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.

van abbe

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Lissitzky Distribution > opening at van abbe on 23 oct 2010!!

'Lissitzky Distribution' is about the image economy of the museum shop as a distributor of the museum's identity.
De Groot deals with the border between the autonomy and instrumentality of art. As soon as art turns into merchandise and transforms into a button or an image in a catalog or postcard, it opens up possibilities of use. Buying a catalog in the shop is a moment of appropriation, art turns into an approachable object.
By proposing the museum shop as a model for the museum, in which derivative but autonomous images can be produced, De Groot tries to move beyond the fear of the copy. To illustrate this she has redesigned a museum shop classic; the postcard. The cards are an add-on to the existing Lissitzky merchandise of the Van Abbe museum. They do not only extend the concept of merchandising but also stress the value of Lissitzky as the brand of the Van Abbe museum.
By selling the cards as 'new' original fragments of the artwork, they gain social as well as economical value. The painting multiplies through its representation of 12 different cards instead of one. The role of the public is crucial in this image economy; by buying one out of the 12 cards the public chooses her favorite image. This way the cards serve as statistics, the public's ranking of the artwork delivers valuable information for the further branding of the Van Abbe museum.

Design researcher Kim de Groot onderzoekt beeld als infrastructureel en informationeel object binnen de beeldeconomie. 'Lissitzky Distribution' introduceert een alternatieve omgang met de beeldeconomie van de museumwinkel. De Groot zoekt de grens op tussen de autonomie en de toepasbaarheid van kunst. Zodra kunst merchandise wordt en transformeert tot afbeelding op een button, in een catalogus of op een ansichtkaart lijkt er ineens meer mogelijk. In de winkel wordt kunst benaderbaar en is het kopen van een catalogus een moment van toe-eigening.
Met als doel de grens tussen museum en winkel te vervagen en de museumwinkel als model voor het museum voor te stellen heeft De Groot een bekende klassieker opnieuw ontworpen; de ansichtkaart. De ansichtkaarten zijn een voortzetting van de bestaande Lissitzky merchandise van het Van Abbe museum. Niet alleen is het de bedoeling deze merchandise op te rekken maar ook om Lissitzky als het merk van het Van Abbe museum te benadrukken. De Groot stelt de museumwinkel voor als een model dat voorbij gaat aan de angst voor 'de kopie', waar beelden worden gemaakt die afstammen van een origineel kunstwerk maar een eigen autonomie hebben.

Door de kaarten als 'nieuwe' originelen te koop aan te bieden, wordt niet alleen de identiteit van het kunstwerk maar ook die van de toeschouwer relevant. Door de uitsnedes krijgt het werk een economische lading; het schilderij vermeerdert zich van 1 naar 12 kaarten, de oplage verhoogd, er kan meer verkocht worden. Het publiek heeft in deze beeldeconomie een cruciale rol; door één van de 12 kaarten te kopen spreekt ze zich onbewust uit over haar favoriet. Zo fungeren de stapels kaarten als een statistiek en leveren ze waardevolle informatie op voor de verdere 'branding' van het Van Abbe museum.


Tricksters Tricked: Museum chapter

The museum is a producer of cultural identity, mirroring socio-political changes with its collection policy. But how does this mechanism manifest its own identity in the age of entertainment?
Designer and researcher Kim de Groot investigates the manner in which museums consciously use their stock of art as brand icons. Opening up new possibilities of representation, De Groot offers alternative merchandise for sale to the self-conscious visitor.

Het museum is producent van culturele identiteit; haar collectiebeleid weerspiegelt de sociaal-maatschappelijke veranderingen. Maar hoe profileert een museum haar eigen identiteit in het tijdperk van entertainment? Ontwerper en onderzoeker Kim de Groot bestudeert de manier waarop het museum sleutelwerken uit de collectie gebruikt als beeldmerk. Ze geeft nieuwe manieren van representatie door alternatieve handelswaar te koop aan te bieden aan de zelfbewuste bezoeker.

more to read on the exhibition and participants


Tricksters Tricked

From 16/10/2010 till 30/01/2011 I will take part in the exhibition Tricksters Tricked at the Van Abbe museum. Tricksters Tricked zooms in on the construction of identitity; the ‘designing’ of ourselves, our city, our nation and our museum. I will work on the Museum chapter.

The exhibition will open during the Dutch Design Week 2010, 23 - 31 oktober and is transformed into a live exposure of various initiatives of artists and designers that stimulate the public to actively join the production of (their own) identity..

Tricksters Tricked is a zoom in on cases of identity representation and the dual role of design in shaping contemporary reality. "Designing" ourselves, our city, our nation and our museum.

What do we gain and what do we lose by constructing the identity of our self, our city, our nation and our museum? Tricksters Tricked is a zoom-in on cases of identity representation and the dual role of ‘design’ in shaping our contemporary reality.
When we design an identity for a specific purpose, we simultaneously create and destroy, communicate and manipulate. The choices that we make and apply in the process inevitably result in an artificial product. Designers, the trendsetters in the process, articulate the strengths and ignore weaknesses, just like make-up that can highlight or mask the face. Tricksters Tricked focuses on the tension inherent in the designing of identity on four levels: self, city, nation and the museum, and reviews these levels in the context of a world in constant change.

Contributors: Kim de Groot, Jonas Staal, Jozua Zaagman, Maartje Dros, Jacqueline Schoemaker, BAVO, Xijing Men, Werkplaats Typografie, Philippe Parreno & Pierre Huyghe, Marjetica Potrc, Bureau d'etudes.

Opening: Saturday, 23 October 2010 17:00


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


the grey 19

In many ways, Malraux's vision has become much more than true: Taken literally, today's "Musee imaginaire" will most likely be a sort of semantic museum, a virtual collection of all artworks online, eventually re-arranged in an hypermuseum that is perfectly accessible through the algorithms of a search engine or an encyclopedic approach which sets out to categorize all kinds of predominant styles in art. But to the same extent as a great number of artworks get sort of visible and digitally accessible, more and more material needs to be ignored, marginalized and kept away in a status of uncertainty, unclassifiable and unwanted as such. Supposed to be neither an artwork nor archive material, rejected by the depot as well as the library, those pieces refuse meaning on a meta-level, precisely because they cannot be reduced to metadata. Rather than imagining as if there were real access, an imaginary museum would have to intervene into the struggles for imagination itself. Its most precious pieces would be what could have been easily thrown away without anyone noticing it. (text by Florian Schneider)

floor with originals

mobilemetadata mobile


The Grey 19 is based on artworks that float between archive, depot and collection. The floor offers an overview with the 'original' works. This is the basis on which we have constructed the website and the mobile, both build on the metadata that these artworks have gathered while being 'housed' by the Van Abbe museum.

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