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More Google Portraits

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Being busy with my new project Google Portrait Series I found this nice drawing by MIT student Ben Dalton who did an analysis on portraiture in general and related to internet development.

“I decided to produce a portrait sketch based on a google search. Google only provides an outline of an individual if their name is very well know on the web, or it is unusual. I chose the ‘guru’ and web celebrity Jacob Nielsen, who’s website provides his thoughts on design and usability.

In searching for someone’s name, text that uses the persons full name is retrieved. This tends to result in formal descriptuions of the individual. I wanted to contrast a style that used distraction and detail with the stark refined simplicity of google and Jacob’s own design style.

By picking out words, and reforming them into my own phrases I have tried to alter the meaning of the search results to reflect my own interpretations and bias. This form of artistic sketching and wordplay has been explored by an artist who took a whole book, drew on each page (highlighting new phrases to produce a new narrative), and republishing the book (Unfortunately I cannot remember the details of this project to link to it).

Below is the final sketch. i couldn’t help putting a recognisable face in there (after much debate). I think it would be enhanced with the addition of colour wash, coffee cup stains or colour pencil marks.”

Written by Aram

June 21st, 2007 at 2:00 pm

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One Response to 'More Google Portraits'

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  1. The artist who’s name I couldn’t remember all the way back when I wrote this and did the sketch for a class project was Tom Phillips, and his excellent book is called “The Humument” (


    Ben Dalton

    23 Sep 08 at 11:33 pm

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