Koblin & Kawashima's "Ten Thousand Cents"
Mechanical Turk is Amazon's new service where you can post a task you want completed, along with the amount you'll pay for it, and folks will do it--Amazon calls it "artificial artificial intelligence." The service is named after an 18th century chess machine hoax.
Ten Thousand Cents is a digital artwork that creates a representation of a $100 bill. Using a custom drawing tool, thousands of individuals working in isolation from one another painted a tiny part of the bill without knowledge of the overall task. Workers were paid one cent each via Amazon's Mechanical Turk distributed labor tool. The total labor cost to create the bill, the artwork being created, and the reproductions available for purchase (to charity) are all $100. The work is presented as a video piece with all 10,000 parts being drawn simultaneously. The project explores the circumstances we live in, a new and uncharted combination of digital labor markets, "crowdsourcing," "virtual economies," and digital reproduction.
Ten Thousand Cents - Section close ups
[via Furtherfield Review]