With all this talk about crowdsourcing and mobsourcing and what have you—yes, we've had a number of authors suggest their covers should be crowdsourced—I present the only known (as far as I know) piece of graphic design truly created by the mob. The real mob. Found in NYC sometime in the 1990s.
A few weeks ago my "Random Stuff" post got me searching for another old folder of mine. This folder dates from 2001(!) and it contains images taken from ebay. I was convinced, at the time, that the photos people took of the stuff they were selling on ebay would be the next great source of "found photography". In retrospect, three things have become apparent. 1. Almost any photo of a prosthetic device or doll part looks like "art". 2. I spent way too much time trolling ebay for wigs and underwear. 3. The next great source of "found photography" is obviously Google Street View.
The recent upheavals in the Middle East and other parts of the world have brought forth a barrage of one of the most potent forms of graphic expression: the defaced political poster. Let's leave aside the actual messages presented in these images—many of the posters come from an anti-Semitic mindset and others have insults not easily decipherable to western eyes. I'm still not sure how Mubarak can be both Hitler and an Israeli sympathizer. But is there a more passionate form of visual communication? On the home front we've seen Barack Obama photoshopped into The Joker, Hitler, and a bleeding-eyed Abraham Lincoln. These pale in comparison to the urgent paint and marker-ed images from the Middle East. Images that people risk their lives to create.