This summer we were commissioned to create new animated visualizations of our Phototrails.net project to be shown during Google Zeitgeist 2014 conference. The conference is an invitation only two-day event; this year it took place during September 14-16 in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Take a look at the videos we presented at the conference:
My new research article titled “The Social Media Image” was published in the Journal Big Data and Society. Here is the abstract of the paper: How do the organization and presentation of large-scale social media images recondition the process by which visual knowledge, value, and meaning are made in contemporary conditions? Analyzing fundamental elements in the changing syntax of existing visual software ontology—the ways current social media platforms and aggregators organize and categorize social media images—this article relates how visual materials created within social media platforms manifest distinct modes of knowledge production and acquisition. First, I analyze the structure of social media images within data streams as opposed to previous information organization in a structured database. While the database has no pre-defined notions of time and thus challenges traditional linear forms, the data stream re-emphasizes the linearity of a particular data sequence and activates a set of new relations to contemporary temporalities. Next, I show how these visual arrangements and temporal principles are manifested and discussed in three artworks: “Untitled” (Perfect Lovers) by Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1991), The Clock by Christian Marclay (2011), and Last Clock by Jussi Ängeslevä and Ross Cooper (2002). By emphasizing the technical and poetic ways in which social media situate the present as […]
Last summer (2013) I was invited by MoMA, NYC, to explore their historic photography collection. The result of my research was published as part of MoMA’s recent exhibition OBJECT:PHOTO. You can read the full article here.
What do billions of Instagram photographs can tell us about the world? How can we see larger cultural patterns contained in such massive visual social data? Do these images reflect the specificity of local places? We present new visualization techniques to analyze and compare more than 2.3 million publicly shared Instagram photos from 13 cities such as New York, San Francisco, London and Tokyo. A research article about the project was published in the July issue of First Monday (http://www.firstmonday.org), an open-access peer–reviewed journal. In addition, all visualizations and findings are available on the project’s web site at www.phototrails.net.
The Aggregate Eye: 13 cities / 312,694 people / 2,353,017 photos Nadav Hochman, Lev Manovich, Jay Chow Exhibition at Amelie A. Wallace Gallery Curated by Hyewon Yi and Alise Tifentale October 29 – December 5, 2013 Opening reception: October 29, 4 – 7pm See the exhibited works online: http://phototrails.net/exhibition/ Maps, photographs, and cinema are the principal technologies that individuals, small groups, and businesses traditionally have used to represent cities. Today, urban representations can be created by hundreds of millions of ordinary people who capture and share photos on social networks. If we were to aggregate these masses of photos, how would our cities look? How unique are the photos captured by each of us? Are there dominant themes regardless of location? The Aggregate Eye, a project created by Nadav Hochman, Lev Manovich, and Jay Chow, investigates these questions. The collaborators downloaded and analyzed 2,353,017 Instagram photos shared by 312,694 people in thirteen cities over a three-month period. The large prints and video included in the exhibition combine these photos to reveal unique patterns. One set of images compares New York, Tokyo, and Bangkok using 150,000 Instagram photos. Another image, created by 53,498 photos taken in Tokyo over several days, depicts a […]
Read my essay titled “Imagined Data Communities” as part of our Selfiecity project. Selfiecity investigates selfies using a mix of theoretic, artistic and quantitative methods. We present our findings about the demographics of people taking selfies, their poses and expressions. Rich media visualizations (imageplots) assemble thousands of photos to reveal interesting patterns. The interactive selfiexploratory allows you to navigate the whole set of 3200 photos.
What does the street artist Banksy has to tell us about the relation between physical places and their social media representations? In the next ICWSM conference I will present a new project that theorizes Hyper-Locality on social media. Using the case study of social media photos taken during the street artist Banksy month long residency in NYC during October 2013 we visualize, analyze and theorize how a place is exhibited and performed via social media visual data. The project was done in collaboration with Lev Manovich, and Mehrdad Yazdani. Here is the abstract of the paper, titled: On Hyper-locality: Performances of Place in Social Media: In this paper we theorize, visualize, and analyze the relation between physical places and their social me- dia representations, and describe the characteristics of hyper-locality in social media. While the term “hyper- local” has been recently used to describe social media that is produced in particular locations and time peri- ods, existing research has not raised important questions about representation and experience. How is the physi- cal place performed through social media data? How do we experience locality via social media platforms? Our work combines quantitative and qualitative analy- sis, and employs perspectives from the fields of […]
We’re excited to be among 6 international teams awarded Twitter Data Grants (Twitter #DataGrants selections)The project is titled “Do happy people take happy images? Measuring happiness of cities from tweeted Images”. Here is a short abstract of the research: Can visual characteristics of images shared on social media tell us about the “moods” of cities? We propose to study the relationship between features of tweeted images in a number of U.S. cities and existing measures of “happiness” estimated using traditional surveys and other data sources (such as health and well-being statistics). More details at: Calit2 news release, The Happiness of Cities: Do Happy People Take Happy Images?