Manovich’s paper, Cultural Analytics: Annual Report 2010, provides an update on his ongoing project of using visualisation techniques (computationally based) to explore cultural data – giving the examples of over a million manga pages, and every Time magazine cover since issue 1. The phrase ‘Cultural Analytics’ demands attention – the analysis of culture is the humanities, and analytics is the application of computation, computer technology, and statistics to solve a problem. While culture is the object of study, the methods of solving cultural questions here are quite clearly computational, and hence this is illustrative of the digital humanities tackling traditional humanities with the use of computational tools. Manovich argues for the application of cultural analytics software that can lead to insightful conclusions about changing trends over time, but also that those trends can be seen by the person observing the research. The graphic below – a visualisation of every Time magazine cover since the first publication – shows changes in colour and contrast over time, as well as how the present style and convention was reached over the entire history of the publication, thus offering a genealogical, rather than causal, history of the development of the publication.

« Manovich’s cultural analytics concept »

A quote saved on May 25, 2015.


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