An Artist’s Riff on Million Dollar Homepage

Published on March 27, 2009
by Marisa Taylor

Stirring up cash with pay-per-click ad models is standard fare on the Internet, but what about paying per pixel?

In a mashup of art project-meets-electronic bulletin board-meets-Internet parody, Rhizome, the new-media affiliate of the New Museum of Contemporary Art, has launched a fund-raising site that sells space by the pixel–five cents per pixel, to be exact.

It’s called the 50,000 Dollar Web page and aims to raise just that amount in the next two months by charging users for representation on a large square grid, which, as a finished product, will likely be an eye-catching smattering of ads, links and images.

Rhizome modeled the page off the work of the British student Alex Tew, who sold pixels for tuition on his Million Dollar Homepage in 2005.

“I really welcomed the idea of doing something nontraditional,” says Lauren Cornell, Rhizome’s executive director and an adjunct curator at the New Museum, which is based in New York.

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