two talks about Cultural Analytics at Mobility Shifts NYC, October 14-15

Mobility Shifts NYC conference full schedule

Friday, October 14

10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Wollman Hall, Eugene Lang Building, 65 West 11th St., 5th floor

Lev Manovich (Software Studies Initiative, UC San Diego)

Data Literacy and Cultural Analytics

The joint availability of numerous large data sets on the web and free tools for data scraping, cleaning, analyzing and visualizing enable potentially anybody to become a citizen data miner. But how do we enable this in practice? What are the necessary elements of “data literacy”? How do we inspire students in traditionally non-quantitative fields (art history, film and media studies, literary studies, etc.) to start playing with big data?

One the limitations of the existing popular data analysis and visualization tools is that they are designed to work with numbers and texts – but not images and video. To close this gap, In 2007 we have established Software Studies Initiative ( at University of California, San Diego. The lab’s focus in on development of new visualization methods particularly suited for media teaching and research. In my presentation I will show a sample of our projects including visualization of art, film, animation, video games,magazines, comics, manga, and graphic design. Our image sets range from 4535 covers of Time magazine to 320,000 Flickr images from “ArtNow” and “Graphic Design” groups, and one million manga pages.

In September 2011 we released ImagePlot - free software tool that visualizes collections of images and video of any size. I will discuss how we use Image Plot in classes with both undergraduate and graduate students to create collaborative projects which reveal unexpected cultural trends and also make us question our existing concepts for understanding visual culture and media.

Saturday, October 15

1:30-4:30 pm: Progressive Digital Pedagogy: Remix, Collaboration, Crowdsourcing
Wollman Hall, Eugene Lang Building 65 West 11th St., 5th floor

Elizabeth Losh (Sixth College, UC San Diego)

In recent years progressive digital pedagogy has borrowed from five major aspects of the popular culture developing around computational media: 1) remix practice, 2) multimodality, 3) accelerated response, 4) crowd sourcing, and 5) narrowcasting. Yet for many years the conventional classroom pedagogy around teaching “current events” has remained unchanged: it still generally focuses on having learners mechanically cut out recent news stories produced by traditional print journalists with little attention to how the news is made, how it remixes sources, how it appeals to particular audiences, or how particular patterns of visual imagery and verbal rhetoric could be analyzed critically. This talk focuses on recent work by the Software Studies initiative at U.C. San Diego by the Cultural Analytics group and shows how media visualization and crowd sourcing could be used in educational contexts with large publically accessible libraries of digitized news and smaller archives of government public information videos.