Tag, You're Beautiful

We are very interested in tagging here at Technology Review (see our most recent story on the subject here). Tagging promises to be an important part of Wade Roush’s August cover story on continuous computing. But until Matt Locke…

May 16, 2005

We are very interested in tagging here at Technology Review (see our most recent story on the subject here). Tagging promises to be an important part of Wade Roush’s August cover story on continuous computing. But until Matt Locke at Test alerted me to the fact, I had no idea that tagging could be art–a form of creative expression in its own right. The image library Flickr allows users to tag pictures, and people have mainly used image tags for pedestrian purposes. But the “50 people see” project takes images that share a tag like “shadow” (pictured) and superimposes them onto each other. The result is a kind of abstract art: metallic, ghostly, unstable. I should never have thought of this myself. It is the kind of cultural remixing that Stanford University’s Larry Lessig extols in this month’s cover story in Technology Review. It is also the kind of thing that reminds me why I love my job.