close this bookVolume 7: No. 82
View the documentIndustry news
View the documentResearch software (in our CRS 7.41 digest this week)
View the documentPersonal advice
View the documentCareer advice
View the documentEntrepreneurship
View the documentArt business

Robert Silvers of the MIT Media Lab made it into Newsweek. He wrote a computer program two years ago that sorts a thousand or more images by brightness and color, then uses them as mosaic tiles to form a larger image. (The technique involves search for the best placement. First and second gradients within tile images appear to be considered.) He's used Civil War pictures to form an image of Abraham Lincoln; Life Magazine covers to form Marilyn Monroe; and Star Wars stills to form Yoda and Darth Vader. Commissioned images can sell for $75K (and are made on a $20K SGI workstation). Silvers now employs four people, at start-up Runaway Technology , and is expecting to sell $6M worth of his 82-page coffee-table book, "Photomosaics" (Henry Holt, $19.95). There will soon be merchandising deals, and eventually software or services to make the technique available to anyone. Silvers isn't sure if it's "Art," but "It's a rich enough medium to express emotional content." [Jennifer Tanaka, Newsweek, 08Dec97, p. 91.] (Moral: To capture people's imaginations and get free national publicity, develop something visual. Also, as Bill Park tells me, try to sell people a part of themselves.)

-- Ken