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The posts from 2018-2016 are on our archive site: www.softwarestudies.com.

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May 2016

25 May 2016

Culture Analytics Institute brings together 200+ computer science and humanities researchers

  • 50,000 Instagram photos from Tokyo, organized by brightness mean (radius) and hue mean (perimeter). Detail. From the project Phototrails.

Culture Analytics Institute (March 7–June 10, 2016) is bringing together more than 200 computer science and humanities researchers. The use of computational and mathematical techniques to analyze cultural content, trends and patterns is a rapidly developing research area spanning a number of disciplines.

The goal of Culture Analytics program is to present best research and to promote collaborations. To do this, we are bringing together leading scholars in the social sciences, humanities, applied mathematics, engineering, and computer science working on qualitative culture analysis.

The program is organized by Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM), University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA).

24 May 2016

"Instagram and Contemporary Image" - new book by Lev Manovich is released online

  • Historical examples of "casual photos." Color prints and slides from 1956-1976. Sources: http://look-at-me.tumblr.com/ (submitted vintage personal photos) and https://www.flickr.com (only photos with Creative License are used).

  • "Professional photos" from Instagram gallery of @neivy (Connecticut, USA) during October-November 2015. 869 posts, 11.7k followers (as of 12/28/2015).

  • "Designed photos" from Instagram gallery @recklesstonight (Kiev, Ukraine) during October-December 2015. 123 posts, 52.1k followers (as of 12/28/2015).

Lev Manovich, Instagram and Contemporary Image . 25,000 words. Written December, 2015 – November, 2016.

The book is released chapter by chapter on manovich.net during 2016.

Text: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Creative Commons license. Images copyright belongs to their respective authors.

02 May 2016

The Science of Culture? Social Computing, Digital Humanities, and Cultural Analytics

  • This visualization shows all images that have one or more “Maidan” tags, and every image is repeated for each of its tags. For example, if an image has #euromaidan and #майдан tags, its repeated twice. As a result, 1,340 images turn into 2,917. (The images are organized by date and time (left to right, top to bottom). From research project The Exceptional and the Everyday: 144 Hours in Kyiv (2014), an analysis of Instagram images shared in Kyiv during the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution.

  • Map of Kyiv that shows locations of images shared during February 18-22, 2014. From research project The Exceptional and the Everyday: 144 Hours in Kyiv.

  • Detail of research visualizations for the installation On Broadway (2014), an interactive installation exploring the Broadway in NYC using 40 million user-generated images and data points.

  • Screenshot of the installation On Broadway.


Lev Manovich

Download Article

The Science of Culture? Social Computing, Digital Humanities and Cultural Analytics (2015).


I define Cultural Analytics as “the analysis of massive cultural data sets and flows using computational and visualization techniques,” I developed this concept in 2005, and in 2007 we established a research lab Software Studies Initiative to start working on practical projects. The following are the examples of theoretical and practical questions that are driving our work.