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.

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?

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I'm using the term management because i think there is little creation involved concerning images but mere administrating, indexing, controlling, supervising, regulating, locating and relocating of existing images.
Image management implies a move away from the creation of images to the presenting and applying of images. Image management and the applicability of the image has become central to visuality because of relational and indexical technologies such as databases and applications.

Popular applications or so called social media like Flickr and Youtube are configuring a particular characteristic of the image, its applicability, its use as a tool, a tool for various tasks. The image produces/creates something for you, it gets things done. The rise of the application on the web as well as on smartphones has a great influence on the merge of the image with its producing protocols.

On a structural level the image is a network protocol because it merges with its encapsulating containers, its systems, its applications.

Shoot, easy upload and share! is the advertising slogan. No more DIY digitizing, resizing or encoding, the camera does it all for you. The images that you make with these camera's are aimed at going youtube, you're not just making a video, you’re making a youtube video, an image that will be repeated and ranked, tagged and commented.
The sticker shows how the camera, the tool and the images it creates are part of a network protocol that is introduced by youtube and other video applications.
What kind of images does this camera produce?

research chaptersresearch chapters
The networked image is a performative object more than just a purely visual representation.
Here is where my main questions return, what kind of aesthetics does the merge of the image with its producing protocols deliver?
How and where does the organizational role of networked images affect its visuality? How is the networked infrastructure of the image, as in the path or steps of creating an image, the chain of events of its production, included in the image as an aesthetic? What kind of aesthetics does it produce and allow for?

With these questions im stressing a visual approach to managerial processes. With my work i'm aiming to make you literally 'look' at the various levels of image management. I aim to visualize the materiality of today’s image networked infrastructure, by tracing the tool, the machinic, the operation and the productive and producer in the image.

The outcome of my visual approach to image management is varying, from concepts for revising the work of a restorer and move beyond exhibitions based on the original to animations that visualize attention. I will show you some of my work now. This work does not only reconfigure the image and camera according to networked parameters but also the painting and the exhibition.

The following works are all dealing with the basic framework of image management that is, the archive or database, which allows for various presentations and application of its content.
Central is the museum's image management. This stems from the work I did last year with the Imaginary Property researchers in relation to the van Abbe musuem Eindhoven.
Image management in a museum happens around the archive, depot, collection and exhibition. In relation to that i've developed the idea of the digital double of an artwork and the original copy. What are the potentials of these concepts for opening up classic exhibition models that are based on presenting original works?

Inverting the work of the restorerInverting the work of the restorer
This work is about restoration as a part of the museum managing its originals.
The photographs of the restoration of a lissitzky at the van abbe museum inspired me to reconfigure the work of the restorer by inverting it. Restoration is a process in which original artworks are updated to resemble their original state. The work of the restorer is to constantly keep the original alive.
Through restoration the visual image of the painting cannot become something else since the medium is constantly being updated by the restorer.
I'm interested in how the decay of the medium could potentially lead to its transformation into another object or multiple images. What is interesting is how the painting as a disappearing object, claims visuality on the level of the medium, not on the level of its figure.

one artwork exhibitone artwork exhibitOne artwork exhibition
The following work in progress, the 'One artwork exhibit', originated from the concept of the gaze, ways of 'looking at'.
I'm interested in how 'a view' and a capture of the view produces a copy of the original. The -one work exhibit- is a continuation of the idea of the original copy, using multiple originals. The basic question here is: How can multiple views on an artwork construct an exhibition like setting, an exhibiition that can only be constructed by using reproductions? One particuar quality of this set up would be the possibility to walk around a painting.

Malraux's Musee Imaginaire
The work for the van abbe is now continuing with malraux and his musee imaginaire as a concept for an exhibition model. I have used his work and his way of dealing with artworks as a basis for a sketch in visualizing the management of artworks through photographs of artworks.
Basically one thing you're looking at here is malraux's working method.
On the one hand i continued the dematerialization of the artwork when being photographed. I have scanned the photographs and thus digitized them. On the other hand im visualizing it as an object.
There is a friction between the circular movement of the object, that stresses the admiration of the artwork, associating with a velvetty rotating jewelry display stand in shop window but this time with a low res scan on display. The low-res scan of a photograph of an artwork, the almost indignant processing of a classic artwork refers to the life and transformation of artworks on the web. It is both a critical view as well as a status update on the artwork.