Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Google at the Gallery: Turning Search Results Into Works of Art

Most people see Google’s image search as a quick way to find a picture. Ken Solomon sees art.

Literally.

Solomon is a Brooklyn-based artist who has spent the past couple years working on stuff with a digital bent. One recent strain: Recreating the contents of a Web browser, such as Google results pages and Facebook profiles, using watercolor on paper.

This sounds odd but looks cool, at least to my eye. And I definitely enjoy the practical joke at work here: Solomon creates an image by appropriating Google’s (GOOG) appropriation of other people’s images.

Is that art? Well, Solomon has a show opening at a Chelsea gallery tonight, so some people think so. You can see some examples of his work at the bottom of this page, but they may make a bit more sense when you hear him explain what he’s up to in this video:


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work