In my ongoing learning about visual thinking and visual practices I’m always delighted to be turned on to a new web based visual tool. SwarmSketch made me jump with joy. First, about the site:
Welcome to SwarmSketch: Collective sketching of the collective consciousness.
SwarmSketch is an ongoing online canvas that explores the possibilities of distributed design by the masses. Each week it randomly chooses a popular search term which becomes the sketch subject for the week. In this way, the collective is sketching what the collective thought was important each week. A new sketch begins after one week, or after the previous sketch reaches one thousand lines, whichever comes first.
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.
We are currently sketching “Dream Interpretation“, come in and contribute a line.
Alternatively, you may like to browse the previous sketches and view animations of their progression.
SwarmSketch was developed by Peter Edmunds as part of an honours project at the University of Canberra. If you have any comments or suggestions, let me know: info AT swarmsketch DOT com.
What I love about this is that you are limited to contributing just one line of limited length. So it is about the collective set of lines, not YOUR line or my line. It asks us to create together, not show off our drawing skills. It limits destruction by one person. It is a fabulous visual metaphor for many online collaboration issues. Check it out!