Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

One man Has Spent The Last Three Years Printing Out Wikipedia In Its Entirety

1.jpg
3.jpg

“I want to print out Wikipedia.”

It’s the sort of naïve declaration your mum might make. A concept so unfathomable that only a crazy person would have the time and effort to print off every single one of the 11.5m entries from 7.5m contributors. Never mind the financial clout for all the paper costs.

So step forward Michael Mandiberg (himself on Wikipedia), a New York-based conceptual artist and computer programmer who’s spent the past three years turning the entirety of Wikipedia into 7,600 printed and bound physical volumes of the encyclopedic site, dubbing the project as “a poetic gesture towards the futility of the scale of big data”.

We’re not sure Jimmy Wales had this in mind when he set up the not-for-profit site - what with it sort of defeating the point of it all – but it just goes to show how powerful and all-consuming Wikipedia has become. And then there’s the data itself. Who’s to know how many mistakes made their way to print, or how many celebrities have been incorrectly listed as dying in speedboat accidents? Then again, we suppose that’s the beauty of it.

While the physical volumes are at the core of the project, Print Wikipedia has also seen Mandiberg write software to quickly convert every single entry into a series of printable formats. At an upcoming exhibition called From Aaaaa! to ZZZap!, the entire 11GB compressed file will be uploaded to print-on-demand website Lulu.com, which is estimated to take about two weeks to print in full.

And should you have a spare £318,000 to buy the 7,600 book artwork, reading it all should take around two decades.

[Via: Huh, The New York Times]

Related

twitterplay.jpg

Twitter Set To Be A Lot More Like Facebook

P2.jpg

A calcualator that tells you if robots will take your job

14.jpg

Cool illustrations prove there's really only two kinds of people

lock.jpg

The best iOS 9 features Apple didn't mention

Lane1.jpg

Has Belgium come up with the perfect solution to text-walkers

Easy1.jpg

The Airline Changing The Future Of Flight Is Not Who You'd Expect

Comments

More

This thought-provoking letter on the Manchester bombing is going viral

"Forty-eight hours ago Salman Abedi tried to kill my daughter"

by Dave Fawbert
26 May 2017

Katie Hopkins has left LBC and the station's hosts are, well, guess

And she's outta there

26 May 2017

Here's a list of the crazy things British people would do for money

Would you sell an organ for £100,000?

by Gary Ogden
26 May 2017

Teacher gives pupil an award for "Most Likely To Be A Terrorist"

100% unbelievable, yet true

by Gary Ogden
26 May 2017

George R. R. Martin looks like hipster Jon Snow int his #TBT photo

Before winter was even cool

by Matt Tate
26 May 2017

Bald men rejoice! Scientists have finally found out why we go bald

Everything we ever dreamed of

by Gary Ogden
26 May 2017

Lack of sleep can literally make your brain eat itself

Sweet dreams everyone

by Dave Fawbert
26 May 2017

Mexican politician roasted for his ridiculous campaign hashtag

WE NEED A HASHTAG, QUICK!

by Gary Ogden
26 May 2017

How to contact the police when you're too scared to speak out loud

Spread the word

by Alex Finnis
26 May 2017

Walkers just found out why you should never, ever trust social media

Gary Lineker's been in some interesting company

by Alex Finnis
26 May 2017