American Guernica

The hive-mind Seurat

A year ago a wrote a piece for Slate called “Art Mobs”, in which I wondered whether it would be possible for a smart mob to create a work of visual art. I noted the example at Typophile, where a web designer allowed people to vote on individual pixels as they attempted to design a font or draw a picture of a goat. (The Typophile project appears to be dead now, unfortunately.)

Typophile offered only a relatively small grid, and the only possible pixel colors were black and white. So I was intrigued to see a new project called Pixelfest — which offers the same collaborative concept, except with a way bigger grid and pixels in a dizzying array of colors.

The emerging picture appears to be a sunny landscape with a tree! That’s the sun excerpted above; click here to see the whole thing. It’s quite mesmerizing: A democratized version of pointillist style.

(Thanks to Slashdot for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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Collision Detection: A Blog by Clive Thompson