Research & Insights

By Lukas Biewald, April 14, 2008

Crowdsourcing artwork

Note: Unlike the other projects, this one was not done by Dolores Labs, but it was too interesting not to share.


In 2006, Aaron Koblin used Mechanical Turk to produce 10,000 hand drawn sheep. You can check them out (and buy some) at

Recently, he and Takashi Kawashima worked together to make an crowdsourcing art project called Ten Thousand Cents, where they broke a one hundred dollar bill into ten thousand pieces and had turkers copy each piece.

Hundered Dollar Bill Example

The result is this (you can buy a copy for $100):

One Hundered Dollar Bill

It’s a cool project on multiple levels. It struck me how visually obvious it is who is taking the task seriously and who isn’t (the boxes that look grainy in the above picture are probably examples of people who didn’t really do the stated task). Yet even with the noise there’s a very clear signal that comes through. In fact it looks like they made such a good replica bill that Google checkout shut down their orders.