Cultural Analytics.. Lev Manovich


Cultural Analytics – Mark Rothko Paintings

on the 287-Megapixel HIPerSpace Wall at Calit2

Presentation by Jeremy Douglass, Calit2

Development of Cultural Analytics software supported by:
UC San Diego Chancellor’s Office
UCSD Division, California Instititute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2)
Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA)

Software Studies Initiative (
Graphics, Visualization and Virtual Reality Laboratory (


LEV MANOVICH writes in his webpage:

“My current research is focused on cultural analytics – the use of computational methods for the analysis of massive cultural data sets and flows. At Software Studies Initiative (my research group) we are working on a particular part of analytics paradigm – using digital image analysis and visualization for working with large visual collections. How we do analyze millions of digitized visual artifacts from the past? How do we explore billions of digital photos and videos (both user-generated content and professional media)? How do we research interactive media processes and experiences (evolution of web design, playing a video game)? To address these challenges, we are developing new methods and software and applying them to progressively larger image and video sets. In addition to digital humanities, these techniques can be also used in cinema studies, game studies, media studies, ethnography, exhibition design, and other fields.

Computational analysis of massive cultural and social data sets and data flows is already used widely in media and web industries. It structures contemporary media universe, cultural production and consumption, and cultural memory. Search engines, Facebook news feeds, spam detection, Netflix and Amazon recommendations,, Flickr “interesting” photo rankings, movie success predictions, tools such as Google Books Ngram Viewer, Insights for Search, Search by Image, and and numerous other applications and services all rely on computational analysis of big cultural data. This work is carried out in media industries and in academia by researchers in data mining, social computing, media computing, music information retrieval, computational linguistics, and other areas of computer science.”


Little Movies

is a lyrical and theoretical project about the aesthetics of digital cinema, and a eulogy to its earliest form–QuickTime. The project began in 1994 when the World Wide Web was just beginning to gain mass exposure. Manovich’s intention was to create cinema for the Web, employing the network limitations as a new aesthetic.