Pick One: Hipsters Take on Culture, By Way of Helvetica
By Maria Popova
If there ever were a formula for cool, it wouldn’t be far from simplicity + social statement + Helvetica. And Pick One is just that. Part social experiment, part art project, part brilliant head-scratcher, it’s artist Ben Nyberg‘s clever stab at getting your priorities straight — and it’s as playful or as serious as you want it to be.
All you do is go through pairs of cultural items — from Google to guns to God, and everything in between — and pick the one you prefer within each pair, which gives it a score of 1 point.
After a couple of hundred clicks, we lost patience in trying to reach some sort of end — we suspect it’s an infinite loop that randomly pairs each item with every other, then starts all over again — and voyeured over to the Top 10 and the Bottom 10, based on the crowdsourced cumulative score of each item.
It’s a sign of the times when The Internet ends up amidst the most fundamental of human needs. Then again, if it were up to us, it would even rank four positions higher.
And a note to all the budding social psychologists and ethicists out there — you may want to rethink your career path: Morality, which appears in the pick-pairs, didn’t even make a cameo on the Top 10. Neither did art — ironic, in the context of an art project.
Pick One is also a testament to its own hipsterness — there’s no question about the psychographic composition of a crowd that hates Uggs more than hate itself, George W, or death.
Published May 27, 2009