On Sunday, Google Chrome released a new video called “Google Chrome: The Johnny Cash Project.” The video also ran on television over the weekend. It features a new collaborative art project attempting to stitch together a new music video for Johnny Cash’s “Ain’t No Grave” by having artists recreate individual frames and portraits of Cash in their own style. The Chrome feature on the project was timed to coincide with the anniversary of Cash’s death.
The Johnny Cash Project – Crowdsourced Video At Its Best
Here’s the video Google created about The Johnny Cash Project:
The project claims to have the participation of 250,000 people from 170 countries around the world. From their website:
Through this interactive website, participants may draw their own portrait of Johnny Cash to be integrated into a collective whole. As people all over the world contribute, the project will continue to evolve and grow, one frame at a time. Submit your drawing to become a part of the new music video for the song “Ain’t No Grave.” Strung together and relayed in sequence your art, paired with Johnny’s haunting song, will become a living moving and ever changing portrait of the legendary Man in Black.
The artwork is all done within the confines of the project’s website, where they’ve built their own drawing program that allows you to take the original frame as a reference point for building your own version. You can set the brush color, opacity, size, and style, and you can zoom in and out as needed to get the details right. It’s pretty cool.
In fact, it’s not too late to become a part of The Johnny Cash Project. You can head over to the Contribute page, select the frame you want to recreate, and then get to work being artistic.
This is crowdsourcing at its finest, and the resulting collaborative video is compelling. Also, because there are so many great works of art represented in the piece, it rewards multiple viewings. It’s interesting to any fan of music and art, but for Cash fans… I imagine its impact is even more profound.
The entire thing is created by the masses. The idea came from Director Chris Milk and a host of his producers and editors, but the actual content comes from Johnny Cash and a quarter of a million Internet users. Every time I think I grasp the draw and the power of online video, something like this comes along to remind me we’ve only scratched the surface.