Popular Search Terms Determine Topic of Collabarative and Web-Based Art Project

Sarah Boxer, in a New York Times article (via News.com) offers a look at site from Australia that uses popular search terms to help determine the topic of a weekly sketch drawing in the article: "SwarmSketch taps Web's 'collective consciousness'"

SwarmSketch is the creation of an Australian college student, Peter Edmunds, at the University of Canberra (a city I've visited that has lots of traffic circles) who selects popular search terms from various lists and then uses one randomly selected term as the topic of a collaborative drawing project.

Vistors to the SwarmSketch can particpate. From the site:

Each user can contribute a small amount of line per visit, then they are given the opportunity to vote on the opacity of lines submitted by other users. By voting, users moderate the input of other users, judging the quality of each line. The darkness of each line is the average of all its previous votes.

An icon (a clock) found on the lower left of a drawing allow you to see the drawing develop over time. Really interesting. Clicking another icon, offers stats about the sketch.

A browsable archive of drawings is available here.

An RSS feed of SwarmSketch news is also online.