Lev Manovich, a world-renowned innovator in digital humanities and theorist of digital culture and media art, joined the Graduate Center’s doctoral faculty in January 2013 to lead digital humanities research. Manovich’s global reputation in digital humanities stems from the tremendous impact of his 2001 book, The Language of New Media, which has been translated into eight languages. One reviewer, William Warner of University of California–Santa Barbara, called the book “the most suggestive and broad ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan.” His next book, Software Takes Command, is forthcoming with Bloomsbury Publishing (July 2013).
Manovich’s innovative leadership in digital humanities is also playing a key role in the development of a new field of software studies—the study of how software shapes contemporary societies. In 2007, he founded the Software Studies Initiative (SSI) at UC–San Diego’s California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). Manovich’s research, which is housed at the Graduate Center, focuses on cultural analytics using computational and visualization techniques to analyze massive cultural data sets and flows. The techniques developed in his lab can be used in digital humanities, art history, cinema studies, game studies, media studies, ethnography, exhibition design, and other fields.
Manovich holds a Ph.D. in visual and cultural studies from the University of Rochester. His awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship; a Digital Cultures Fellowship from UC–Santa Barbara; a fellowship from the Zentrum für Literaturforschung, Berlin; and a Mellon Fellowship from California Institute for the Arts.
AI plays a crucial role in the global cultural ecosystem. It recommends what we should see, listen to, read, and buy. It determines how many people will see our shared content. It helps us make aesthetic decisions when we create media. In professional cultural production, AI has already been adapted to produce movie trailers, music albums, fashion items, product and web designs, architecture, etc. In this short book, Lev Manovich offers a systematic framework to help us think about cultural uses of AI today and in the future. He challenges existing ideas and gives us new concepts for understanding media, design, and aesthetics in the AI era.
Published January 2019
Strelka Press, 2018
Data Drift: Archiving Media and Data Art in the 21st Century
Editors: Lev Manovich, Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits
Malraux's imaginary museum has become a reality of our digital age. Every day, a massive amount of new visual, textual and transactional data is added to this vast archive. How do we decide what bits of contemporary digital culture to preserve, study and curate given that its universe is constantly expanding? This full-color, 296-page book combines a selection of papers presented in the Media Art Histories: Renew conference, selections from the Save As exhibition, and new texts written for this volume. It also contains the catalog of Data Drift exhibition of data art and data design (curated by Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits, and Lev Manovich). The book is published in connection with the RIXC annual 2015 festival that took place in Riga, Latvia.
Published November 2015
RIXC, LiepU MPLab (2015)
Software Takes Command
(International Texts in Critical Media Aesthetics)
What electricity and the combustion engine were to the early twentieth century, software is to the early twenty-first. It has replaced a diverse array of technologies once used to create, store, distribute, and interact with cultural artifacts. It has become our interface to the world, to others, to our memory and our imagination. Offering the first theoretical and historical account of software for media authoring and its effects on the practice and the very concept of 'media,' Manovich develops his own theory for this rapidly growing, ever-changing field. He explores the thinking and motivations of those who, in the 1960s and 1970s, created the concepts and practical techniques that underlie contemporary media software and considers how their interfaces and tools shape the visual aesthetics of contemporary media and design. He supports his arguments by detailed analysis of key media applications such as Photoshop and After Effects, popular web services such as Google Earth, and projects in motion graphics, interactive environments, graphic design, and architecture.
Published July 2013
Bloomsbury Academic, 2013