They all have one thing in common. They were almost entirely randomly generated.
A few weeks ago, there was a Facebook meme where everybody madly created album covers according to the following rules.
1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random... Read More”I didn't think it was going to produce anything interesting. After all, a few random words and a random image - the chances are it's gotta be crap, right? There's no artistic inspiration in there anywhere.
or click http://en.wikipedia.org/wi
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
2 - Go to "Random quotations"
or click http://www.quotationspage.
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click http://www.flickr.com/expl
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
4 - Use Photoshop or similar to put it all together.
Well, I couldn't have been more wrong. These work really well. And in fact most of the hundreds of them on Facebook work pretty well. Which left me wondering about all those high-paid artists and designers. What makes them better than a bit of randomness? Are we going to see a world where art can be produced randomly by a computer, and be indistinguishable in quality from art produced by a human?
Or maybe we'll get a compromise where the computer does most of the work, and the human makes a few decisions based on a wizard. I can imagine pressing a button, and I get a mini-app which gives me my picture and my two bits of text, and then allows me to position them, resize them, choose the font and color, and that's my album cover right there. If I don't like the result, just reset the random seed and keep going till I get something I like. Click, click, click, job done.
Would that be a bad thing? If we give more people the ability to create artwork, are we cheapening the value of art, or are we exploding a myth that only a minority have the skills and talent to be creative?
(Pictures by Johnnie Ingram, me, Inanna Maiya & David Anderson)