School of Design

Dr Leon Gurevitch

Senior Lecturer - Culture+Context Design
School of Design
address

Phone: 04 463 6207
Location: WIG 404, Wigan Street, Te Aro Campus

Dr Leon Gurevitch

Editorial Responsibilities

Associate Editor of Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal (Sage)
Guest Editor of Senses of Cinema Special Edition

Research Interests

Areas of convergence between art and science, design and technology, collaborative and cross-disciplinary projects with a focus on Digital Simulation and Imaging Industries. Applied design sociology gathering data regarding individual and collective human social behavior. Such data is applied to both traditional academic analysis and less conventional design research outputs (usable software tools, visual representations, social science communication videos, photography and data-visualization). Interested in both design research, academic output and public engagement through the possibilities emerging from software culture and publicly available data.

Supervision Interests

  • Design Sociology
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Software Studies
  • Data-mining and Data-visualization
  • Virtual Reality and Stereoscopic Media 
  • History and Theory of Computer Graphics
  • Digital Image Industries
  • Energy Futures and Sustainable Design
  • Film and Media Studies 

Current Research Projects

The Digital Workshops of the World
Leon currently holds a New Zealand Royal Society research grant (Marsden Faststart) for a three-year project to study digital image industry work cultures and global skills migration. This project is funded at $350,000 over three years to map out the interconnected networks of software, skills and source code in the visual effects industry.

Eco-Media Research
This research analyses the cultural, ethical, political and technological implications of emergent ecological representation and new media technologies and lead to sub-strands of research such as the Google Warming project. Google Warming is a long-term undertaking to map out the consequences of envisaging and representing the earth as a designed object. So far outputs from this project include both publications and exhibitions featuring 3D printed models of damaged earth environments for science communication. Initial research papers and book chapters from this project have been published by Sage, Springer

Photographics, Data-Visualisation and Infographics
I am active in researching and teaching data-visualisation. Research to date has covered the design of an energy visualisation monitor (see energy cultures research below) and the design and implementation of a VFX industry skills migration visualisation tool in Google Earth. I also teach both data-visualisation and infographic production in all my courses (photographics, computer generated culture and systems design). 

Energy Cultures Research
This research is a broad research platform to understand the current and potential future relationship between energy and design. So far this research has lead to the Tring Energy Monitor; a dynamic intuitive energy monitor interface that breaks down energy into tree rings that grow over time. This energy monitor system was trialled in the 2011 Solar Decathlon Competition and contributed to New Zealand’s VUW entry winning 1st place in the engineering category.

The Cinemas of Transactions
This research offers an understanding of the relationship between the cinematic image and the promotional process in the context of emerging digital technologies. With computer generated image forms now functioning as a single currency across multiple audiovisual economies, this work frames digital attractions as constituting a ‘cinemas of transactions’ through case studies of Hollywood films, trailers, net attractions and spot advertisements. The Cinemas of Transactions research is now frequently cited as a keystone publication in research on promotional screen industries and has been translated into Chinese. 

3D Technologies
From emergent virtual reality technologies and 3D printed content, to the ‘failed’ introduction of 3D cinema and television over the last five decades, through to the Victorian stereographs of the late 1800s, 3D technologies have held a public fascination. Through both practice based Design research outputs and academic research on the media archaeology of 3D technology, this research seeks to articulate the past and understand the future of 3D.

The Analogical Engines
Software engines have been so pervasive in recent years that one could be forgiven for thinking it too obvious to ask what they actually are. And yet, everywhere one looks there is a strange presumption that the functions of the software engine are apparent. Engines in one form or another are referred to without any real reference to their constitutive parameters. This project seeks to map out how and why the concept of the engine became so pervasive across such a wide range of software culture, and to consider the future of the software engine for technology, design and society.

Research Funding

2011–15 Royal Society of NZ Marsden Research Fund ($345,000)
2010–15 Victoria University Summer Scholar Fund ($56,000)
2014 Shanghai University Scholarly Teaching Award ($3000)
2014 VUW Dean and International Office Fund ($5000)
2012 Vic Link Science Innovation Start Up Fund ($10,000)
2011& Victoria University Research Fund ($27,000)
2009 Victoria University New Research Fund ($5000)
2009  Victoria University Conference Research Fund ($3,000)
2008 Arts Project Earth (£2,000)
2006  North West Vision and Media Funding  (£40,000)
2003 ICR PhD Research Scholarship (£18,000)
2002 EU Students Fellowship Fees Grant Award (€5,000)

Outputs

Design Research

Gurevitch (2015). The Digital Workshops of the World, Presented in Pervasive Animation Exhibition, The Zurich Museum of Design, Swizerland. This exhibit was an overview of the Digital Workshops of the World Marsden Research project. The piece was invited to be a centerpiece of an exhibiton focused upon Data, Design and Animation.

Gurevitch & Spell, (2015). Digital Workshops of the World Migation Big Data Visualisation Tool. This software tool is a big data visualisation of over 13,000 visual effects professionals and their migration across the global industry. This tool is intended for both academic and industry research and presents migration patterns visualisaed according to professional skills, movie production and geographic location.

Gurevitch & Kirshberg, (2015). Digital Workshops of the World Infographics Library. This is a library of 15 infographics detailing the nature of the visual effects industry from pipelines to contracts, history to oscars wins. This infographics library provides easy and open access to the basics of the visual effects industry.    

Gurevitch & Hitchings, (2015). Digital Workshops of the World Website. This website provides a portal to research conducted throughout the duration of the Digital Workshops of the World project. It is available at: www.digitalworkshopsoftheworld.com 

Gurevitch & Elmers, (2013). The Digital Workshops of the World Animated Video. This video presents a short overview of the the digital workshops of the world research project. Animation was completed in illustrator, adobe premier and Cinema 4D. Video available on Vimeo at: vimeo.com/71235445 

Gurevitch & Chan, (2011). Tring Energy Monitor, The US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, The National Mall’s West Potomac Park, Washington D.C. Sept 13th - Oct 2nd, www.tring.co.nz (Tring is an energy-monitoring iOS application developed the Apple iPad. Tring was designed to communicate the energy use of the house by engaging the user emotionally).

Journal Articles

Gurevitch, L. (2015 In Review). Empirical Wonders: The Archaeology of Industrial Visual Effects from Crystal to Code, The Journal of Early Visual Culture, Sage, United Kingdom.

Gurevitch, L. (2015 Forthcoming) The Innovation Engines: The Convergence of Science and Entertainment in New Zealand’s Research Future, The Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Gurevitch, L. (2015 Forthcoming). The Transforming Face of Industrial Spectacle: A Media Archaeology of Machinic Mobility, Senses of Cinema Journal, Online Journal AFI/RMIT, Melbourne. 

Gurevitch, L. (2015). From Edison to Pixar: Aesthetics of Astonishment in the Attention Economy from Celluloid to CG, Continuum Journal, Routledge, Melbourne, Australia. doi: 10.1080/10304312.2014.986062 

Gurevitch, L. (2014). Google Warming: Google Earth as Eco-Machinima, Convergence Journal, Vol. 20, Issue 1, Sage Publications, London. doi: 10.1177/1354856513516266

Gurevitch, L. (2013). The Digital Globe as Climatic Coming Attraction: From Theatrical Release to Theatre of War, Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol. 38, Issue 3, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, 333-356.

Gurevitch & Ross (2013). Stereoscopic Media beyond Booms and Busts, Public Journal, Spring 2013, 24 (47), York University, Canada, 83-93, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ public.24.47.83_1

Gurevitch, L. (2013). The Stereoscopic Attraction: 3D Imaging and the Spectacular Paradigm 1850 – 2013, Convergence Journal, Vol. 19, Issue 4, Sage, UK, 396-405, doi: 10.1177/1354856513494175.

Gurevitch, L. (2013). The Advertising Director as Coming Attraction: Television Advertising as Business Card in the Age of Digital Distribution, Frames Journal, The University of St Andrews, UK, available at: http://framescinemajournal.com

Gurevitch, L. (2012). The Birth of a Stereoscopic Nation: Hollywood, Digital Empire and the Cybernetic Attraction, Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Sage, UK. 7 (3), 239 – 258, doi: 10.1177/1746847712456255.

Gurevitch, L. (2012). Computer Generated Animation as Product Design Engineered Culture or Buzz Lightyear to the Sales Floor: To the Checkout and Beyond!, Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Sage, UK, 7 (2), 131 – 149, doi: 10.1177/1746847712438133.

Gurevitch, L. (2011). Hudong dianying: shuzi xiyinli shidai de yingxiangshu he youxi xiaoying (The Cinemas of Interactions: Cinematics and the ‘Game Effect’ in the Age of Digital Attractions), Chinese Translation in Dianying yishu (Film Art) Journal, September, Volume 4.

Gurevitch, L. (2010). The Cinemas of Transactions: The exchangeable currency of GC attractions across audiovisual economies, Journal of Television and New Media, Sage Publications, New York, 11 (5), 367-385.

Gurevitch, L. (2010). 100% Pure Imperial Ecology: Marketing the Environment in Antipodean Film and Advertising, In New Zealand Journal of Media Studies, Wellington, December, Vol. 12 (1).

Gurevitch, L. (2010). The Cinemas of Interactions: Cinematics and the ‘Game Effect’ in the Age of Digital Attractions, in Senses of Cinema Journal, Online Journal AFI/RMIT, Melbourne, December, Issue 57.

Gurevitch, L. (2009). Problematic Dichotomies: Narrative and Spectacle in Film and Advertising Scholarship, Journal of Popular Narrative Media, Liverpool University Press, Liverpool, Vol. 2 (2), 143-158.

Book Chapters

Gurevitch, L. (2016 Forthcoming) The Documentary Attraction: Animation, Simulation and the Rhetoric of Expertise, Animated Realities: An Anthology, Edinburgh University Press, United Kingdom.

Gurevitch, L. (2016 Forthcoming) Your Movie without VFX Animators: Social-Actor-Networks, Protest and Scholarship of the VFX Industry, Production Cultures Volume II, Routledge.

Gurevitch, L. (2015 Forthcoming) Cinema Designed: Visual Effects Software and the Emergence of the Engineered Spectacle, Post Cinema: Theorising 21st Century Film by Shane Denson and Julia Leyda (Eds), REFRAME books.

Gurevitch, L. (2015 Forthcoming) The Straw that Broke the Tiger’s Back? Skilled Labour, Social Networks and Protest in the Digital Workshops of the World, Routledge Companion to Labour and Media, Routledge.

Gurevitch, L. (2015) The Digital Globe and New Mediations of the Environment, In Mediated Geographies/Geographies of Media, by Julie Cupples, Susan Mains and Chris Lukinbeal (Eds), Springer Press.  

Gurevitch, L. (2015) Google Warming: Google Earth as Eco-Machinima, Climates and Cultures, Mike Hulme (Ed), Sage, London.

Gurevitch & Ross (2013). Stereoscopic Media beyond Booms and Busts, In 3D Cinema and Beyond, Chicago University Press, Chicago.

Gurevitch, L. (2013). Cinema, Video, Game: Astonishing Aesthetics and the Cinematic ‘Future’ of Computer Graphic’s Past, Cinematicity: Expanding the Filmic, by Jeffrey Geiger and Karin Littau (Eds.), Edinburgh University Press.

Gurevitch, L. (2013). The Cinemas of Interactions: Cinematics and the ‘Game Effect’ in the Age of Digital Attractions, Chinese Translation, In New Media and Cultural Transformation, by Shaoyi Sun (Ed).  Shanghai: Shanghai Joint Press.

Invited Keynotes

Gurevitch, L. (2013). Closing Keynote, ‘3D Printing Business Innovation or Design Hype?’, Presented at The Business Development Analysis Day, November 21st, Te Papa National Museum of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand.

Gurevitch, L. (2012). Closing Keynote, ‘The Politics of the Digital Earth’, Presented at New Media and Cultural Transformation: Film, TV, Game, and Digital Communication Conference, on 10th–11th December, NYU Shanghai, China.

Gurevitch, L. (2012). Closing Keynote, ‘Communicating Energy Reduction Strategies’, Presented at The Science Communication Association of Australia and New Zealand, February 28th, Te Papa National Museum of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand.

Peer Reviewed Conference Papers

Gurevitch, L. (2015). The Migrating Waves of Technology and Cognition in the Digital Workshops of the World: Big Data and the Global Visual Effects Industry, Presented at ISEA Conference, on 14th–18th August, Vancouver, Canada.

Gurevitch, L. (2015). Beneath the Interface: Software, Source Code, Skills Value, and the Global Visual Effects Industry, Presented at SCMS Conference, on 26th–30th March, Montreal, Canada.

Gurevitch, L. (2013). Digital Workshops of the World: The Transactional Cultures of Images and Skills in the VFX Industries, Presented at the Magic of Special Effects Conference, on 5th–10th November, Montreal, Canada.

Gurevitch, L. (2013) Black Mirrors Past and Present: 3D interaction and the rise of the "parallax" image, Presented at: Immersive Pasts and Futures Conference, on 30th October–1st November, The National University of Singapore, Singapore.

Gurevitch, L. (2013). Transformers, Adverts in Disguise: The Industrial Object as Spectacular Commodity, Presented at the London Conference, on 27th–30th June, London, UK.

Gurevitch, L. (2013). The Digital Globe and Climatic Coming Attractions: From Theatrical Release to Theatre of War, Presented at ICA Conference, on 18th–21st June, London, UK.

Gurevitch, L. (2013). The Resolution will not be Televised: Resolution, Realism and Astonishing Imaging 1500–2000, Presented at ISEA Conference, on 11th–16th June, Sydney, Australia.

Gurevitch, L. (2013). Cinema, Video, Game: Astonishing Aesthetics and the Cinematic ‘Future’ of Computer Graphic’s Past, Presented at SCMS Conference, on 5th–9th March, Chicago, US.

Easterly & Gurevitch (2013) Working with Weta: Progressing research in Industry and Academia, Design Principles and Practices, Chiba University, Tokyo, Japan.

Gurevitch, L. (2012). Digital Workshops of the World: Negotiating Value, Negotiating Rights, Crossroads Cultural Studies Conference, on 2nd–6th July, Paris, France.

Gurevitch, L. (2012). The Stereoscopic Attraction: Handheld 3D Imaging and the Spectacular Paradigm 1850–2011, Submitted to SCMS Conference, on 21st–25th March, Boston, United States.

Gurevitch, L. (2012). Early Stereoscopic Media as Spectacular Attraction, 3D Storytelling Conference, on 22nd March, Ravensbourne College, London, United Kingdom.

Gurevitch, L. (2011). The Documentary Attraction: Animation, Simulation and the Rhetoric of Expertise, Presented at Animated Realities Conference, on 23rd–24th June, Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland.

Gurevitch, L. (2011). From Baraka to Barack: From Global Warming to Cold War, The rise and Fall of Spectacular Environmental Rhetoric in American Popular Culture’, Presented at 10th Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference (NESS), on 14th–16st June, Stockholm University, Sweden.

Gurevitch, L. (2010). Google Warming: Environmental Panoptical Regimes and the Machinima of the Visible, Presented at Crossroads Cultural Studies Conference, on 16th–21st June, Lingnan University, Hong Kong.

Gurevitch, L. (2008). Designing Safe Living after Peak Oil: Oil Majors, Advertisers and Imaged Futures. Presented at The Institute for Advanced Studies International Conference, on 10th–12th July, University of Lancaster, England. 

Gurevitch, L. (2006). The Mobility of Professional Skills in the Audiovisual Industries: The Exchangeable Currency of CGI in Film and Advertising. Presented at Institute for Advanced Studies International Conference, on 31st August to 2nd September, University of Lancaster, England. 

Gurevitch, L. (2006). It’s Not the Resolution, It’s What You Do With it: The Electronic Image and Movie Aesthetics beyond Film. Presented at Screen International Conference of Film Studies, on 30th of June to 2nd of July, University of Glasgow, Scotland.

Gurevitch, L. (2006). Situating Computer Generated Attractions across Audiovisual Ecologies. Presented at Contexts, Fields, Positions: Situating Cultural Research Conference, on 25th–26th of May, University of East London, England.

Gurevitch, L. (2005). Product Placement or Brand Casting? Rethinking Commercial Placement in Contemporary Hollywood film. Presented at Screen International Conference of Film Studies, 1st–3rd of July, University of Glasgow, Scotland. 

Gurevitch, L. (2005). Mini Adventures or Feature Ads? The Effect of Feature Films on Advertising Form. Presented at Cinema and Technology International Conference, 4th–6th of April, Lancaster University, England.

Gurevitch, L. (2004). Buzz Lightyear to the Salesfloor, To the Checkout and Beyond! The Role of Consumer Socialisation in CGI Animation. Presented at Screen International Conference of Film Studies, 2nd–4th of July, University of Glasgow, Scotland.

Invited Papers

Gurevitch, L. (2015). Tracking Migration of VFX skills: The Digital Workshops of the World Project, Presented at Visual Effects Society of Wellington, May 20th, Miramar, Wellington, New Zealand.

Gurevitch, L. (2015). Coding the Interface and Tracking Migration in the Global VFX Industries: The Digital Workshops of the World, Presented at Victoria University of Wellington Film Media Studies Seminar Series, May 14th, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Gurevitch, L. (2015). The Digital Workshops of the World: Software, Source Code and Skills Migration in the Global VFX Industry, Presented at The University of Auckland Film Media Studies Seminar Series, April 23rd, The University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Gurevitch, L. (2015). The Digital Workshops of the World: Crowd-sourced Big Data and the Migration of VFX Labour, Presented at The University of British Columbia Film Media Studies Seminar, March 31st, The University of British Columbia, Canada.

Gurevitch, L. (2013). Google Warming: Google Earth and Ecological Machinima, Presented at Ottawa University Media Studies Seminar Series, November 15th, University of Ottawa, Canada.

Gurevitch, L. (2012). Energy Futures and Ecological Design, Presented at UNICEF New Zealand Young Futures Seminar Series, April 28th, Wellington, New Zealand.

Gurevitch, L. (2010). Google Warming: Scopic Regimes and Eco-Media, Presented at Glasgow University Media Studies Seminar Series, May 28th, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Gurevitch, L. (2010). Energy and Audiovisual Culture, Presented at UCL Department of Energy Research Seminar Series, May 25th, University College London, United Kingdom.

Gurevitch, L. (2010). Google Warming Scopic Regimes and Eco-Media, Presented at University of Westminster Sociology Seminar Series, May 24th, Westminster University, United Kingdom.

Gurevitch, L. (2010). The Cinemas of Transactions: The Exchangeable Currency of the Digital Effect, Presented at University of Nottingham Film and Television Seminar Series, May 19th, Nottingham University, United Kingdom.

Gurevitch, L. (2010). Google Warming Scopic Regimes and Eco-Media, Presented at Middlesborough Sociology Talk Series, May 7th, Middlesborough University, United Kingdom.

Gurevitch, L. (2010). Google Warming Scopic Regimes and Eco-Media, Presented at Lancaster University Sociology Series, May 4th, Lancaster University, United Kingdom.

Gurevitch, L. (2010). The Cinemas of Transactions: The Exchangeable Currency of the Digital Effect, Presented at Film Symposium, February 11th, Victoria University, New Zealand.

Gurevitch, L. (2009). The Potential of Live Public Video Conference, Broadcast Live to Northbridge Piazza, Perth City Centre, Perth Media Centre Public Seminar, October 29th, from Victoria University, New Zealand.

Gurevitch, L. (2009). The Cinemas of Transactions: The Exchangeable Currency of the Digital Effect, Presented at Media Studies Seminar Series, April, 2009, Victoria University, New Zealand.

Gurevitch, L. (2008). “Hidden” and the Cultures of Safety, Presented at Institute for Advanced Studies Film Series: Cultures of Safety, 15th of April, The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster, England.

Gurevitch, L. (2004). Films as Ads or Ads as Films? Beyond Product Placement: The Reciprocal effects of Advertising form on Contemporary Hollywood film.’ Presented at Lancaster University Consumption Study Group, 18th of February, Lancaster University, England.

Gurevitch, L. (2003). Fight Club the Ad: Conspicuous Anti-Consumption as an Ad strategy in Film. Presented at Lancaster University Film Forum, 15th of January, Lancaster University, England.

Reviews, Enclyclopedias, Newspaper Articles, Blogs and Other

Gurevitch, L. (2013). ‘The Horror Sensorium’, Book Review, in Senses of Cinema Journal, Online Journal AFI/RMIT, Melbourne, December, Issue 69.

Gurevitch, L. (2013). ‘Virtual finally Reality? The Media Archaeologies of Immersive 3D and the Oculus Rift’, Research Provocation, published in Stereoscopic Media, available at: www.stereoscopicmedia.org

Gurevitch, L. (2012). ‘Energy and Computers’, Encyclopaedia Entry: The Encyclopaedia of Energy and Society, Salem Press, New York.

Gurevitch, L. (2012). ‘Energy and War’, Encyclopaedia Entry: The Encyclopaedia of Energy and Society, Salem Press, New York.

Gurevitch, L. (2012). ‘What is 3D Media? Research Provocation’, published in Stereoscopic Media, available at: www.stereoscopicmedia.org 

Gurevitch, L. and Simcock, A. (2006). From Silver Screens to Liquid Crystals: Screen Studies Conference Report, Scope: An Online Journal of Film and TV Studies, Institute of Film and TV Studies, University of Nottingham.

External News Media Items on Research

TNews Team (2012). 21st Century Communication for 21st Century Science’, TNews, Issue 54 March 2012 www.tenz.org.nz/t-news/t-news-54-mar-2012.pdf

Bell, S. (2011). Tring app measures hi-tech house power use: University-developed application gauges domestic energy consumption. Computer World: The voice of the ICT community: computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/news/tring-app-measures-hi-tech-house-power-use

Carol, A. (2011). New Zealand takes first in engineering contest. Solar Decathlon Blog:www.solardecathlon.gov/blog/archives/1852

Castle, S. (2011). Slideshow: Solar Decathlon homes show super-efficient future tech. Electronic House: www.electronichouse.com/slideshow/category/11581/1533

Castle, S. (2011). Efficient Homes of the Near Future. Green Tech Advocates: Educational and marketing resource for selling green and energy-efficient technologies: greentechadvocates.com/2011/10/06/efficient-homes-of-the-near-future

Coen, A. (2011). New Zealand’s First Light Solar Decathlon house puts innovative twist on the basics. Inhabitat: Design will save the world: inhabitat.com/first-light-team-new-zealands-solar-decathlon-house-puts-an-innovative-twist-on-the-basics/2/ 

Design Daily Team. (2011). First Light team comes out tops in engineering contest of Solar Decathlon competition. Idealog: In the ideas business: www.idealog.co.nz/blog/2011/09/first-light-team-comes-out-tops-engineering-contes

Design Daily Team. (2011). Fist pumping abounds as Kiwi solar bach design nets third place at prestigious Solar Decathlon competition. Idealog: In the ideas business: www.idealog.co.nz/blog/2011/10/kiwi-solar-bach-design-nets-third-place-prestigiou

Design Daily Team. (2011). Third place out of 19 teams, not too shabby at all. Idealog: In the ideas business: www.idealog.co.nz/blog/2011/10/third-place-out-19-teams-not-too-shabby-all

Flagler, B. (2011). The Green Building Contest. NZ Life and Leisure, Issue 39: http://www.nzlifeandleisure.co.nz/green-building 

Johnson, B. (2011). New Zealand wins engineering contest at Solar Decathlon. Think Progress: thinkprogress.org/climate/2011/09/30/332919/newzealand-wins-engineering-contest-at-solar-decathlon

Technology Education New Zealand. (2012). Tring – A new way to communicate energy use. T-News, Issue 54: www.tenz.org.nz/t- news/t-news-54-mar-2012.pdf

Websites

www.academia.edu/LeonGurevitch