Lev Manovich  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Lev Manovich is Professor of Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego, U.S. where he teaches new media art and theory. His book The Language of New Media has received over 50 reviews in the USA and was translated into Italian, Korean, Polish, Spanish and Chinese. According to the reviewers, this book offers "the first rigorous and far-reaching theorization of the subject" (CAA reviews); "it places new media within the most suggestive and broad ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan" (Telepolis).



Manovich was born in Moscow where he studied fine arts, architecture and computer science. He moved to New York in 1981, receiving an M.A. in Cognitive Science (NYU, 1988) and a Ph.D. in Visual and Cultural Studies from University of Rochester 1993. His Ph.D. dissertation The Engineering of Vision from Constructivism to Computers traces the origins of computer media, relating it to the avant-garde of the 1920s.

Manovich has been working with computer media as an artist, computer animator, designer, and programmer since 1984. His art projects include little movies, the first digital film project designed for the Web (1994), Freud-Lissitzky Navigator, a conceptual software for navigating twentieth century history, and Anna and Andy, a streaming novel (2000). His works has been included in many key international exhbitions of new media art. In 2002 ICA in London presented his mini-retrospective under the title Lev Manovich: Adventures of Digital Cinema.

Manovich has been teaching new media art since 1992. He has also been a visiting professor at California Institute of the Arts, UCLA, University of Amsterdam, Stockholm University, and University of Art and Design, Helsinki. In 1993, students of his digital moviemaking classes at the UCLA Lab for New Media founded the Post-Cinematic Society which organized some of the first digital movie festivals based on Manovich's ideas about new media.

Manovich is in demand to lecture on new media around the world. Since 1999 he has delivered over 180 lectures in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.

Currently Manovich is working on a new book Info-aesthetics. His most recent art project is Soft Cinema which was commissioned by ZKM for the exhibition Future Cinema (2002-2003; traveling to Helsinki and Tokyo in 2003-2004).

Manovich's awards include Guggenheim Fellowship 2002-2003, 2002 Digital Cultures Fellowship from UC Santa Barbara, 2002 Fellowship from The Zentrum für Literaturforschung, Berlin, and 1995 Mellon Fellowship from Cal Arts.

The principles of new media

In his 2001 book, The Language of New Media, Manovich describes the general principles underlying new media:

  • Numerical representation: new media objects exist as data
  • Modularity: the different elements of new media exist independently
  • Automation: new media objects can be created and modified automatically
  • Variability: new media objects exist in multiple versions
  • Transcoding: a new media object can be converted into another format


  • Manovich, Lev : Tekstura: Russian Essays on Visual Culture, Chicago University Press, USA, 1993.
  • Manovich, Lev : The Language of New Media, MIT Press, Cambridge Mass, USA, 2001.
  • Lev Manovich also wrote the forward for Plug In & Turn On: A Filmmakers Guide to the Internet, Kronschnabl, Ana & Rawlings, Tomas, Marion Boyars Publishers, UK, 2004.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Lev Manovich" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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