Artist Book, Drawings by 6560 individuals, custom software
2014, RRose Editions and XPO Gallery, Paris France
The drawings in this book were produced online by anonymous workers through Amazon.com’s micro-labor market known as Mechanical Turk. The drawings began with an intitial seed drawing that was copied 8 times. Each of these copies was then copied in turn, and so on, so that all the drawings are copies of copies of copies of the original seed drawing — a huge game of ‘telephone’ played out in a 2-dimensional grid. Each page tracks the distance of the drawings from the original seed.
The workers are culled through the online service of Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk, a pre-existing system that offers workers pay in reward for specified tasks. For the Seed Drawings, each worker is paid 5¢ to copy the previous worker’s drawing— a paltry sum for a menial task. The Seed Drawings explore two aspects of contemporary networks: the online proliferation of copies and repeated memes, and the spread of cheap, crowdsourced micro-labor.
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