Dr. Lev Manovich
Presidential Professor, The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY). Member of the PhD Program in Computer Science, MS Program in Data Science, MS Program in Data Analysis and Visualization and MA Program in Digital Humanities.
Director, Cultural Analytics Lab: lab.culturalanalytics.info
Current Research Interests
cultural analytics (analysis of contemporary global culture using data science methods), artificial intelligence and culture, computational social science, digital humanities, digital culture, visual culture, media theory
Citations and rank
(from Google Scholar)
One of "25 People Shaping the Future of Design" (complex.com)
One of "50 Most Interesting People Building the Future" (theverge.com)
"Lev Manovich is the only media theorist around who is talking not just about what computers do but how they do it" - Ellen Lupton, curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York City
Dr. Lev Manovich is one of the leading theorists of digital culture worldwide and a pioneer in the application of data science for analysis of contemporary culture. Manovich is the author and editor of 15 books including Cultural Analytics, AI Aesthetics, Theories of Software Culture, Instagram and Contemporary Image, Software Takes Command, Soft Cinema: Navigating the Database and The Language of New Media which was described as "the most suggestive and broad-ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan." He was included in the list of "25 People Shaping the Future of Design" in 2013 and the list of "50 Most Interesting People Building the Future" in 2014. Manovich is a Presidential Professor at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and a Director of the Cultural Analytics Lab. The lab created projects for the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), New York Public Library, Google, and other clients. Manovich's latest book "Cultural Analytics" is being published by The MIT Press in Fall 2020.
Manovich played a key part in creating three new research fields: new media studies (1991-), software studies (2001-), and cultural analytics (2007-). He was often the first to write and research new key topics in digital culture 5-10 years before they became fully visible. The examples include interface, database as a cultural form, critical analysis of software and algorithms, use of big data to study cultures, visualization in humanities, digital art history, and analysis of digital visual culture including Instagram.
Manovich is the author of 15 books including Cultural Analytics (2020), AI Aesthetics (2018), Theories of Software Culture (2017), Instagram and Contemporary Image (2017), Software Takes Command, (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013), Black Box - White Cube (Merve Verlag Berlin, 2005), Soft Cinema (The MIT Press, 2005), The Language of New Media (The MIT Press, 2001), Metamediji (Belgrade, 2001), Tekstura: Russian Essays on Visual Culture (Chicago University Press, 1993) as well as 140 articles which have been published in 35 countries and reprinted over 500 times. He is also one of the editors of the Software Studies book series (The MIT Press) and Quantitative Methods in Humanities and Social Science book series (Springer).
The Language of New Media is translated into 14 languages and is used a textbook in hundreds of programs around the world. According to the reviewers, this book offers "the first rigorous and far-reaching theorization of the subject"; "it places [new media] within the most suggestive and broad-ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan."
Manovich was born in Moscow where he studied fine arts, architecture, and computer programming. He moved to New York in 1981, receiving an M.A. in Visual Science and Cognitive Psychology (NYU, 1988) and a Ph.D. in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester (1993). Manovich has been working with computer media as an artist, computer animator, designer, and programmer since 1984. His art projects have been presented by, among others, New York Public Library (NYPL), Google's Zeitgeist 2014, Shanghai 2014 Art and Architecture Biennale, Chelsea Art Museum (New York), ZKM (Karlsruhe, Germany), The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, US), KIASMA (Helsinki, Finland), Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), ICA (London, UK), and Graphic Design Museum (Breda, The Netherlands).
In 2007 Manovich founded Software Studies Initiative (renamed Cultural Analytics Lab in 2016.) The lab pioneered computational analysis and visualization of massive cultural visual datasets in the humanities. The lab's collaborators included the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, Getty Research Institute, Austrian Film Museum, Netherlands Institute for Sound and Image, and other institutions that are interested in using its methods and software with their media collections. Since 2012 and 2016, Manovich directed a number of projects that present an analysis of 16 million Instagram images shared worldwide.
He received grants and fellowships from Guggenheim Foundation, Andrew Mellon Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts (NEH), Twitter, and many other agencies.
Between 1996 and 2012, Manovich was a Professor in Visual Arts Department at University of California San Diego (UCSD) where he was teaching classes in digital art, new media theory, and digital humanities. In addition, Manovich was a visiting professor at California Institute of the Arts, The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Amsterdam, Stockholm University, University of Art and Design in Helsinki, Hong Kong Art Center, University of Siegen, Gothenberg School of Art, Goldsmiths College at the University of London, De Montfort University in Leicester, the University of New South Wales in Sydney and the University of Tyumen. Since 2009, he is a member of the faculty of European Graduate School (EGS). In 2016-2019, he was the core faculty member at Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture, and Design, Moscow.
Manovich is in demand to lecture on digital culture topics around the world. Since 1999 he presented over 650 lectures, seminars, and masterclasses in North and South America, Asia, and Europe.
His digital art projects were shown in over 100 group and personal exhibitions worldwide. The lab’s projects were commissioned by MoMA, New Public Library, and Google. Selfiecity.net won Golden Award in Best Visualization Project category in the global competition in 2014; on-broadway.nyc received Silver Award in the same category in 2015.