Cultural analytics at the UCSD CalIT2 “Wall”

TheWallLast week we got a demonstration of The Wall at the CalIT2 center at UC San Diego by Professor Lev Manovich and post-doctoral student Jeremy Douglass.   As stated on their website, they believe that “a systematic use of large-scale computational analysis and interactive visualization of cultural data sets and data streams will become a major trend in cultural criticism and culture industries in the coming decades. What will happen when humanists start using interactive visualizations as a standard tool in their work, the way many scientists do already?”

The Wall consists of 70 monitors (14×5) on which data can be spread.   They are using the ARTstor images and metadata for this part of their analysis.  The demo started with all of Mark Rothko’s paintings tiled across the Wall in chronological order; they were then re-organized based on factors such as brightness, number of shapes, color use, etc.    Here is a YouTube video of the same demo – it’s as gorgeous as it is fascinating.

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