Digital Formalism conference / Vienna / January 14-16

Lev Manovich will present visualizations of patterns in two films by Dziga Vertov produced in collaboration with Digital Formalism project (Vienna) at the international conference Digital Formalism / Dziga Vertov. "Method left home" (January 12-14, Vienna)

The visualizations are being published on a new DVD edition of Vertov's "The Eleventh Year" and "A Sixth Part of the World" which will be presented at the conference. The DVD features new soundtracks for the films composed by Michael Nyman.

Visualizations set on Flickr

Digital Formalism / Dziga Vertov. "Method left home."

Jan 14-16, 2010, Vienna, Austria
Venues: The Austrian Film Museum and University of Vienna (Aula, Campus AAKH)

"Method has left home and started a life of its own," writes Russian formalist Viktor Shklovsky in his 'epistolary novel' Zoo or letters not about love (Berlin, 1923). The conference Digital Formalism / Dziga Vertov. "Method Has Left Home." marks the end of a three-year research project that sailed under this very flag: that formalism has started a new life in the digital age and, vice versa, that the digital claims the legacy of formalist paradigms.

In confronting Vertov’s method of film making with the procedures of current computing tools, the final project conference provokes new perspectives in the area of film scholarship, introducing digital tools for media archivists and generating another level for cultural players to reflect upon their productions. At last, the project’s findings leave their original habitat to continue life in other creative environments.

About the project:
The conference represents the final event of the research project Digital Formalism: The Vienna Vertov Collection (2007 - 2010), funded by WWTF (Vienna Science and Technology Fund). The aim of this interdisciplinary cooperation between TFM - Department of Theatre, Film and Media Studies at Vienna University, the Austrian Film Museum and the Institute of Software Engineering and Interactive Systems at Vienna University of Technology was to expand film formalism historically and theoretically, open up archival Vertov material for the general public and develop novel methods and computer-based tools for formal film analysis. The researchers focused on the oeuvre of the Soviet avant-garde filmmaker Dziga Vertov (1896-1954), confronting ‘traditional’ perception-based with computer-aided methods of film analysis in order to explore the typical ‘Vertovian’ devices, unravelling the complex structures of his films.

Besides scholarly papers, a brand-new DVD edition of "The Eleventh Year" and "A Sixth Part of the World" will be presented at the conference - and international media scholars will expand the scope of the project findings further.

Conference participants:
John MacKay (Yale University), Annette Michelson (New York University), Alexander Deriabin (Moscow), Barbara Wurm (Basel/Berlin/Vienna), Julia Kursell (Berlin), Vera Kropf (Vienna University), Michael Loebenstein (Vienna), Adelheid Heftberger (Vienna), Georg Wasner (Vienna), Stavros Alifragkis (Cambridge University), Ute Holl (University of Basel), Matthias Zeppelzauer (TU Vienna), Dalibor Mitrovic (TU Vienna), Maia Zaharieva (TU Vienna), Wolfgang Beilenhoff (Weimar/Bochum), Thomas Tode (Hamburg)