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.

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. There is, as Jonathan Beller writes in his book: The cinematic mode of production, a reconceptualization of the imaginary going on, “the imaginary as in the sense of the relation between the subject and the real is being restructured by technology”. The relation between image and reality is inverted. “Up until now, we've said the photo is the mirror of reality. Now the photo transforms reality itself. Reality becomes an effect of photography. What sort of reality does a photograph make?” [Bernard Edelman] We are producing reality through the visual and organize it in digital networks, servers, databases. What kind of reality is being produced and organized in current networks and how? What kind of cultural, technical and political protocols are these networks based on? To get to an answer to these questions we should study, analyze, and deconstruct the current technologies and networks used to produce and distribute images. Software, codecs, web applications, digital camera’s, mobile phones and on top of that the repetition, circulation and accumulation of images in networks, as production mechanisms for design. I will be researching Imaginary Property as the condition of the production and distribution of the digital networked image. I emphasize its technical and political properties in my title because both deal with the image having a program and a protocol. A program since the digital image is an object with agency. An agency or even ideology that becomes part of it through the software that produces it. The image having a protocol is about the procedures or the rules according to which we deal with the image. Both the program and the protocol are powerful invisible political strategies. The main questions of my research are:
  1. What kind of digital images are being produced today?
  2. What are their production mechanisms?
  3. How do networks attempt to reorganize so-called visual cultures?
  4. What do current images represent, not just in what we see, but in the sense of, what do images stand for?
  5. What politics is part of digital image design?
My speculation about these questions have resulted in a hypothesis:

Do the technical and cultural programs and protocols of digital image production take over the visual?

Are these programs and protocols predominant factors in our digital visual culture?

Do they define our visual world? How much is the visual based on software actions, how much do we try to confirm and follow a socio-cultural status suggested by and build into the web-applications we use daily? How much has the visual become a productive force, the production of information? On the basis of various case studies, I will try to answer these questions by mapping out image production mechanisms through the images that result from these mechanisms. While analyzing and deconstructing these mechanisms I will develop alternative programs for networked image production.

download the rest of my lecture here....