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.

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.

Digital images are informational, they are both technical as well as cultural descriptive data objects. Images that are shared through web platforms become repositories of metadata such as date, time and keywords. Almost all digital camera’s save jpeg files with exif data; camera settings and scene information are recorded by the camera into the image file. At the same time, digital networked images function as identifiers of (property) relations within networks, both between people and files. Do these transformations imply that the representation of the image is of minor importance compared to its production protocols, its function as a node in the network, aggregating various network relations? Do the technical and cultural programs and protocols of digital image production take over the visual? And what would that imply?

Thousands of images are created every day to capture different accounts of reality. The image is constantly being copied and manipulated. As a designer, I’m interested in the distribution of the networked image through repetition, circulation, annotation and accumulation as mechanisms for design. Can patterns be recognized within the ‘lives’ of images in networks? Is there a structural overlap between, for example, surveillance data and Google street map imagery? Do these images share certain characteristics?

For Imaginary Property I will collect specific kinds of digital images, analyze their production mechanisms and design with their potentials. The Indexing image as a case study about the continuous act of imaging. Google Earth and Google maps are good examples of the indexing image. It illustrates the madness of imaging every bit of reality. The Modular image about the disintegration of the image turning into modules for network efficiency. Starting point is image and especially face recognition software. The Monitoring image as an observing mechanism, captures what should not happen and constructs that which is imagined as a reality, preemptively. The Image Map as an image that interfaces its constantly changing internal architecture according to different annotation procedures such as tagging and commenting.

The analysis and deconstruction of existing image production mechanisms will allow for the design of an alternative model of production that would interrupt existing mechanisms. This alternative model can range from the creation of certain images that instigate alternative modes of circulation as a kind of network event to the repurposing of existing image collections.