Lev Manovich :: Soft Cinema 
»Soft Cinema« extends the schemata of today's information design into an artistic context, combining them to produce a kind of simultaneous cinema. Its approach moves within dimensions somewhere between classical film montage and the indiscriminate equivalence of database entries. It consists of two program sections, the generator and the display. The first section, the generator, has the function of creating a montage out of the individual strands of film. The basis for this process is a database of film sequences and the latter's characteristics such as composition, movement etc. In the first instance, these parameters are the result of an automated analysis of contrast values, movement, activity and so on. Secondly, however, they also indicate the location where the film was shot, its perspectives etc. The composition of these parameters is variable and can be adapted to various different approaches to montage.
As a second stage, the display joins together the individual strands of film produced using the generator to form a kind of montage of simultaneity. This program divides up the screen into individual segments, in each of which either films or abstract animations are shown. The division process takes place by means of algorithms, which ensure that the screen is divided up harmoniously. Thus, differences in size and positioning on the screen take into account correspondences and relationships between the individual films. The same stage of processing that divides up the screen allocates soundtracks, a looped text and a voice-over channel. This allocation process can be monitored using a script that is processed by the display.
- Andreas Kratky -
Type of Work
Computer-generated projection, installation
· Concept and realization: Lev Manovich
· Media database [videography, 2D and 3D animations, narratives], keywords, editing rules, image-processing software, sound design, screen layout and installation layout concepts: Lev Manovich
· Implementation logistics, edit list generation software, display software, screen layout and installation layout: Andreas Kratky
· Music database: DJ Spooky
· Voice-over: Rachel Stevens, Gloria Sutton, Francesca Ferguson
· Architect: Ruth M. Lorenz, maaskant, Berlin
· Installation construction, hardware: ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
· Co-production: Lev Manovich and ZKM | Institute for Visual Media
· The installation was commissioned for the exhibition »FUTURE CINEMA. The Cinematic Imaginary After Film,« ZKM | Karlsruhe, 16.11.2002 - 30.03.2003.
· Institute for Visual Media
»FUTURE CINEMA. The Cinematic Imaginary After Film«, ZKM | Karlsruhe [D] - 16.11.2002 - 30.03.2003
· Homepage of Lev Manovich
Lev Manovich: »Soft Cinema«  / Installation view / »FUTURE CINEMA. The Cinematic Imaginary After Film«, ZKM | Karlsruhe [D] - 16.11.2002 - 30.03.2003
photo: Franz Wamhof / © Lev Manovich