Video Chaos: A Sequence of Lines Traced by 500 Individuals

One person draws a straight line; 500 people trace it. Each new effort adds imperfection, and the results are total chaos.


Like a visual cross between an Exquisite Corpse exercise and a game of Telephone, this short video by Clement Valla depicts an sequence of efforts to trace straight lines. First, one person draws a fairly straight line. Then a second person attempts (in vain) to trace it. A third person then tries to trace the newer, slightly more crooked line. This goes on until 500 people have participated. Each person adds a bit of imperfection, so the end result is fantastically helter-skelter.

The project, A Sequence of Lines Consecutively Traced by Five Hundred Individuals, was apparently created with the help of Amazon's Mechanical Turk, and the Turk workers were paid a handsome 2 cents for each line.

Chaos is just marvelous, no? The entire effort communicates something essential about what it means to be human. Each misplaced contour seems to whisper the immortal words of Samuel Beckett: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."

Via Kottke