Composites of Google Image Search by meggan gould

The images in the Go ogle series are composite images, mathematical averages of the first 100 images retrieved from a Google search engine query for a specific word or phrase. Each downloaded image relinquished its size, shape, and the clarity of its individual pixels in its merger with the other results from the query. The results, a visualization of intersections between Boolean logic and the popular imagination, are more often than not a hopeless jumble of unidentifiable pixels--but occasionally a recognizable form does emerge. Word choice, spelling, and textual hints are all critical to conducting an effective search, and the averages reflect their importance: a search for coke+can reveals a crisp, almost legible average, whereas coca+cola+can is muddy and barely recognizable. Truly iconic imagery is elusive, particularly considering the glut of computer graphics through which internet spiders and archivers crawl daily; only a small fraction of searches retains any degree of legibility through the averaging process.