Art Exhibit Lets Visitors Swim in 24 Hours Worth of Flickr Photos… Literally

To show how the Internet is causing us to “drown in pictures”, artist Erik Kessels created an installation featuring prints of every single photograph uploaded to Flickr within a 24-hour period. The 1 million+ photos are piled up nearly to the ceiling, and spill into multiple rooms. The exhibit is part of an exhibition titled “What’s Next?” at Foam in Amsterdam.

(via Foam via Creative Review via Craftzine)

  • Jeoncs

    Did they have copyright permission?

  • Anonymous

    Ahem, I wish to file a copyright complaint as about a thousand of those are mine. ;^)

  • Aydensgrace

    I want to know if any of those are mine ^^

  • Guest

    Must’ve been quite a lot of work to get permission to reprint a million photos.

  • Emily Sephton

    What was the date?

  • Anonymous

    I like the writing structure of your blog and it does a pretty decent job of presenting the material.

  • Juan

    I hope none of my photos are there. They didn’t ask for permission… And that’s a problem.

  • Bengtec

    I, too, would be interested to know when this 24 hour period was … if they asked permission surely they wouldn’t get a number representative of 24 hours of uploads … if they didn’t that is a problem.

  • Allrightswronged

    If one of those pictures didn’t have permission, I wonder how long it would take to pick it out…

    This installation irritates me because either it does not actually contain pictures uploaded on one day, or the artist has performed an outrageous violation of copyright. Either way, it seriously compromises my appreciation of the piece.

    Although, if I am wrong and the artist did somehow manage to get permission for every single picture posted during a 24 hour period, then kudos to him for performing a miracle.

  • CantLogin

    If I had to guess I would think he got ahold of a million Creative Commons-licensed photos from any date and used those to represent an ordinary day’s worth of uploads. I can’t imagine he’d be so stupid to do it with a million copyrighted photos since it’d expose him to a million potential lawsuits.

    Either which way, as much as I can understand the desire to visualize and make physical the sheer volume of photos that get uploaded to a site like Flickr on a daily basis, this kinda feels like treating people’s photographs like they’re worthless garbage.

  • Mohawk

    What a collosal waste of paper especially, living in a green world.  I hope he fries.

  • Aus_Guy

    So if they DID ask you, would you still say no? How boring. You’re just another snob photographer. Get with the times man. This is an awesome idea.

  • Aus_Guy

    Ahhh PetaPixel. I love you, but the people who comment on here are complete idiots. This is an awesome idea, and people need to understand that if you’re putting an image online, you’ve got pretty much n control over it anymore (despite all of your efforts…). Just get over it already. Wish I could go see this exhibition!

  • Tristan

    Fair use act and artist immmunity laws in europe, know your art laws//// you dont always need to ask for copyrights. Your image probably consist less than 1% of his installation, you will hardly win the case. Bet ya!

  • Håvard Fandrem

    Oh my, is it really a problem if your photo is one in a million in this exibit? Do you think someone else will benefit enormously from it?

    If that’s a problem, then you should never upload your photos online, as anyone can download or printscreen your photos. Imagine that!

  • Tom

    Funny, my first thought was about to huge waste of paper and ink, certainly not copyright issues… From a demand perspective, the pics of one specific person would probably account for 0.01% of the total at most, and from an offer perspective, well… do not post on an open account if you do not want your pic reused somewhere (or add a watermark).
    My bet however would be that only CC-licenced pics were used.


    The funny thing is that almost all other people’s photographs are indeed worthless garbage, just like my personal pictures will look garbage to you. There are many great photos and great photographers on flickr, but realistically they’re drowned in the sea of casual pictures.

  • TylerIngram

    So what is the going rate of a 4×6 these days? $0.29 if you live here in Vancouver.

    So.. $0.29 x 1,000,000 = $290,000? Where did an artist get that much money?

  • Jasonchinn

    I wonder if he soft-proofed and color managed all those photos. Would be a complete waste of time if he didn’t….. :)

  • Anonymous

    Wow, this I want to see, time to plan a trip to Amsterdam! Would be interesting to TinEye some of the photos to determine the date.

    I wonder if the artist used Safe Search. Judging by the look on the boy’s face he might not have ;-)

  • busby

    The whole point is that we’re beyond permissions, we are awash! 

  • busby

    Thankyou for your contribution to a fabulous piece of reflective art. yes it has made you reflect.

  • busby

    why will it make you feel important, valued?

  • busby

    What a wonderful philosophical proposition as well as a wonderful proposition for a contemplative, creative, interactive and personal experience.

  • busby

    Get over it and enjoy the proposition

  • Dippinkind

    so if i went into the gallery with a garbage bag and wanted to take a bunch of these printouts for my own purposes, no one would try to stop me, right?

  • Sebastián Soto

    What worries me is to actually swim in those photos, with all those pointy edges, that must hurt a lot.