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February 10, 2004

Visual Google


When it’s been a long, tough day—say, one on which I’ve had to make more than my quota of three impossible-to-rationally-analyze decisions on which large (to me, anyway) sums of money rest—I’ve taken to calming down by playing with Google image searches.

I pick out some phrase, type it in and see what images pop up. For example, the other day I googled “clouds, mountains, shadows” (I’m a big fan of all three) and found the following images. BTW, each is from a rather interesting website.

From a website you can visit here.

From a website you can visit here.

From a website you can visit here.

Not all my searches are so naturally visual. For example, I also tried googling “one for the money.” Not only did I turn up quite a few images of, well, money, but I discovered that Janet Evanovich’s detective story (“One for the Money”) must be really popular—I found at least four different cover designs.

It may be an exaggeration to describe a Google search as “found art” but I generally like the results at least as well as a John Cage musical composition.



P.S. When does the movie version of "One for the Money" come out?

posted by Friedrich at February 10, 2004


You're right -- it is a new kind of "found art." And yet another demonstration of how exhausted the avant-garde crusades and techniques are. If what you want is multimedia nonlinearity, turn on your computer. If you want to scramble categories and throw coins in the air and enjoy that as creativity, do a Google search.

When do you think the avant-garde (and especially the academic avant-garde) will give up the fight?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on February 10, 2004 3:13 PM

Ummm...about the time it ceases to pay?

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on February 10, 2004 6:15 PM

Re: avant gardes giving up the fight
I wish.

I'm in a course on "Hypertext"... I'm not entirely sure what Hypertext is, since my professor (and all of the theorists we've read) seem to be of the impression that Hypertext is simultaneously a sort of linked-narrative AND the experience of experiencing disparate noncongruous elements and forming some sort of thought or idea or emotion. When I pointed out that this latter definition includes everything in existence, he agreed with me.
So if our every waking moment can be considered an aggregate text of various sensory information, why even bother creating or experiencing a work (since you will be creating & experiencing a work just by virtue of existing)?
I don't get it. Why name something that makes no distinction? Why the need for these overreaching artsy fartsy categories where everything is art? I think it's something to do with the postmodern anti-value-judgement thing (as if that's value-free), but what do I know.

Posted by: . on February 10, 2004 7:20 PM

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