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Reddit Brings Back its r/place Communal Digital Art Project in April


In the time of NFTs and emerging digital art, this seems like the perfect project for the online community.

This year, marking April Fool’s Day (4/1), Reddit is bringing back its popular r/place project, which enables Reddit users to each control a digital pixel on a larger, community-built digital canvas.

Reddit r/place

As you can see here, on April 1st, a new place icon will appear alongside the search bar at the top of the app. Tapping on that will enable the user to control a single spot on the broader image.

As explained by Reddit:

Once people navigate to r/place, they’ll see a communal 1000×1000 tile canvas where (logged in) redditors can place a tile or pixel of their color choice (once every 5 minutes by tapping or clicking anywhere on the canvas). People who are logged out of Reddit can view the canvas unfolding in real-time, but can’t place a tile.”

In order to make the larger image into anything legible, Redditors will need to work together, which they’ve done in the past to create complex collages of varying icons, flags and other works.

Reddit r/place example

Reddit initially ran its r/place initiative back in 2017 (the above image being the final result), and users have been calling for its return ever since.

When we first ran r/place in 2017, more than one million redditors placed approximately 16 million tiles on a blank communal digital canvas – resulting in a collective digital art piece. Every year since then, users have asked us to bring it back. It was hands down one of our most popular April Fools’ Day experiences.”

And as noted, given the renewed focus on digital art, with the rise of NFTs and other projects, like Beeple’s ‘First 5000 Days’, now seems like the perfect time to bring it back.

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Beeple's 'First 5,000 Days'

This image, a collection of Beeple’s daily digital artworks, sold for $69.3 million at auction last year, and really legitimized the digital art movement, which sparked the current NFT trend.

Since, of course, NFTs have become a hive of speculation and scams, with everyone that can put together a few basic images seeking to cash in however they can, with ‘rug pulls’ now so common that it’s almost not worth buying into a new project.

And really, the idea that any of these digital images are going to be worth significant money in future seems spurious at best – but even so, there’s huge interest in digital art, which could make Reddit’s r/place project even more popular this time around.

Or it could be a total mess. But that’s part of the beauty of it – and while the end result might not end up in a million dollar art sale, it’ll still be interesting to see what the modern Reddit community ends up reflecting, and which themes and topics shine through in the millions of edited pixels.

You can watch it unfold for yourself in the app, with r/place going live later this week.

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