Daily Archives: April 9, 2010

Creating Art the Wiki Way: submit your photos!

Coming up with good presents for keynote speakers is always a challenge for conference organizers. But last year, the WikiSym steering committee came up with the idea of commissioning an original artwork which would be inspired by the theme of collaboration. The result was this artistically rendered word cloud, which was printed on high quality canvas for keynote speakers and on free t-shirts for all conference attendees. This artistically rendered visualization captures the diverse nature of our community, by showing data from all papers and presentations ever made at WikiSym, using the colors and round shape of the conference logo.

word cloud

word cloud: click to see full-size

The piece is the result of a collaboration between Alain Désilets and Robert Biddle (of the steering committee), as well as Nazim Ahmed and Melissa Edwards of DNA11/Canvas Pop. DNA11 is a company that specializes in the creation of high end custom artwork , made with samples of their clients’ DNA, fingerprints or lips. Canvas Pop is a sister company which caters to a more mainstream market, and turns any digital photo into canvas art, regardless of size or resolution. After some very interesting interdisciplinary brainstorming, the concept of a word cloud was chosen. Alain and Robert gathered the raw data from the WikiSym publications archive, which the DNA11 folks rendered using their artistic flair, and then printed on canvas. The result turned out to be quite stunning, and much more visually appealing than an average laminated picture (note: canvas copies of the cloud can be purchased through Nazim Ahmed at: art@dna11.com).

Following this first experiment, the WikiSym committee decided to commission a unique collaborative art piece for each new edition of the conference. This year’s work will be a photomosaic of the conference logo, generated from a large pool of thumbnail pictures about WikiSym. You can participate in the creation of this work, by uploading relevant pictures to Flickr, and tagging them with keyword wikisym-photomosaic (please make sure to upload them under Creative Commons terms). They can be photos taken at the conference (ex: a photo of the Open Space circle), iconic photos from the cities where it was held (ex: the Porto waterfront), photos of things that make you think of WikiSym or wikis (ex: a beehive), or any photo that you feel is in some way related to WikiSym. Thank you for helping us make this a truly collaborative work of art. If you have any question or creative ideas about this endeavour, please don’t hesitate to contact Alain Désilets (alain.desilets@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca).