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From Fabrica 10×10: A Global Phenomenon By Jonathan Harris
What does a single moment in our world look like? If we could encapsulate an hour on earth as one image, what would that image be? How can we create a record of human history, as it happens? These are the questions that inspired Fabrica artist Jonathan Harris to create 10×10 (‘Ten by Ten’), a new piece of Internet art that automatically collects the top 100 words and pictures in the world, every hour, based on what’s happening in the news.
Launched November 4, 10×10 (www.tenbyten.org) has quickly become a global phenomenon, experienced by hundreds of thousands of people, covered by CNN and USA Today, and setting the Internet world alight.
10×10 started small, with a link from the www.fabrica.it home page and an email announcement sent by Harris to a few of his friends. Within hours, 10×10 was being visited by thousands of people all around the world. Two days later, 10×10 was the 10th most popular link on the entire Internet. The buzz grew virally, spreading through weblogs and emails, and soon launched beyond the blogosphere into the worlds of television and print journalism.
Every hour 10×10 collects the 100 words and pictures that matter most on a global scale, and presents them as an interactive ten by ten grid. 10×10 allows us, with a single glance, to perceive what’s happening in the world, hour by hour. The result is an often moving, sometimes shocking, occasionally frivolous, but always a fitting snapshot of our reality. Over the course of days, months, and years, 10×10 leaves a trail of these hourly statements which, stitched together side by side, form a continuous patchwork tapestry of human life.
With no human editors and no regulation, 10×10 is open and free, raw and fresh, and consequently a unique way of following world events. It is a piece of meta-photography, aggregating the world’s most important images into a single image. It captures human history as it happens, and lets us browse through the past. In this way, parents will be able to look back to see what the world looked like the hour their child was born. Historians will be able to pinpoint the trajectory of news stories over time. 10×10 is building a global, real-time public archive of human history.
10×10 was developed by Jonathan Harris, currently on a one-year fellowship at Fabrica, Benetton’s Communication Research Center in Treviso, Italy. Fabrica has chosen to back the hidden creativity of young artists/researchers from all over the world, who are invited to develop concrete communication projects, under the direction of some of the main players in areas that range from photography to industrial design, visual communication, interactive, music, video and creative writing. An American from Shelburne,Vermont, Harris studied computer science at Princeton University, and has a long background in the visual arts. Also while at Fabrica, Harris created WordCount (www.wordcount.org), an interactive presentation of the 88,000 most frequently used English words, displayed as one very long sentence.
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