Ten Thousand Cents — Aaron Koblin

Ten Thousand CentsAaron Koblin’s piece is a digital artwork reproduction of the $100 bill. The piece has 10,000 individually/uniquely reproduced tiles that represent a small part of the bill. He developed a home-brew drawing tool and through Amazon Mechanical Turk (a labor distribution service from Amazon AWS), requested people to recreate a certain tile of the bill. The custom tool monitored their brush strokes from start to finish. The worker was not told of the bigger picture being reproduced. The project’s site allows the audience to click any part of the bill and view the digital reproduction of the piece. Ten Thousand Cents digs into the Fluxus art movement, perhaps on a more modern level. The piece promotes, in some ways, living art created through a form of crowdsourced social networking. The piece is also avant-garde, digging into experimental and distinctive forms of art. The author states that the movement delves into “uncharted combination of digital labor markets, crowdsourcing, virtual economies, and digital reproduction.” Koblin’s goal was to observe the reproduction process and final result of the bill through the eyes of each of the workers. The Amazon AWS crowdsourcing, the custom drawing tool, and the sticking tools took time and effort to create and coordinate. The piece is truly of the most striking and interesting, as the entire design and process are methods I have never come across. The best part is looking at the individual tiles and even some of the off topic sketches that some drew.

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