Home 10,000 Cents Buys You $100: Awesome Crowdsourced Art Project

10,000 Cents Buys You $100: Awesome Crowdsourced Art Project

Ten Thousand Cents” is a crowdsourced art project that led 10,000 artists, each paid one penny for their contribution, to recreate a US $100 bill one tiny section at a time. The brainchild of San Francisco artists Aaron Koblin and Takashi Kawashima, “Ten Thousand Cents” utilized Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service and a bit of custom Flash software to lead 10,000 web workers in a coordinated, crowdsourced art project. The result is a rather impressive rendering of a US one hundred dollar bill drawn by an army of contributors.

Koblin and Kawashima first divided a high resolution scan of the $100 bill into 10,000 equal parts. Each part was then delivered to a turker who was paid a penny to duplicate it using a simple Flash-based drawing tool. Contributors didn’t have any idea what they were working on while the were working on it.

The project took 5 months to complete and involved contributions from 51 different countries. Because some turkers participated more than once, there weren’t truly 10,000 different artists contributing to the project, but it appears that most countries had unique visitor rates of above 60%. The end result was a reproduction of a $100 bill that cost $100 to create.

“The project explores the circumstances we live in, a new and uncharted combination of digital labor markets, ‘crowdsourcing,’ ‘virtual economies,’ and digital reproduction,” according Koblin and Kawashima on the project web site.

The completed artwork is being displayed on the “Ten Thousand Cents” web site as an interactive video depicting all 10,000 pieces of the bill being drawn at once. A limited edition signed print (presumably signed by Koblin and Kawashima, not thousands of random turkers), is also available on the site for $100, with all proceeds going to the One Laptop Per Child project.

A video about “Ten Thousand Cents” is below.

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