St. Petersburg Metamorphology Lab

Practical hands-on lab co-directed by Lev Manovich and Damiano Cerrone during the 2016 Summer School at the European University in St. Petersburg, Russia.

This laboratory explored the landscape of the invisible city, using digital traces to unveil, measure, and study the meta-morphology of the urban space. Participants used large dataset of location-based social media data from Instagram and open-source GIS software. They also physically observed selected city locations and compared their findings with the patterns revealed by analysis of Instagram images. The participants worked in groups producing maps, diagrams, and visualisations to gain understanding of the relationship between social practices, urban space, and their representations on social media.

Dates and details

  • 17–30 August 2016
  • Science and Technology Studies (STS) Center at European University at St. Petersburg, Russia


  • Spatial analysis using GIS.
  • Visualization of image collections.
  • Computational language analysis.
  • Use of computer vision to detect objects and scenes in photos.

2016 Summer School Directors

  • Diana Kurkovsky West (European University at St. Petersburg)
  • Vincent Lépinay (Sciences Po)

Lab Directors

  • Lev Manovich (The Graduate Center, City University of New York)
  • Damiano Cerrone (SPIN Unit)

Faculty team

  • Jean Philippe Cointet (LISIS, Paris)
  • Olga Sezneva (EUSP and University of Amsterdam)
  • Ilya Utekhin (EUSP)
  • Donato Ricci (Sciences Po and Parsons School of Design, Paris)