"Ten Thousand Cents" 2008
Aaron KOBLIN + KAWASHIMA Takashi
In this project, ten thousand people were asked to draw one fragment each of a 100 US dollar bill split into ten thousand pieces. Solicited via the Amazon Mechanical Turk *1 online service, the anonymous participants were paid one cent for their pictures, so that the total production cost amounted to exactly ten thousand cents (one hundred dollar). Reproductions of the finished painting are sold for 100 dollars each (the proceeds go to the OLPC Project *2). The work revisits possible forms of "labor," "distribution" and "cooperation" in today's digitalized society.
*1 Amazon Mechanical Turk: Web service hosted by Amazon. Programmers (creators) can use this system for registering "tasks" that are difficult to carry out with a computer alone. So-called "workers" select and perform tasks from that list, and receive monetary compensation for their labor.
*2 OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) is a non-profit association founded by Nicholas NEGROPONTE with the aim to provide especially children in developing countries with learning tools based on an innovative educational theory. As part of these activities, the association engages in the development of so-called "100$ laptops" produced at a low cost, as well as software, contents and networks.
>> Aaron KOBLIN
Artist specializing in data and digital technology. The aim of his artistic work is to transform the large volumes of abstract data generated in daily life within human contexts. Awarded numerous prizes and two Grammy nominations so far. His works have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and other places. Received his MFA in Design|Media Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and presently lives in San Francisco, where he leads the Data Arts Team in Google's Creative Lab.
>> KAWASHIMA Takashi
Artist and designer. By picking up commonplace aspects and items of everyday life and presenting them in a new shape, he aims to create new awareness of these things' essential qualities. Works have been shown at Ars Electronica, SIGGRAPH and other occasions. Received his MFA in Design|Media Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In 2005, he was sent to the USA as part of the Program of Overseas Study for Upcoming Artists, hosted by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. Presently lives in San Francisco, and works as an art director for the AKQA advertising agency.