Using Big Data and Data Mining in Culture is a key topic of the Forum

On the first day of the VII St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum at the Business Venue, a panel discussion “Why Does Culture Need Big Data?” will take place at the Russian Museum of Ethnography.

The discussion will focus on what shifts are taking place in the cultural sector due to Big Data and Data Mining. Participants and invited guests will discuss the possibilities of applying these technologies in the areas of culture and deliberate on how they could change our ideas about art.

Cultural institutions and art always reflect and interpret the changes and shifts that occur in society. Today, big data opens up new prospects and solutions: from effective scientific research to business strategies, from politics to social interaction. Participants in the discussion at the Business Venue of the VII St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum are going to discuss the possibilities of using Big Data and Data Mining in order to expand an audience of cultural institutions, and will also raise the issues of training professionals capable of working with digital technologies in museums and theaters, they will discuss the phenomenon of the so-called “new aesthetics” generated by the visualization of big data in artistic media.

The dialogue on one of the most topical issues regarding the current condition of culture is going to be truly international. Thus, experts and opinion-makers from the United States, Great Britain, Germany, and Russia will take part in the debates, among them the Digital Director of the Polytechnic Museum Maya Stravinsky, a researcher of the Creative and Digital Economy Department of the Nesta Global Innovations Foundation (UK) John Davis, an expert on the Theory of New Media and Director of the American Cultural Analytics Lab Lev Manovich, a Senior Lecturer in Data Culture and Society Department of Digital Humanities at King's College London Dr. Mark Coté, Deputy Director of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Olga Shushko, Director General of the British “The Audience” Agency Anne Torreggiani, Data Visualization Specialist, an expert of the European Commission Future and Developing Technologies program (Germany) Moritz Stefaner.

"In the business environment, working with data (it does not matter large or small, in fact) becomes not just a tribute to fashion but rather a kind of demand, a serious competitive advantage for those who have learned to make decisions or anticipate the desires and behavior of consumers on the basis of data analysis. The data today are able to bring quite substantive profits to businesses. With cultural institutions, such mature awareness of using system analytics, data flows, and behavioral models has not as yet emerged. Moreover, the competencies of the required level are still not common, either. The data both as an object and as a tool of cultural activity still make a very few cases. Culture should learn from business to regard their visitors, viewers, readers as consumers, through a pragmatic analytical lens. To learn how to manage their emotions, intentions, and actions for humanitarian and cultural ends, in a smart and subtle fashion," remarked Svetlana Mironyuk, Academic Director of the Big Data and Digital Marketing program at the Moscow Skolkovo School of Management, CEO of PWC Audit.

As a part of the discussion, Vadim Merkulov, Megafon PJSC Cluster Director, will showcase the best practices and implemented projects in the field of Big Data. "Today, gigantic amounts of data are being aggregated in various areas of human activities. Their utilization opens up new opportunities virtually in every area of societal life, including, of course, culture. Today, we consider Big Data not as some kind of business perspective but rather as a global technology that allows us to conduct detailed research, assess, and analyze the state of affairs in this or that industry, to construct simulations of people's behavior and much, much more. Digitizing existing data and culture-related knowledge introduces tremendous opportunities for researchers and scientists as it places us on the threshold of new discoveries and breakthroughs. That is why big data could and should be used in culture," he emphasized.

The VII St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum will take place on November 15-17 in the Russian "Capital of the North". An updated program of the Business Venue events of the VII St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum is available on the official website: