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We explore visual patterns in millions of social media photos from
around the world.
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"Instagram and Contemporary Image" (2016) - a new book by Lev Manovich.

The book methods combine traditional qualitative approaches of humanities and computational analysis of 20 millions of Instagram photos in 17 global cities carried out in Manovich's lab (softwarestudies.com) since 2012 together with our collaborators.

( The first of these project was "Phototrails" led by Nadav Hochman.)

...

The book is being released online under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Creative Commons license.

The chapters are posted online as they are completed. Three chapters have already been released, and two more will be added during summer 2016.

http://manovich.net/…/proj…/instagram-and-contemporary-image

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Phototrails shared their post.

Titles of some of the 2015 exhibitions that include the word "data." What about 2016? Have you seen more "data +" shows?

This year we are participating in 12 exhibitions, and a number of them explicitly refer to "data." Its interesting to compare their titles:


Signal from Noise

...

Infosphere

Data Traces

Big Bang Data

Data in the 21st Century


These exhibitions are in these venues:

The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College
ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe
kim? Contemporary Art Centre in Riga
Somerset House London
V2, Rotterdam

Links to exhibition sites:

http://www.bard.edu/ccs/signal-from-noise/
http://zkm.de/en/event/2015/09/globale-infosphere
http://rixc.org/en/festival/DATA%20DRIFT/
http://bigbangdata.cccb.org/en/
http://v2.nl/events/data-in-the-21st-century

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Detail. Nyeema Morgan, Forty-Seven Easy Poundcakes Like grandma Use To Make (1 of 47), 2007, digital drawing, variable dimensions
bard.edu
Posts

New project from our lab analyzes 7,442,454 public Instagram images shared in Manhattan over five months -

http://inequaligram.net/

Publication (PDF):...
"Social Media Inequality: Definition, Measurements, and Application
http://manovich.net/index.…/projects/social-media-inequality

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inequaligram project investigates social media inequality in New York and other global cities.
inequaligram.net

This year we are participating in 12 exhibitions, and a number of them explicitly refer to "data." Its interesting to compare their titles:


Signal from Noise

...

Infosphere

Data Traces

Big Bang Data

Data in the 21st Century


These exhibitions are in these venues:

The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College
ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe
kim? Contemporary Art Centre in Riga
Somerset House London
V2, Rotterdam

Links to exhibition sites:

http://www.bard.edu/ccs/signal-from-noise/
http://zkm.de/en/event/2015/09/globale-infosphere
http://rixc.org/en/festival/DATA%20DRIFT/
http://bigbangdata.cccb.org/en/
http://v2.nl/events/data-in-the-21st-century

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Detail. Nyeema Morgan, Forty-Seven Easy Poundcakes Like grandma Use To Make (1 of 47), 2007, digital drawing, variable dimensions
bard.edu

We developed new techniques for visualizing large image clusters. The examples in the post use clusters computed on120,000 Instagram images.

http://lab.softwarestudies.com/…/visualizing-high-dimension…

This research was done by Damon Crockett, a PhD student in Philosophy from UCSD who was working in our lab this year. We collaborated with Miriam Redi from Yahoo Research Labs (http://www.visionresearchwitch.com/). Miriam extracted over 1000 image features that include image co...ntent (objects and scenes), photo style composition, style, texture, color and other characteristics. She then computed clusters of images using subsets of these features. Damon has developed a few techniques for visualizing such clusters described and illustrated in his post.

Big thanks to the object detection team at Flickr for the object and scene tags (their work is described here: http://code.flickr.net/…/20/introducing-flickr-park-or-bird/)

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DATA DRIFT exhibition

Curated by Lev MANOVICH, Rasa SMITE and Raitis SMITS.
Dates: October 10 – November 22, 2015
Opening hours: Mo – closed, Tue 12:00-20:00 (free entrance), Wed–Sun 12:00-18:00....
Venue: kim? Contemporary Art Centre in Riga, Maskavas street 12, Riga, Latvia.

Opening: October 9 at 19:00

DATA DRIFT exhibition showcases works by some of the most influential data designers of our time, as well as by artists who use data as their artistic medium. How can we use the data medium to represent our complex societies, going beyond "most popular," and "most liked"? How can we organize the data drifts that structure our lives to reveal meaning and beauty? How to use big data to "make strange," so we can see past and present as unfamiliar and new?
If painting was the art of the classical era, and photograph that of the modern era, data visualization is the medium of our own time. Rather than looking at the outside worldwide and picturing it in interesting ways like modernist artists (Instagram filters already do this well), data designers and artists are capturing and reflecting on the new data realities of our societies.

DATA DRIFT represents data visualization artworks by SPIN Unit (EU), Moritz STEFANER (DE), Frederic BRODBECK (DE), Kim ALBRECHT (DE), Boris MÜLLER (DE), Marian DÖRK (DE), Benjamin GROSSER (US), Maximilian SCHICH (DE/US), Mauro MARTINO (IT/US), Periscopic (US), Pitch Interactive (US), Smart Citizen Team (ES), Lev MANOVICH / Software Studies Initiative (US), Daniel GODDEMEYER (DE/US), Dominikus BAUR (DE), Mehrdad YAZDANI (US), Alise TIFENTALE (LV/US), Jay CHOW (US), Semiconductor (UK), Rasa SMITE, Raitis SMITS/RIXC (LV), Martins RATNIKS (LV), Kristaps EPNERS (LV).

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kim? added 72 new photos to the album: Atklāšana | "DATU SANESAS", RIXC mākslas un zinātnes festivāls — with Rasa Smite and 3 others.

Atklāšana
09.10.2015.

"DATU SANESAS"
RIXC mākslas un zinātnes festivāla ietvaros

...

Izstādes kuratori: Ļevs Manovičs (ASV), Rasa Šmite un Raitis Šmits (LV)

Autori:
SPIN Unit (EU), Moritz STEFANER (DE), Frederic BRODBECK (DE), Kim ALBRECHT (DE), Boris MÜLLER (DE), Marian DÖRK (DE), Benjamin GROSSER (US), Maximilian SCHICH (DE/US), Mauro MARTINO (IT/US), Periscopic (US), Pitch Interactive (US), Smart Citizen Team (ES), Lev MANOVICH / Software Studies Initiative (US), Daniel GODDEMEYER (DE/US), Dominikus BAUR (DE), Mehrdad YAZDANI (US), Alise TĪFENTĀLE (LV/US), Jay CHOW (US), Semiconductor (UK), Rasa ŠMITE, Raitis ŠMITS / RIXC (LV), Mārtiņš RATNIKS (LV), Kristaps EPNERS (LV)

Izstādi organizē Jauno mediju kultūras centrs RIXC sadarbībā ar kim? Laikmetīgās mākslas centru.

Foto: Kristīne Madjare
__________

Opening
09.10.2015.

DATA DRIFT
Within RIXC annual festival

Curated by Lev Manovich (USA), Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits (LV)

Authors:
SPIN Unit (EU), Moritz STEFANER (DE), Frederic BRODBECK (DE), Kim ALBRECHT (DE), Boris MÜLLER (DE), Marian DÖRK (DE), Benjamin GROSSER (US), Maximilian SCHICH (DE/US), Mauro MARTINO (IT/US), Periscopic (US), Pitch Interactive (US), Smart Citizen Team (ES), Lev MANOVICH / Software Studies Initiative (US), Daniel GODDEMEYER (DE/US), Dominikus BAUR (DE), Mehrdad YAZDANI (US), Alise TIFENTALE (LV/US), Jay CHOW (US), Semiconductor (UK), Rasa SMITE, Raitis SMITS / RIXC (LV), Martins RATNIKS (LV), Kristaps EPNERS (LV)

The exhibition is organised by RIXC, The Centre for New Media Culture in collaboration with kim? Contemporary Art Centre.

Photos by Kristīne Madjare

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Lev Manovich
When I present our visualization projects that use large numbers of Instagram images and data, the basic question is of course what exactly does this "represent"?
(For example, in our project selfiecity.net we found that most selfies are indeed from people in their 1920s.)

So how can we use Instagram (and other social networks in general) to study "s...ociety"?
How social media data compares to traditional surveys such as Gallop or Pew Internet Center who use very small but more representative samples?

For example of using surveys, see :
(Typical sample sizes in Pew reports are 1,500-2,500 sampled from from all across USA).

Here is what I think -
Instagram does not capture "reality."
In most places outside of major global cities like NYC where its mass media, it captures only "hip, urban, cool" reality. So its like a huge company doing research just for us.
Instagram is like FB filtered to find only "hip, uban, contemporary."

In other words - in most places, Instagram is automatically doing "cool hunting" - that is, only "cool, young, global" people post there.
(I say "outside of major global cities" because in a place like NYC, there are are enough Instagram users to make it closer to "mass medium" - more representative of broader population interests, lifestyles and likes.)
So while we can't currently use sources such as Instagram to study all social groups in every city, its the perfect tool to study "young, global, English speaking, urban" generation.

And for this kind of research, because social media has much better temporal and spatial resolution than traditional social science methods, networks such as Instagram maybe superior.
Also, because of the progress in text mining and computer vision, we can now automatically study cultural trends and processes on a global scale, while also capturing small scale local developments.
In contrast, with surveys you can get either broad patterns (missing the local), or only local patterns (missing the broad). I..e. normally surveys don't ask millions of people from thousands of cities how they feel, what they like, what concert they are going too, how their friends look today, etc. But Instagram and other social networks (TW, FB, VK, etc.) gives you exactly this.


P.S.
This very good paper suggests that in a city like Amsterdam, the key Instagram users are urban elites (which I think supports my point):
For my opinion that in larger cities with very high urban numbers like NYC, Instagram becomes a bit more like Facebook, I rely on the research in our lab of millions of Instagram images shared in Tel Aviv, Kiev, London, New York, Bangkok, Sao Paolo, and other cities:





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Our new animated visualizations of Instagram photos created for Google Zeitgeist 2014 conference http://lab.softwarestudies.com/…/our-new-animated-phototrai…

Lev Manovich will discuss selfiecity.net and phototrails.net projects, March 14, NYC - open to all:

"Cultural Analytics: Using Big Data to Unlearn What We Know"

https://www.facebook.com/notes/lev-manovich/cultural-analytics-using-big-data-to-unlearn-what-we-know/10151963221723456

Lev Manovich


Abstract for my lecture March 13 (Thursday), 4:15 pm -
Grad Center CUNY, Computer Science colloquium

365 Fifth Ave, New York City
Room 9204 

...


Open to everybody.


http://cslogic.info/colloquium/colloquiumschedule.htm


Cultural Analytics: Using Big Data to Unlearn What We Know

Abstract:

The rise of social media created unique new possibilities for the study of cultural artifacts and patterns on a global scale. Hundreds of millions of people are sharing their blog posts, photos and videos, favoring and commenting on each media, and sharing with us their cultural imaginations in many other ways that leave digital traces. How can we use this “big cultural data” to develop detailed cultural “maps” based on much larger samples of cultural production than humanities usually use? How can work with this data be used to question our cultural assumptions and biases, and "unlearn" what we think we know? Can we develop simple methods for interactive exploration of massive datasets of cultural artifacts and cultural patterns that can be used by normal people without computer science training?

In 2007 I established Software Studies Initiative (softwarestudies.com) to begin working on these questions. I will show a selection of our recent projects which analyze and visualize social media images including selfiexploratory.net (Instagram selfie photos from 5 global cities) and phototrails.net (2.3 million instagram photos) - as well as historical images, such as over 20,000 photos from MoMA photography collection. I will also address a fundamental question we face when researching visual social media such as Instagram: is it a "window" into social reality, a reflection of lifestyles of particular demographics, or an effect of software itself? In short - is social visual media a "message" or a "medium"?


Links:

http://selfiecity.net/
http://phototrails.net/
http://lab.softwarestudies.com/p/cultural-analytics.html
http://www.manovich.net/

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"The Science of Selfies: A Five-City Comparison" | National Geographic http://buff.ly/1jKjKB5

Leave it to academia to study the science of the selfie; researchers analyze everything from gender to smiles in selfies taken in five of the world's great cities.
news.nationalgeographic.com
http://selfiecity.net Investigating the style of self-portraits (selfies) in five cities across the world. Selfiecity investigates selfies using a mix of the...
youtube.com

How people 'selfie' around the world"(sefiecity.net) |

The Guardian http://buff.ly/MGDKJ5

‘Selfiecity Project’ analysed thousands of Instagram selfies to show us how people around the take photos of themselves
theguardian.com

The new project from the original members of Phototrails and the new team is now online:

http://selfiecity.net/

Investigating the style of self-portraits (selfies) in five cities across the world.
selfiecity.net

Up to 40 travel grants for young researchers to participate in Digital Humanities Conference, 12/2013, Germany:

Apply by August 15:

buff.ly/16QPdcQ

Spanish translation of Manovich's new book just published!

http://www.editorialuoc.cat/elsoftwaretomaelmando-p-1207.ht…

Soft cover edition will be distributed in Spain, Mexico and many countries in Latin America (Amazon and bookstores). KIndle and ePub will also be available via Casa del Libro and Google Play.

Editorial UOC El software toma el mando [978-84-9029-863-3] - El software ha reemplazado un sinfín de tecnologías físicas, mecánicas y electrónicas que hasta el siglo XXI se empleaban para crear, almacenar, distribuir e interaccionar con los objetos culturales. Se ha convertido en nuestra interfaz c...
editorialuoc.cat