3 April 2017
Every now and then the Internet goes back to its roots and does something lovely and genuinely interesting. Presenting /place, a subreddit where each subscriber is allowed to place one coloured pixel on a canvas, once every five minutes. It’s totally up to you whether you use your pixel to help create something, or to destroy it.
You’ll find expressions of anything and everything here, from sports team allegiance to national flags, cartoon characters, band names, references to previous cooperative online subreddits (anyone remember The Button?) and funny little references to a golden internet age when admittedly everything moved a little slower, but you were less likely to be spied on. Or advertised to.
Is this the ultimate expression of democracy? Perhaps. It’s also a constantly shifting snapshot of our culture with all its best and worst parts, an amazingly concise display of the things that occupy our minds and the ways in which we identify ourselves.
At the time of writing, there’s an enormous black hole opening up in the US flag, and you can watch as some users try to patch it up. It’s fascinating to watch. And interesting that it’s the US flag that people have focused on. Why are people so intent on voicing their identity in terms of nationality in the first place?
What will you do with your pixel?