Lev Manovich
Since the beginning
Works in La Jolla, California United States of America

Lev Manovich (manovich@ucsd.edu) is an artist, a theorist and a critic of
new media. He has published more than forty articles on new media
aesthetics which have been translated into many languages and reprinted in
eighteen countries. In his writings, Manovich places new media within the
larger context of modern visual culture, relating it to the histories of
art and cinema. Manovich was born in Moscow where he studied fine arts and
architecture and participated in the underground art shows. Moving to New
York in 1981, he begun working in 3-D computer animation in 1984 at Digital
Effects. Manovich received an M.A. in Experimental Psychology from New York
University (1988) and a Ph.D. in Visual and Cultural Studies from the
University of Rochester (1993). He is on the faculty of the Department of
Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego where he teaches studio
and theory classes in new media. His book "The Language of New Media" will
be published by MIT Press in 2000. His articles and projects are available
at http://jupiter.ucsd.edu/~manovich
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Media Miniature



We Have Never Been Modular

Lev Manovich

We Have Never Been Modular

[ note: the definitions of terms which appear in quotes in this text are
from en.wikipedia.org ]

Thanks to everybody who commented on my text


Remix and Remixability

Lev Manovich

Remix and Remixability

The dramatic increase in quantity of information greatly speeded up by
Internet has been accompanied by another fundamental development. Imagine
water running down a mountain. If the quantity of water keeps continuously
increasing, it will find numerous new paths and these paths will keep
getting wider. Something similar is happening as the amount of information
keeps growing - except these paths are also all connected to each other and
they go in all directions; up, down, sideways. Here are some of these new
paths which facilitate movement of information between people, listed in no
particular order: SMS, forward and redirect function in email clients,
mailing lists, Web links, RSS, blogs, social bookmarking, tagging,
publishing (as in publishing one


Urban Screens conference / 23-24 september / Amsterdam

23-24 september / Amsterdam

URBAN SCREENS 2005 is an international conference ranging from critical
theory to project experiences by researchers and practitioners in the field
of Art, Architecture, Urban Studies and Digital Culture.

It addresses the growing infrastructure of large digital moving displays,
that increasingly influence the visual sphere of our public spaces.

It will investigate how the currently dominating commercial use of these
screens can be broadened and culturally curated.

Can these screens become a tool to contribute to a lively urban society,
involving its audience interactively?

We will explore especially the following issues: "Shaping the Urban
Mediascapes", "Addressing the social value and civic culture", "Experiences
from practical case studies concerning content production"

Detailed info and the program:



Soft Cinema DVD now available

Lev Manovich and Andreas Kratky

SOFT CINEMA: Navigating the Database

DVD-video with 40 page color booklet

The MIT Press, 2005

ISBN 0-262-13456-X

What kind of cinema is appropriate for the age of Google and blogging? Automatic surveillance and self-guided missiles? Consumer profiling and CNN? To investigate answers to this question Lev Manovich - one of today’s most influential thinkers in the fields of media arts and digital culture - has paired with award-winning new media artist and designer Andreas Kratky to create the Soft Cinema project. They have also invited contributions from leaders in other cultural fields: DJ Spooky, Scanner, George Lewis and Johann Johannsson (music), servo and Andreas Angelidakis (architecture), Schoenerwissen/Office for Computational Design (data visualization), and Ross Cooper Studios (media design).

SOFT CINEMA: Navigating the Database is the Soft Cinema project’s first DVD published and distributed by The MIT Press (2005). Although the three films presented on the DVD reference the familiar genres of cinema, the process by which they were created and the resulting aesthetics fully belong to the software age. They demonstrate the possibilities of soft(ware) cinema - a 'cinema' in which human subjectivity and the variable choices made by custom software combine to create films that can run infinitely without ever exactly repeating the same image sequences, screen layouts and narratives.

'Mission to Earth' is a science fiction allegory of the immigrant experience. It adopts the variable choices and multi-frame layout of the Soft Cinema system to represent ‘variable identity’. 'Absences' is a lyrical black and white narrative that relies on algorithms normally deployed in military and civilian surveillance applications to determine the editing of video and audio. 'Texas' is a ‘database narrative’, which assembles its visuals, sounds, narratives, and even the identities of its characters from multiple databases.

The DVD was designed and programmed so that there is no single version of any of the films. All the elements - including screen layout, the visuals and their combination, the music, the narrative, and the length - are subject to change every time the film is viewed.

The development of Soft Cinema project was made possible by the commissions from ZKM Center for Art and Media and the BALTIC, The Centre for Contemporary Art. The resulting computer-driven installations and films have been exhibited in museums, galleries, media and film festivals around the world, including ZKM, Karlsruhe; the ICA, London; SENEF, Seoul; the ICC, Tokyo; DEAF, Rotterdam, Transmediale, Berlin; and Chelsea Art Museum, New York.

Lev Manovich <www.manovich.net> is the author of The Language of New Media (The MIT Press, 2001) which is hailed as "the most suggestive and broad ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan." He is Professor of Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego <visarts.ucsd.edu> and a researcher at California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology <www.calit2.net>.

Andreas Kratky has been responsible for media design and co-direction of a number of groundbreaking new media projects, including the award-winning DVDs That’s Kyogen and Bleeding Through - Layers of Los Angeles 1920-1986 (both published by ZKM).

SOFT CINEMA: NAVIGATING THE DATABASE is available through The MIT Press < mitpress.mit.edu>, online resellers <www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, etc.) and selected bookstores.

Additional information: www.softcinema.net

email: manovich at ucsd.edu