Public Pixel Matrix

An experiment in collaborative micro-creativity.

Please scroll down if you want to know what this is all about.

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What’s this?

Public Pixel Matrix is an attempt to collect human creativity based on the principles of crowdsourcing. The matrix above is synchronized through a web server. Everyone (including you) can edit it by clicking on it. A click will turn a white field black and vice-versa. Each step will be recorded.

Please be creative and do what you think is necessary to contribute to the image. It may be just a single click to contribute to the current image but you can also draw a completely new image if you want. But keep in mind, there might be someone who edits the matrix at the same time. If you contribute to the image you agree that the resulting changes are republished under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. No personal informations are stored.

The goal is to produce data which can be used in image, video, sound or music creation. There are many ways to transform the data, varying from direct mappings to the creation of humanized, and hopefully interesting, noise. The collected data is just an intermediate, the final result is up to the artist.

Feel free to post a link to this project in your blog or tell friends about it.


Visits: 29899
Matrix modifications: 15668
Last modification: September 3, 2017, 04:58:12 CET
History size: 11.27 MB

Accessing the data

You can access the current matrix as well as a history of all changes. The matrix is encoded in a plain text format. The first line of each matrix is a unix timestamp for the last modification of the matrix. the following 17x17 character matrix should be self explanatory. The file format is very inefficient and will be improved when necessary.


I plan to release some libraries for easy usage of the data in Processing, SuperCollider, C/C++ and maybe other platforms.

The Processing library is currenty in the works. An early preview can be found on GitHub. There is also a ready to use download.

I hacked together a very rough and untested/undocumented C Library mainly for myself. If someone's interessted in using it it can be found on GitHub as well.

Derivative works

Here I will present works that use data of this experiment. As the data is published under a Creative Commons share-alike license all derivative works must be licensed under Creative Commons as well. Feel free to contact me if you've done something, so I can add a link here.


Patrick Borgeat is 26 years old and studied at the IMWI | Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Musikinformatik at the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe in Germany. You can contact him via e-mail or read his (mostly) German blog.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.