VSL:WEB // 2088 people, 71 countries, one song

Aaron Koblin and Daniel Massey paid 2,088 people in 71 countries $0.06 each to listen to a sound clip and record it in their own voice. None of the participants knew what the final recording would be. But Koblin and Massey had picked a no-brainer.

The song they’d chosen — “Daisy Bell” — dates back to 1892. Seventy years later, it became the first song that the world’s first singing computer, the IBM 704, would sing. (It’s also the song that Hal 9000 sings at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey.) But Koblin and Massey’s art project is the most original take to date: Instead of programming a computer, they used a computer program (Amazon’s Mechanical Turk Web service) to stitch together a cross section of humanity. Okay, computer: It’s your move.

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