“How to Stop Worrying and Love the Computer.” Work-in-progress: Introduction to the exhibition I am Your Servant, I am Your Worker for the James Gallery, New York City. Published in Studija 96, no. 3 (2014): 50 - 65.Read More
"What’s Next after the Year of the Selfie, or Work-in-Progress by Lev Manovich and the Software Studies Initiative." Studija 94, no. 1 (2014): 6-21.Read More
The Selfie: Making sense of the “Masturbation of Self-Image” and the “Virtual Mini-Me.” Selfiecity, 2014. This essay reviews some of the recent debates on the selfie (at the time of writing - late 2013 and early 2014) and places it into a broader context of photographic self-portraiture, investigating how the Instagrammed selfie differs from its precursors, as well as mapping out avenues for further research and interpretation of the results obtained in Selfiecity.Read More
“The Exceptional and the Everyday: 144 Hours in Kyiv,” co-authors: Jay Chow, Lev Manovich, and Mehrdad Yazdani. Paper presented at the Big Humanities Data Workshop, The Second IEEE Big Data 2014 Conference, Washington, DC, October 27, 2014. This version of the paper is published in IEEE Big Data 2014 Conference Proceedings (2014), 77-84.
This paper presents and discusses some the findings of the research project The Exceptional and the Everyday: 144 Hours in Kyiv (2014) which I co-authored with Lev Manovich, Mehrdad Yazdani, and Jay Chow.
How can we use computational analysis and visualization of content and interactions on social media network to write histories? Traditionally, historical timelines of social and political upheavals give us only distant views of the events, and singular interpretation of a person constructing the timeline. However, using social media as our source, we can potentially present many thousands of individual views of the events. We can also include representation of the everyday life next to the accounts of the exceptional events. This paper explores these ideas using a particular case study – images shared by people in Kyiv on Instagram during 2014 Ukrainian Revolution. Using Instagram public API we collected 13208 geo-coded images shared by 6165 Instagram users in the central part of Kyiv during February 17-22, 2014. We used open source and our own custom software tools to analyze the images along with upload dates and times, geo locations, and tags, and visualize them in different ways.
See also my essay "Iconography of the Revolution" on the website of the project. In this essay, my research question is: What is the visual grammar of a revolution? In order to grasp the characteristics of the images related to the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution on social media, I suggest we look back at some of the most iconic depictions of similar events such as the social upheavals in the streets of Paris in 1848, 1871, and 1968.
“Our Muddy Boots on Their Marble Floor: Identity and Self-Fashioning in Latvian Contemporary Art,” paper presented at The Yale Conference on Baltic and Scandinavian Studies organized by the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies (AABS), the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study (SASS), and the European Studies Council at Yale University. New Haven, CT, Yale University, March 13–15 , 2014.
In this paper I address some of the challenges that contemporary art and artists from Latvia encounter in the globalized art world. The paper is based on my experience as a co-curator of North by Northeast, the Latvian national participation in the 55th International Art Exhibition of Venice Biennale, which was open to the public from June to November, 2013, in Venice, Italy. The pavilion of Latvia showcased newly commissioned works by two Latvian artists: Krišs Salmanis (b. 1977) and Kaspars Podnieks (b. 1980).
Both artists in their work engage in a dialogue with the past by evoking and also subverting concepts that have been essential for Latvian art from its beginnings in the 19th century through the interwar years as well as during the Soviet period. This dialogue questions national identity of a country whose status has been shifting, unstable, and always marginalized. Both artists Podnieks and Salmanis in their new work talk about location and dislocation, about instability, about being uprooted and removed from one’s native land, about the uncertain identity of an individual or even the whole nation.