Wikipedia Being Turned Into a $500K Book Set

By artist Michael Mandiberg, who says it will take 2 weeks just to upload
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2015 2:50 PM CDT
Wikipedia Being Turned Into a $500K Book Set
Clear some shelves in your library.   (Shutterstock)

It's going to take two weeks to upload, and the table of contents will be 91 volumes alone, but Michael Mandiberg is determined to bring the project he tells the New York Times is "half utilitarian data visualization project, half absurdist poetic gesture" to fruition. That project: to transform the English-language version of Wikipedia into a 7,600-volume book set. (Or at least symbolically start the process.) When his From Aaaaa! To ZZZap! exhibition got underway yesterday at NYC's Denny Gallery, a computer program began uploading the 11GB of compressed data to the print-on-demand site

Gallery visitors can watch the upload page in progress as it's projected onto the gallery wall; others can follow along from home via the @PrintWikipedia feed. Mandiberg notes that, as ambitious as the project is, he's not actually printing out all 7,600 volumes. "We don't need to see the whole thing in order to understand how big it is." A celebration will ensue when the whole shebang is uploaded, complete with toasts and a showing of the "Buy It Now" button, which will advertise the complete set for $500,000. (More Wikipedia stories.)

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