April 9, 2017

Reddit's amazing April Fool's experiment, "Place."

"Each user could choose one pixel from 16 colors to place anywhere on the canvas. They could place as many pixels of as many colors as they wanted, but they had to wait a few minutes between placing each one."

Here's a time-lapse picture of how that played out over a period of 72 hours:



This is the most fascinating art-and-sociology project I have ever seen. The link above explains how factions emerged and coordinated, focusing on just a few of the things that happened (like how that American flag ended up in the middle).

40 comments:

TML said...

I don't believe it. Too crazy.

fivewheels said...

I participate in a couple of subreddits, mostly for college football and various bands, and a lot of groups were very keen on being represented on r/place and keeping the designated art "clean."

If you look down in the lower left where a lot of college teams congregated, you'll see the Wisconsin logo made it to the end unscathed.

cf said...

for some reason, it terrifies me.

Paddy O said...

This is amazing. Anthropological chaos. The American flag representing what it truly does represent. Meanwhile Germany tries to take over France.

I don't know how and I don't know exactly where. But I'm using this in at least one of my courses.

fivewheels said...

The Babymetal group was very proud to protect its own little corner, because it's such a niche band presumably badly outnumbered by other factions. Many attacks on the area were launched and repelled. But the fans are very devoted and determined.

fivewheels said...

Hmmm. Regular html links don't work in comments anymore? To see the image (really, no loss if you don't), just delete the extraneous "www.blogger.com/" from the url.

sodal ye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laslo Spatula said...

Lots of urban renewal and gentrification took place.

I am Laslo.




JTR said...

I like how no one touched the Linux penguin. They tried to start another Mona Lisa towards the upper right, but it didn't make it.

France and German flags would have both been fine if Germany hadn't insisted on horizontal expansion. snort.

sodal ye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fernandinande said...

It has 17 colors:
000 000 000
255 255 255
255 167 209
130 000 128
207 110 228
000 000 234
000 131 199
000 211 221
002 190 001
148 224 068
229 217 000
229 149 000
160 106 066
229 000 000
228 228 228
136 136 136
034 034 034

Paco Wové said...

"I like how no one touched the Linux penguin"

No one fux with Tux.

Sebastian said...

Whole bunch of flags in there. I blame Trump.

Sebastian said...

The Stars and Stripes prevailed over the Void. Nuff said.

steve uhr said...

If they let it go for another 24 hours it would just be a silhouette of Trump with the words Big Brother at the bottom. Finally something useful to do for all those worthless bureaucrats.

Original Mike said...

I don't believe it. It's a meta April Fools joke.

Or people wrote programs to do it.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"France and German flags would have both been fine if Germany hadn't insisted on horizontal expansion. snort."

Germany's flag completely obliterating France's - what was that? A walk down memory lane, which in the case of Germans would be the Champs Elysees?

Lewis Wetzel said...

The dominant self-organizing groups were national. Not international, not racial, and not by social class.
Gotta make you depressed if you are a progressive.

MikeR said...

Completely amazing.

Earnest Prole said...

The astounding thing is that it did not turn into a filthy cesspool.

mockturtle said...

It's art, but is it sociology?

wildswan said...

Beautiful. Exciting. Enigmatic. Realistic. Contemporary in technique.

The Mona Lisa of the Internet.(on which the previous Mona Lisa could not survive)

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Unlike Althouse, to me this feels like un-art. And, un-representative of our society.

I could blather about why, but don't want to because the chasm is so great.

Pick your battles, as they say.

David said...

Where was the porn?

redbadger said...

it was a fun thing to be a part of. i think it captures the beauty of spontaneous order quite well.

Virgil Hilts said...

Where no rules, order still emerges from chaos. Like the famous videos of rush hour traffic in Vietnam. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4phFYiMGCIY

David said...

Who (if anyone) owns the copyright on the Final Canvas? It may be quite valuable. I see a future for the Final Canvas as one of the first great pieces of 21st Century art. In the future of course.

Why did the porn get overwritten?

Was this racist? Anti gay? Sexist? Heteronormative? Fascist? Some other sin against political correctness?

Do you like cherry ice cream?

Does this tell us that insects will take over the earth sooner than we expect?

Did the Russians do it? The Democratic National Committee? Why is there no picture of Putin?

Do these people need to get a life, or did they get a life already by doing this?

And why the fuck am I paying attention to this. (I blame you, Althouse.)

Somehow it all makes me think of the Kennedy Nixon debates. And Harry Reid.

Xmas said...

Dota 2 logo is over by x:322 y:322 for reasons. (It's the red box with a diagonal black slash just above the Mona Lisa).

David said...

The accompanying article overplays the importance and durability of The Void.

David said...

Exam question: Is this fake news or real news? Explain your answer, but do so without mentioning Trump, Putin or anyone named Clinton.

fivewheels said...

"Was this racist? Anti gay? Sexist? Heteronormative? Fascist?"

Well, you may notice to the middle left, there is a small, decently rendered logo of the Galactic Empire. Not sure if that was the doing of r/empiredidnothingwrong or who it was.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger Virgil Hilts said...
Where no rules, order still emerges from chaos. Like the famous videos of rush hour traffic in Vietnam. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4phFYiMGCIY

4/9/17, 11:17 PM

people are really good at self-organization. Really, really good for a bunch of monkeys. Better than any real non-human monkeys. So good that when we see a group of monkeys self-organizing, we think they are acting like proper monkeys, when they are really coincidentally acting like people :), and people, of course, aren't monkeys at all.

Yancey Ward said...

The French always forget about the Ardennes.

Tarrou said...

I'm seeing a lot of flags. I wonder what the implications for nationalism worldwide are.

Iconochasm said...

David, the only porn was the random dicks added onto other art, like Charmander, or the Pink Vomit Monster.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

USA! USA! USA!

I love that that happened even though a regular meme on Reddit is hating on Americans.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

We don't allow phones at the kitchen table while kids are eating, but we do allow browsing through reference books - newest one is The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy - we could make a dictionary of Internet Literacy from the final image.

buwaya said...

Art or not, its funny.
Its got some interesting episodes.
I notice that wildly expansionist Germany overran France, which had to split to survive.
The Philippines put in a good early effort, got overrun by the imperialist pink thing, and reoriented vertically to end up surviving. Sometimes thats the best you can do.

This was a global game, and it shows.

tim in vermont said...

It wouldn't take long to create a network of bots to do that.

Jim said...

Amazing that this all got done without funding from the endowment for the arts.