Lev Manovich: How to Study Software Cultures?

Lev Manovich (UCSD): How to Study Software Cultures?
After Effects + Motion Graphics + Soft Cinema.

Wednesday, June 4, 3pm - 4:20pm @ HIB 100
Free and open to the public.

We live in a software culture - that is, a culture where the production, distribution, and reception of most content is mediated by software. And yet, most creative professionals do not know much about the intellectual history of software they use daily - be it Microsoft Word, Photoshop, Final Cut, After Effects, Flash, etc. Similarly, theorists and critics so far have not systematically examined the connections between the workings of contemporary media software and the new communication languages in design and media (including graphic design, web design, motion graphics, animation, cinema, product design, space design, interface design, etc.) As an example of how we can study such relationships, I will look at a new area of contemporary culture whose development in the 1990s was closely connected to the use of particular software such as After Effects - motion graphics. I will discuss the aesthetics of contemporary motion graphics and will present some hypothesizes regarding how we can understand it theoretically. To illustrate my arguments I will screen recent music videos, short films, TV graphics, and experts from feature films. I will also show samples from my own project, Soft Cinema, which uses motion graphics in the context of longer narrative films.

About the Speaker Series:

Software Culture brings new media scholars to UC Irvine, supported by Film & Media Studies, Visual Studies, and the UCI Humanities Center, as well as by the "Transliteracies" UC-MRG. - Other speakers this year included Alan Liu, Wendy Chun, Alex Galloway, McKenzie Wark. See http://www.media-theory.com for details.