"Analyzing Cultural Data" - Lev Manovich's Spring 2015 course at The Graduate Center, CUNY

Analyzing Cultural Data

Spring 2014 semester / The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Wednesday, 4:15-6:15 pm / 3 credits
MALS 78500 / IDS 81650

Instructor: Dr. Lev Manovich, Professor, The Graduate Center, CUNY.
One of 50 most important people of 2014 (Verge Top 50 list, 2014;
one of 25 People Shaping the Future of Design (Complex, 2013)

Course description:

The explosive growth of social media and digitization of cultural artifacts by libraries and museums opened up exiting new possibilities for the study of cultural life. The “big data turn” already affected many fields in humanities (digital humanities, history, literary studies, art history, film studies, archeology, etc.), social sciences (e.g., computational sociology), and professional fields such as journalism and arts administration.

This course explores the possibilities, the methods, and the tools for working with cultural data sets. We will cover both small and big humanistic data and different data sources (images, video, texts, library collections, sensor data, etc.) Students will learn the practical techniques for organizing, analyzing and visualizing cultural datasets used leading open source tools. We will also discuss relevant readings and projects from a number of fields including digital art, artistic visualization, media theory, social computing, and science and technology studies.

The course is open to all graduate students, and does not require any previous technical knowledge. The practical tutorials and homework will be adjusted to fit students backgrounds and interests.

The course will use of some of the data sets from Dr. Manovich's Software Studies Initiative such as 10.5 million Instagram images shared in NYC in 2014.

Examples of projects from Software Studies Initiative:

The Exceptional and the Everyday: 144 hours in Kyiv
One million manga pages