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“The Johnny Cash Project” [2010]

Chris MILK and Aaron KOBLIN


This is an online project to create a music video for the title song of Johnny CASH’s album “American VI: Ain’t No Grave” that was posthumously released in 2010. Participants were invited to post drawings made using templates and drawing tools provided on the project’s website. Born from the resulting archive of drawings contributed from all around the world is a music video with countless variations by countless creators.

The artists have so far realized a number of projects asking for participation from unspecified numbers of people via the Internet. Due to the diversity of skills and cultural backgrounds of participants in these projects, giving participants thoughtful instructions as to “what to do” is elemental. In this particular case, a coherence of quality was to be achieved by limiting colors to shades of gray in reference to CASH’s nickname “The Man in Black,” and providing templates in the form of still images.

In “Ain’t No Grave,” CASH sings of the mortality of the flesh and the immortality of the soul. While being an excellent visualization of the lyrics, the perpetually changing video consisting of fans’ eulogizing drawings may at once be considered to be embodying the relationship between works of art and their audiences.



List of Works