The all-knowing, information hoarder Wikipedia is everyone’s trusted source for quick knowledge. What do you think would happen if you tried to make a physical encyclopedia out of Wikipedia? You’d be stuck with 7,600 bound volumes of ‘Print Wikipedia’, just like artist Michael Mandiberg, who did just that! As part of a (supposedly) fun project on “utilitarian visualization of the largest accumulation of human knowledge and a poetic gesture towards the futility of the scale of big data”, Michael spent three years putting the compilation of over 11.5 million English entries together. In the entire process, he even had to write a software to convert the online pages to fit the page layout for easy printing.
Out of the seven thousand odd books, the first 91 are dedicated to the ‘Table of Contents’; while the last 36 volumes list out all the 7.5 contributors who’ve edited Wikipedia articles. An exhibition named, ‘From Aaaaa! to ZZZap!’ is being held as part of the project, where the entire print-on-demand Wikipedia files that amount to 11 GB, will be uploaded to website LuLu.com. The exhibition ends once the upload is complete, which is estimated to stretch over 2 weeks! The 7,600 volumes are also for sale for $500,000 and are expected to sell at the post-exhibition celebratory party.
All this redundant work for $500,000? I’m torn between the obsoleteness of the idea and the fact that I could be rich! Though, whoever buys the entire set should make sure they buy a library first!
[via – Hypebeast]