What I'm finding instead is either stuff that I've already heard about or things that fits into the same general pattern, one that I'm frankly getting a little tired of.
So, I'm going to share my own Comprehensive List. And then talk about the most common pattern I've spotted, as well as a few alternative ones.
30 Crowdsourced Art Projects(Organized by how people contribute)
- Johhny Cash Project (Milk + Koblin)
- The Sheep Market (Koblin)
- Ten Thousand Cents (Koblin)
- Single Lane Superhighway (Koblin)
- Sketch-a-bit (Smith + Tuite)
- Drawception (Nihildom)
- Life in a Day (YouTube, Scott, Macdonald)
- One Day on Earth (Oh hey, this one is in the future - Dec 12, 2012)
- One Frame of Fame (C-Mon & Kypski)
- Exquisite Forest (Koblin)
- Amazing but True Cat Stories by Folks on the Internet (Hartmann)
- LOLcats in general, and other such internet creations
- Canv.as, since we're still talking about stuff made on the internet
- Learning to Love You More (Fletcher + July + Ono)
Design PatternsMany of the above are like, "Hey everybody, do a thing that's the same thing everyone else is doing, but since you did it, it'll be sorta unique to you! Then we'll put everyone's things together and maybe it'll be kinda neat to see the similarities and differences!" When everyone goes out and does their own thing, and then the results get smooshed back together, I call it the flat contribution model.
Flat Contribution Model (v1)The Life in a Day project is a great example of how tons of effort and creativity were filtered down into one consumable artifact. An artifact that is meant to accentuate the artists' differences, yet also our shared humanity and whatnot... The idea was that on July 24, 2010, people all over the world would record videos of their daily lives, maybe answering some questions like "What do you love?" and "What do you fear?" and those would be curated and edited into a single movie. In the end, 80,000 submissions comprising 4,500 hours of material were edited down to 92 minutes. Whoa! Since a mere 0.03% of submissions are actually in the movie, it hardly captures the diversity it could have. On the other hand, 92 minutes was good enough for me as a viewer/consumer. There was a TON of material, a lot of which was likely crap, and some amazing editing went into constructing a coherent viewing experience.
The gist of the model is this: There's some prompt, people go out and do it on their own, submit their creations, and then some curator accepts or denies their contribution and integrates it into the One True Artifact.
Flat Contribution Model (v2)While I may have been too snarky about Life in a Day, I reaallly like the Johhny Cash Project. Maybe because I'm impatient and the artifact here is only a few minutes long. Maybe because I really like looking at hand-drawn illustrations. Or maybe because I can actually contribute to this project still; the Life in a Day thing is over and I'm not a video person anyway.
The idea with Johnny Cash is that people re-draw frames of a music video in their own artistic styles. Then when you watch the video, different aesthetics flicker in and out, like realistic and impressionistic and sketchy and haunting and fan art and non sequitur... Here's the link again if you don't want to scroll up and find it. Go take a look!
Some differences for version 2 of this flat contribution model are that a) people work from a common input artifact (frames of a video) and b) they're not working totally in isolation. You can see what other people have drawn before you start drawing your own frame. Working from a common artifact is a lot like the map part of map reduce, and there's research on how to actually use the map reduce model with humans.
Hierarchical Contribution ModelI was moving in this direction by mentioning that in the Johnny Cash Project, people can see what other people have done so far, and that may or may not influence how they draw their own frame.
About 2.5 years ago, Adam and I made an Android app called Sketch-a-bit. It's a gray-scale drawing application, which gives it a similar aesthetic to Johhny Cash, but any time you want to open the app and sketch something, your canvas isn't blank, but an image drawn by another user. Every uploaded sketch is added to the global pool of images for another user to randomly download some day. Every sketch also remembers its parent sketch, so the lineage of each drawing can be traced back to the one white canvas that we seeded the system with. Here's a cool skull drawing that you can trace the ancestry of -- look out for a "SHDH" as a children of one of the ancestors. ;)
The gist of this model, and of Sketch-a-bit, is that people build off other people's work, and the "artifact" -- the 80,000 images that people have drawn so far -- is never really done. It's this thing that's alive and continues to grow and evolve over time.
You may have noticed that a large percentage of those projects described above have Aaron Koblin as their instigator/creative director. His work is super cool, but I'm proud of him for finally making something hierarchical -- The Exquisite Forest -- which debuted this summer, about 2 years after Sketch-a-bit.
The projects in the "voting/consensus" category do follow this hierarchical (or evolutionary) model, but instead of contributing by executing some kind of artistic vision, people contribute simply by voting for their preferred automatically generated offspring.
Of the projects listed above, I would say that Sketch-a-bit, Exquisite Forest, Drawception, and especially Monster Mash, are all somewhat related to the old-timey surrealist parlor game Exquisite Corpse. So this hierarchical contribution model isn't really new, I just haven't seen as many instances of it as I would like.
Upside-down Contribution (Distribution?) ModelI totally just invented this one right now based on the two projects in the "Playing w/ data" category. In the House of Cards project, point cloud data from laser scanning Thom Yorke's face is released on google code and anyone can go make stuff with it. In the White Glove Tracking project, Michael Jackson's gloved hand is hand-tracked (by the crowd) through an entire music video of Billie Jean, and then the tracked hand data is released for people to play around with.
Instead of many people contributing to one artifact, many people consume one artifact (the data) and produce many different things from it.