Project Exhibitions

  • GLOBALE: Infosphere, curated by Peter Weibel, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany, September 5, 2015 – January 31, 2016.
  • The 2nd Annual Filmatic Festival, UC San Diego, La Jolla, April 30 - May 2, 2015.
  • Google Zeitgeist 2014 conference, Paradise Valley, Arizona, September 14-16 , 2014..
  • "The Aggregate Eye: 13 cities / 312,694 people / 2,353,017 photos," Amelie A. Wallace Gallery, SUNY College at Old Westbury, NY, October 29 – December 5, 2013.

Google Zeitgeist 2014 conference

This summer we received a commission to create new artworks to be shown during Google Zeitgeist 2014 conference. The conference is an invitation only two day event; this year it took place during September 14-16 in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

Google produced high quality video of many of the presentations. (You can also find videos of the talks from the earlier conferences at For me personally, the highlights were the talks of Presidents Carter and Clinton, Google's own Eric Schmidt and Larry Page, and Lawrence Lessig - and also chatting with the people from Google X who were showing their amazing research.

We were asked to create animated versions of our Phototrails project. In the original project, we analyzed and visualized 2.3 million Instagram photos from 13 global cities. For the new Google Zeitgeist project, we created a number of new still visualizations using our our ImagePlot tool. We also used the animation option in ImagePlot to render a long sequence of visualization frames. The frames were rendered in 4K and then scaled to HD resolution. We used Premiere and After Effects to assemble the videos.

The two final videos which were exhibited at the conference are above. The fist video dissolves between both original and new Phototrails visualizations. The second is a slow zoom into the animated visualization of 120,000 Instagram photos from 6 cities. (Note: because of the Vimeo compression, the videos do not look as sharp as the originals).

The project was created by the original Phototrails team: Nadav Hochman, Jay Chow and Lev Manovich.

During the weeks leading to the event, we collaborated using Dropbox because each of us was in a different place: Nadav in NYC, Jay in California, and I was first in Brazil and then in Ireland. After we saw our videos playing at the site the morning of September 14th, we went back to the hotel, made some adjustments and rendered new versions. Good thing that ImagePlot (originally written by Manovich in 2010, and later expanded by Chow) kept rendering and never quit - even in Arizona's heat!

The Aggregate Eye: 13 cities / 312,694 people / 2,353,017 photos


Nadav Hochman, Lev Manovich, Jay Chow

The Aggregate Eye:

13 cities / 312,694 people / 2,353,017 photos

“The Aggregate Eye turns a spotlight onto the world of social photography, raising a whole new generation of questions concerning art and its place in society.”  Paul Longo, Musee Magazine

“A genius new exhibition… examines the patterns created by our ever-increasing output onto social media.”  Dale Eisinger, Complex

October 29 – December 5, 2013
Opening reception: October 29, 4 – 7pm

Lecture by Lev Manovich:  ”From Atget to Instagram: Representing the City”
Followed by panel discussion with  Lev Manovich, Nadav Hochman, Alise Tifentale, and Hyewon Yi
October 29, 7 – 8pm

Curated by Hyewon Yi and Alise Tifentale

Maps, photographs, and cinema are the principal technologies that individuals, small groups, and businesses traditionally have used to represent cities. Today, urban representations can be created by hundreds of millions of ordinary people who capture and share photos on social networks. If we were to aggregate these masses of photos, how would our cities look? How unique are the photos captured by each of us? Are there dominant themes regardless of location?

The Aggregate Eye, a project created by Nadav Hochman, Lev Manovich, and Jay Chow, investigates these questions. The collaborators downloaded and analyzed 2,353,017 Instagram photos shared by 312,694 people in thirteen cities over a three-month period. The large prints and video included in the exhibition combine these photos to reveal unique patterns. One set of images compares New York, Tokyo, and Bangkok using 150,00 Instagram photos. Another image, created by 53,498 photos taken in Tokyo over several days, depicts a gradual progression from day to night activities. A visualization of 23,581 photos shared in Brooklyn during Hurricane Sandy captures the dramatic narrative of that day.

This exhibition is a part of the Phototrails project, initiated by Hochman, Manovich, and Chow to investigate patterns in social media user-generated photography and video. The Atlantic Cities, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, and Wired have reported on the project.

Amelie A. Wallace Gallery
SUNY College at Old Westbury, Old Westbury, New York 11568
Directions: www.oldwestbury. edu/about/directions.cfm
Hours: Monday - Thursday, 12 – 5pm, and by appointment

Exhibition walkthroughs with gallery director Hyewon Yi:
Monday, November 11, 1pm and Wednesday, December 4, 11am

Gallery contact: Hyewon Yi <>