How to See a City? Photography, Maps, Big Data, and Visualization


6 p.m., April 29, 2021

19th and 20th-century painters, photographers, filmmakers, and geographers created many different methods to represent city life and the everyday.  In the 21st century, artists and scientists introduced additional approaches using new types of urban data and sensors (e.g., social media posts, sensor networks, satellite imagery, etc.) Manovich
will sketch the evolution of city representation from the 19th century until today and discuss a number of important projects created in the last 15 years.

Manovich will also present selected projects from my Cultural Analytics Lab, including work created for New York Public Library,Museum of Modern Art in NYC (MoMA), and Google. These projects explore new ways of interacting with and exploring large photo collections of urban life and experiences. They include an analysis of 2.3 million Instagram photographs shared in 13 global cities; On Broadway installation that presents life along Broadway street in NYC using 30 million data points and images; and Selfiexpolatory, an interactive tool for comparing thousands of selfies from six global cities.

Dr. Lev Manovich is one the leading theorists of digital culture worldwide, and a pioneer in application of data science for analysis of contemporary culture. Manovich is the author and editor of 14 books including Cultural AnalyticsAI AestheticsTheories of Software CultureInstagram and Contemporary ImageSoftware Takes CommandSoft Cinema: Navigating the Database and The Language of New Media which was described as "the most suggestive and broad ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan." He was included in the list of "25 People Shaping the Future of Design" in 2013 and the list of "50 Most Interesting People Building the Future" in 2014. Manovich is a Presidential Professor in PhD Program in Computer Science at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and a Director of the Cultural Analytics Lab that pioneered analysis of visual culture using computational methods. The lab created projects for Museum of Modern Art (NYC), New York Public Library, Google and other clients.