginary Property incites to reconsider the condition of the digital networked image within the current socio-technical culture. The relation between image and reality is inverted. We are producing reality through the visual and organize it in digital networks, servers, databases. What kind of digital images are being produced today? What are their production mechanisms? What do current images represent, not just in what we see, but in the sense of, what do images stand for? What politics is part of digital image design? I will be researching Imaginary Property as the condition of the production and distribution of the digital networked image.

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