Glyphiti is an
image composed of many smaller "glyphs" that can be edited easily.
The qualities of the image are co-determined. As author, I have
established certain characteristics. These include the size and
available colors, which are black and white. But the state of every
pixel can be changed by the visiting artist.
software available on the Internet, it will function through most
corporate firewalls. This is because it updates the changing image
using standard Web server requests. This transgression of the
firewall is a metaphor for graffiti, which also appropriates
privatized space for visual play.
thing you'll encounter is a page with an image like this: The image is live. Changes made to it are sent to all
the people who are currently visiting Glyphiti. The marks each
person makes are recorded. The various states of the evolving image
are combined and can be seen as a time-lapse
It should be
noted that glyph imagery is nothing new. Mayans and Egyptians used
glyphs, and the word 'glyph' comes from (ancient?) Greek
('carving'). More recently, there is the work of Kenneth Knowlton,
who in the 1960's used computers at Bell Labs to create images
composed of glyphs. I first encountered one of Knowlton's pictures
-- which seemed to combine Chuck Close and the teletype -- at the
School of Visual Arts in the early 1990s.
project does, however, shift the focus of authorship. It is an
image-making system that can be altered from all over the Internet.
It's not clear who owns the
collaborative image. For my part, I encourage you to use it any
way you see fit. I look forward to seeing what images
you don't like the options given to you, please revise the source code. Copy it. Steal
it. Share it. Print it. Pretend it's yours. I don't