Summer Research Lab: Software Studies Initiative

San Diego, July 23, 2010  -- The gallery@calit2 opens its doors to research this summer with the Summer Research Lab: Software Studies Initiative. The research stint began July 16 and will continue through early October, when a new exhibition based on the summer residency will open its doors to the public. [Editor's Note: While researchers will occupy it, the gallery@calit2 will not be open to visitors during the summer.]

This image from the Software Studies Initiative depicts every cover of Time magazine from 1923 to 2010.

The Software Studies Initiative is led by Lev Manovich, UCSD Professor of Visual Arts, Jeremy Douglass, UCSD Postdoctoral Researcher, and William Huber, UCSD Graduate Researcher, with input from a cross-disciplinary team of faculty, graduate and undergraduate researchers.

The research group has been experimenting since 2008 with new visualization techniques particularly suitable for visual and interactive media. The goal for these visualizations is to reveal meaningful and unexpected patterns contained in large sets of cultural data. They also aim to pose new questions about culture, and function as new cultural artifacts in their own right.

Over the summer, the researchers will use the gallery as a laboratory, in order to format their data sets for the gallery space. For this exhibition, the concept is to render the "shapes" of cultural time -- ranging in scale from one hour of a single film to 140 years of a scientific journal. Specifically, the group will be analyzing data visualizations of the journal Science, films by renowned experimental filmmaker Dziga Vertov, video game play, and the covers of Time magazine.

The software tools used in the project were developed by Sunsern Cheamanunkul and So Yamaoka. The research lab will culminate in the exhibition "MAPPING TIME", which will include large-scale prints as well as animated visualizations of cultural artifacts. The exhibition will be open to the public October 4 and run through December 10, 2010, with a panel discussion and opening reception on Friday, October 22, 2010. The exhibition will conclude with a film screening and reception Friday, December 3, 2010.

By Software Studies Initiative
Exhibition dates: October 4, 2010 - December 10, 2010
Gallery Hours: 11am-5pm

Panel Discussion: Friday October 22, 2010, 5pm-6pm Calit2 Theater
Moderated by Benjamin Bratton, Associate Professor of Visual Arts, UC San Diego
Opening Reception: Friday October 22, 2010, 6pm-8pm gallery@calit2

Film Screening: Friday December 3, 2010, 5pm-6pm Calit2 Auditorium
Closing Reception: Friday December 3, 2010 6pm-8pm gallery@calit2

For more on the Software Studies Initiative's Summer Research Lab, visit

For more information, please contact Trish Stone, Gallery Coordinator, with an email to, or visit the gallery website at

Media Contacts

Trish Stone, or Doug Ramsey, 858-822-5825, 

Related Links

Software Studies Lab