Cowbird, Wikipedia for Real Life

Cowbird is the latest from artist/programmer Jonathan Harris. If you’re not familiar with his work already you can learn more about past projects here.

I met Jonathan over a year ago when he was in residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute. I recall that he would stay in a room solo in front of a computer–coding. Imagine programming 140,000 lines of code—that’s what Cowbird took!

But, I knew his brilliance when I first looked at his website, and I especially liked his photograph of the day, Today. It was so intimate and beautiful—the 365 days leading up to his 30th birthday.

Cowbird provides a similar format to Today, however, he’s now expanding the platform to accommodate a storytelling community.

Jonathan comments further about the project on his website saying, “Cowbird is also experimenting with a new form of participatory journalism, allowing people from all over the world to collaborate in documenting the overarching “sagas” that affect our lives today. Sagas are things like the Japanese earthquake, the war in Iraq, and the Occupy Wall Street movement — things that touch millions of lives and shape the human story. We believe the real story of a saga is the story of every single person touched by the saga. But it’s never been possible to tell that kind of story — until now.”

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