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Lev Manovich (1960 - )

Related: media art - media theory - new media - informationalism - visual art


Lev Manovich is Professor of Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego, USA where he teaches new media art and theory. His book The Language of New Media has received over 50 reviews and was translated into Italian, Korean, Polish and Chinese. According to the reviewers, this book offers "the first rigorous and far-reaching theorization of the subject" (CAA reviews); "it places new media within the most suggestive and broad ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan" (Telepolis). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lev_Manovich [Aug 2006]

New media

Lev Manovich suggests that if it had one, the subtitle of The Language of New Media (MIT Press, 2001) would be: "everything you always wanted to know about new media (but were afraid to ask Dziga Vertov)." Indeed, cinema is especially privileged in his ambitious examination of the continuities of new media with ‘old media.’ --http://www.doorsofperception.com/Features/details/7/


In his discussion of the work of Benjamin and Virilio, Manovich (1996) notes significant similarities in both authors’ approach to “the intervention of technology into human nature.” He points out that both Benjamin and Virilio equate our perception of the natural with spatial distance between the observer and the observed. Technology (film for Benjamin and telecommunications for Virilio) reduces this distance. The fact that anything can be transmitted anywhere at the“speed of light” makes the notion of distance redundant in what Virilio calls Big Optics. --Pedro Rebelo, http://www.generativeart.com/papersGA2003/b15.htm

The computer is the first metamedium (1997) - Alan Kay

"The protean nature of the computer is such that it can act like a machine or like a language to be shaped and exploited. It is a medium that can dynamically simulate the details of any other medium, including media that cannot exist physically. It is not a tool, although it can act like many tools. It is the first metamedium, and as such it has degrees of freedom for representation and expression never before encountered and as yet barely investigated." (Alan Kay, 1984) via http://pensieve.thinkingms.com/PermaLink,guid,69f0ba20-be01-433f-bd47-f47735f124f2.aspx [Dec 2004]

Computer as a metamedium: a machine which can be used to acquire, manipulate, store, distribute and access all media formats (text, images, video, film, sound, music, virtual three-dimensional spaces). --http://www.manovich.net/vis40_fall00/vis40-lecture2.html [Dec 2004]

Cinema as a cultural interface (1997) - Lev Manovich

Don't you wish that somebody, in 1895, 1897 or at least in 1903, realized the fundamental significance of cinema's emergence and produced a comprehensive record of new medium's emergence?[1] Interviews with the audiences; a systematic account of the narrative strategies, scenography and camera positions as they developed year by year; an analysis of the connections between the emerging language of cinema and different forms of popular entertainment which coexisted with it, would have been invaluable. But, of course, these records do not exist. Instead, we are left with newspaper reports, diaries of cinema's inventors, programs of film showings and other bits and pieces -- a set of random and unevenly distributed historical samples. --Lev Manovich, http://www.manovich.net/TEXT/cinema-cultural.html [Dec 2004]

If Walter Benjamin had one true intellectual descendant

If Walter Benjamin had one true intellectual descendant who extended his inquiries into the second half of the twentieth century, this must be Paul Virilio. Indeed, Benjamin and Virilio share a number of crucial affinities both in terms of their method and the themes they explore. The method: both are able to practice the most difficult philosophical method of all -- that of induction -- inferring general laws of culture and history from the minute details of everyday life. (This sets them apart from most critics who are predisposed to see such details through the filters of already existing theoretical paradigms.) Both also abandon the conventional method of theoretical exposition which requires the writer to first clearly state general arguments and then support them by particular examples in favor of another method, borrowed from cinema: montage of images. Benjamin, writing about the Arcades Project: "Method of this work is literary montage. I need say nothing. Only show." Virilio, in a recent interview: "I always write with images." -- http://www.manovich.net/text/Benjamin-Virilio.html

The Language of New Media (2002) - Lev Manovich

  • The Language of New Media (2002) - Lev Manovich [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    In this book Lev Manovich offers the first systematic and rigorous theory of new media. He places new media within the histories of visual and media cultures of the last few centuries. He discusses new media's reliance on conventions of old media, such as the rectangular frame and mobile camera, and shows how new media works create the illusion of reality, address the viewer, and represent space. He also analyzes categories and forms unique to new media, such as interface and database. Manovich uses concepts from film theory, art history, literary theory, and computer science and also develops new theoretical constructs, such as cultural interface, spatial montage, and cinegratography. The theory and history of cinema play a particularly important role in the book. Among other topics, Manovich discusses parallels between the histories of cinema and of new media, digital cinema, screen and montage in cinema and in new media, and historical ties between avant-garde film and new media.

    Making Art of Data: Master Class Series Interfacing Realities (2003) - Arjen Mulder, Lev Manovich, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Brian Massumi

  • Making Art of Data: Master Class Series Interfacing Realities (2003) - Arjen Mulder, Lev Manovich, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Brian Massumi [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK] In recent centuries a whole range of exact systems has been developed in order to describe and categorize spoken and written communication: phonologically, morphologically, syntactically, semantically, pragmatically, stylistically. But there is nothing similar for visual and audio communication, despite the fact that the importance of these media has increased dramatically over the last 200 years. Attempts to develop various systems for the deployment of archives and databases in the work of artists, with the goal of developing interactive, dynamic artworks in which the database plays an active role, were undertaken during a series of masterclasses organized by V2_ in association with the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie in Karslruhe, Ars Electronica Center in Linz and the Center for Culture and Communication in Budapest. In this publication, specialists in the field of image, sound and interaction--Lev Manovitch, Sher Doruff, Joel Ryan and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, together with Brian Massumi--share their visions for the use of databases and archives in their particular area of expertise. Edited by Joke Brouwer and Arjen Mulder. ~Essays by Lev Manovich, Brian Massumi, Rafael Lazano-Hemmer, Scott Lash, Sher Doruff and Joel Ryan. --amazon.com

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