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Artist Taps a Cast of Thousands to Create Abstract Drawings [Video]

Artist Taps a Cast of Thousands to Create Abstract Drawings [Video]

We all know vaguely that the Internet is a careless, petulant, we-make-up-our-own-damn-rules kind of a place. But rarely do we see this sort of thing visualized — and so charmingly.

Brooklyn artist Clement Valla asked thousands of people online to copy small, simple line drawings on a grid to create a larger artwork. Using Amazon’s web-based labor marketplace Mechanical Turk (the same service popularized by pioneering digital artist Aaron Koblin), Valla issued the following directive: “The drawing must be as similar as possible to the neighboring drawings.”

If everyone had followed directions to the T, each of these big drawings –called Seed Drawings — would be relatively uniform. Judge for yourself how well that worked out:

Of course, lots of variation can be attributed to the subjective nature of the task. One person sees a clutch of dots, another person sees an inkblot. Some of it, though, was clearly blatant disregard for the rules. Note the sperm-like squiggle on the upper right here:

The cool thing about the project is that it’s self-regulating. As Valla tells us in an email, when drawers ignore the instructions, “This can create sudden ruptures that may in turn be copied – or not. Since each worker sees multiple drawings, they may choose to copy the dominant drawings, and ignore the obvious outlier.”

[Images courtesy of Clement Valla; hat tip to Infosthetics]SL