Created by artists Felix Heyes and Ben West, Google – “a 1240 page behemoth of JPGs, GIFs and PNGs in alphabetical order,” as described by Creative Applications, is the kind of book that every geek should have on his or her coffee table. It’s a compilation of every single Google Image result for every word in the dictionary.
Of course, this book, at least for the moment, is meant as a work of art, and should not technically violate any copyright laws — so long as it is never put into production and sold. That said, it looks like a small run of softcover editions will be printed, according to CAN.
We do want to buy it, so let’s hope that copyright holders will allow it to happen. See it below:
If the internet goes off, you may need this reference book Felix and I made. It contains the first Google Image for every word in the dictionary.
“We used two PHP scripts my brother Sam wrote for us,” says Ben about the process in an email. “The first one takes a text list of dictionary words and downloads each image in sequence, and the second lays them out into columns and outputs a PDF.” The PDF was then printed into a beautiful book – handbound, thumb indexed pages held together in a marbled paper hardcover, the golden Google logo clearly indifferent to whatever internet horrors it may contain.
“Conceptually it’s whatever you make of it,” writes Ben. The sad reality of shrinking attention spans, collective media fatigue or how an expert reference book is no match for the convenience of Google, for example. “It’s really an unfiltered, uncritical record of the state of human culture in 2012,” concludes Ben. So, how are we faring? “I would estimate about half of the book is revolting medical photos, porn, racism or bad cartoons.”
Part art work and part utility, this book would likely become surprisingly useful (or at the very least, entertaining) if and when the power goes out. What do you think?