[-empyre-] visualization as the new language of theory

David Chirot david.chirot at gmail.com
Wed Feb 3 19:27:19 EST 2010

Dear Lev Manovich:

Many thanks for your fascinating letter and al the links--
an area of Visual Culture that has been until very recently ignored by the
American intellectuals--is Visual  Poetry--

i will provide some links for this in alter post being prepared--for anyone
but for now a book i wd most highly recommend--which ends with a movement
towards the cinematic and multi-media--is POETICS AND VISUALITY A TRAJECTORY
OF CONTEMPORARY BRAZILIAN POETRY by Philadelpho Menezes, a brilliant artist
and theoretician, historian whose life was cut short by a tragic accident--
(San Diego State Universtiy, translated by Harry Polkinhorn--1994)
i think you would find much of what you are interested in there, semiotics
among others--
also another   text is Corrosive Signs  Essays on Experimental Poetry
(Visual, Concrete, Alternative)--Edited by Cesar Espinosa.Nucelo
Post-Arte--translated by Harry Polkinhorn, Maisonneuve Press, 1990

today on line there exits a great deal more writings in sevral languages re
Visual Poetry and Mail Art also to some degree as well as Sound Poetry and
Visual/Sound works--al of which have been developing in the directions you
i can recommend also two antholiges of critical/theoretical works edited by
Richard Kostelanetz--Visual Literature Criticism Precisely 3, 4, 5
and Poetics of the new Poetries, Precisely 13, 14, 15, 16
there is a huge amount of Visual Poetry and Sound Poetry on line--blogs,
sites, you tube etc--as well as at the UbuWeb site--
several of these include theoretical and critical writings, manifesti etc--

you might also check out the works of Gerald Janecek such as The Look of
Russian Literature and Zaum The Transrational Poetry of Russian futurism

also i wd recommend the works of Paul Cirilo re Vision, Speed,
disappearance, the military, urbanise, the cinema and new technologies
vision such as the drone--
if you are interested, i will quickly assemble a little batch of links for
you and others which may prove useful and interesting for your ideas and

all best to you and everyone--
david baptiste chirot
(note a serach of my name--and i am but one of hundreds worldwide-- wil lead
you to works of mine in these ares on line including video documentary and
synchronized visual/sound poetry perfroamnce--the visual score and sound

On Tue, Feb 2, 2010 at 11:49 PM, Lev Manovich <manovich.lev at gmail.com>wrote:

> In the 20th century, intellectuals devoted lots of energy to analyzing
> lens-based narrative visuals (photography and cinema) and modern
> non-figurative art. Animation, graphic design, typography, information
> design, and other areas of visual culture were mostly ignored. in
> fact, if you are to search for books which theoretically analyze
> graphics, you will find only a single title published in France in the
> end of 1960s: Jacques Bertin, Semiology of Graphics (English edition,
> 1983).
> In the 1990s, most areas of culture industry switched to
> software-based production. As a result, graphic design (as well as as
> other areas of visual culture I listed above) assumed much more
> central position in contemporary culture. Additionally, visual culture
> became hybrid. Today, a still design or a moving image sequence now
> typically combine many previously separate media. Such hybrids are now
> the norm.
> A case in point are contemporary motion graphics (commercials, music
> videos, film and TV titles, and other short forms). They are as
> prominent today as film and TV narratives - but they cannot be
> adequately described using the concepts of film theory. Motion
> graphics typically combine multiple media and techniques (live action
> video, 2D and 3D animation, typography, effects, compositing, etc.).
> Instead of being divided into a number of discrete shots, a work often
> is a single visual flow which constantly changes over time. (For a
> more detailed analysis, see the chapter "After Effects, or How Cinema
> Became Design" in my book Software Takes Command.)
> Cultural Analytics approach can be used to analyze motion graphics -
> as well as other areas of contemporary visual culture largely ignored
> by academic theory. The algorithmic analysis and visualization of how
> different visual parameters change over time allows us to describe
> moving images in new ways.  We can graph temporal patterns across many
> visual and semantic parameters, and compare them across different
> works.
> Below are links to some results of our explorations into different
> ways of visualizing temporal changes in motion graphics.
> http://lab.softwarestudies.com/2008/09/cultural-analytics.html
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/culturevis/sets/72157622088848303/
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/culturevis/sets/72157622608431194/
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/culturevis/3180463968/in/set-72157612327742966/
> One of the most important advantageous of Cultural Analytics approach
> is the ability to analyze and graph continuos qualities such as the
> amount and type of motion. The following graph reveals the amazing
> motion patterns across a feature film by Dziga Vertov (I have not
> applied this technique to a pure "animation" work but it will be
> trivial to do):
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/culturevis/4117658480/in/set-72157622608431194/
> (legend)
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/culturevis/4117658480/sizes/o/in/set-72157622608431194/
> (full-size<http://www.flickr.com/photos/culturevis/4117658480/sizes/o/in/set-72157622608431194/%0A%28full-size>image)
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
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