1000 Points of Light Project

Phase 1

This project will make it possible for people to contribute to a continually evolving image that will be stored on the server. Because this could generate a lot of data, we will need to find a way to make our image-data file format as small as possible.

Phase 1, therefore, addresses the problem of reducing the image data that must be sent to and from the server.

Characteristics of the Images

  • The image will be 50 pixels by 50 pixels, but we will stretch the pixels so that they are bigger than usual, covering most of the browser window.
  • The image will be black and white (no grey)
  • There will always be 1000 white pixels
  • The remaining pixels (1500) will be black
  • The image that arrives when one visits the site will be the last image received by another participant.
  • The image will be "submitted" only once per day from a given IP address
  • Eventually, I'll write a "viewer" so that one can see either a gallery of the public's art, or an animation of the sequential frames.


  • I feel that the web has developed, in many respects, the same biases as television: visitors to websites often do not really creatively interact with the sites and with other people using the internet. Instead they "flip" through pages as they would with a remote control. My goal is to demonstrate that the public can be engaged to make the site a collective production.
  • As an artist, I have a bias: I think that people in democratic societies should be as intellectually productive as possible. In the other direction, I believe, lies the failure of democratic government: people follow and consume ideas without developing their own thought processes.
  • 1000 Points of Light is an experiment in group interaction. Will the result be coherent, obscene, babble??
  • Here's the source code for the first phase, which includes documentation.
  • Click here to see the final version of the 1000 Points of Light Show.