Three is no longer a crowd, it’s crowdsourcing. Thanks to technology, artist and consumer alike can participate in open crowdsourcing calls and contribute to a community-based design events via the internet. At its most basic it is distributed problem solving being successfully leveraged by companies like Nike and Local Motors. However, while enabled by technology, this modern-day concept of creative mass contribution were seeded in the roots ofSurrealism and the Exquisite Corpse, a collaborative composition of words and/or images. To that end, data visualization artist Aaron Koblin masterfully leverages crowdsourced works where he is artist, editor, producer, visionary ― and facilitator.
Check out the variety of Koblin’s projects on his website including The Single Lane Super Highway, 3 Dreams of Black, and my personal favorite The Johnny Cash Project. In this collaboration with director Chris Milk, participants were invited to create a drawing that gets woven into a collective tribute to Johnny Cash, set to his song “Ain’t No Grave.”
Koblin’s bio from storytelling.org: Aaron Koblin is an award-winning digital-media artist and designer specializing in data and digital technologies. He leads the Data Arts Team in Google’s Creative Lab. Aaron’s work takes real-world and community-generated data and uses them to understand cultural trends and the changing relationship between humans and the systems they create. His artworks, many of them collaboratively generated, are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and the Centre Pompidou museum in Paris. His projects have been shown at international festivals including TED, Ars Electronica, SIGGRAPH, OFFF, and the Japan Media Arts Festival. He received an MFA in Design/Media Arts from UCLA, and in 2010 Aaron was the Abramowitz Artist in Residence at MIT.