UK artists compile Google dictionary using 1st image result for every word

Last Updated: Fri, Jun 01, 2012 04:40 hrs

London-based artists have taken the typical 21,000 words found in an average dictionary, and then searched every one through Google Images to give an "unfiltered, uncritical record" of human culture in 2012.

Heyes and West threw whatever the first result was for each word straight onto the page.

The result is a 1,240-page tome, printed out and bound together, with the Google logo embossed in gold on the front.

Not that this is a book you may want on your coffee table - thanks to the gruesome medical photos, pornography and racism found on roughly half the pages.

"I would estimate about half of the book is revolting medical photos, porn, racism or bad cartoons," the Daily Mail quoted Ben West as telling the Creative Applications Network, said.

"It's really an unfiltered, uncritical record of the state of human culture in 2012," he said.

The duo, who are students at Kingston University, spent about 500 pounds getting the book together, but they do hope to create a paperback version in the future.

Speaking separately to The Star, Felix Heyes, 21, said "about 15 to 20 percent" of the book makes sense.

For those readers envisioning a Samuel Johnson-style painstaking cutting-and-pasting of each word to create the dictionary, a little modern-day computer programming came to their aid.

West's brother wrote a piece of "PHP" code that captured and downloaded the first image for every word, and then another piece of code aligned the images in order into a PDF document.

However, there was still a lot of labour involved, as the pair bound the book themselves using instructions gleaned from YouTube.

"It was relatively straightforward - it just took us a while," Hayes added. (ANI)

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