Artists Create Bound 'Google Dictionary' Made Up Of Google Images

It might lack the academic merit of the English Oxford dictionary and miss out on the super-quick search functions that it's inspiration has flaunted for years, but the Google dictionary is nonetheless a sight to behold. With its 1,240-odd pages, it's a creation that brings the words of your more traditional dictionary to life in a way befitting the name: by replacing the actual entry with the first Google image result from an equivalent search of the word.

Created by London-based artists Felix Heyes and Ben West and described by West in an email to the Creative Applications Network as “really an unfiltered, uncritical record of the state of human culture in 2012”, the book is not ever intended to go into mass production but instead will likely be batch printed for a small number of soft-cover editions. Heyes and West' edition, you'll note, has been printed and carefully hand-bound in a gorgeous and entirely unique marbled cover, the Google logo embossed in gold on the front.

The two used a couple of PHP scripts written by West's brother to bring the creation to life. The first script took a list of dictionary words and downloaded the very first Google image from the result to match, while the second layed out the downloaded images into columns, and in alphabetical order, to be output to a PDF. West jokes he estimates “about half of the book is revolting medical photos, porn, racism or bad cartoons.” A pretty accurate portrait of internet life then.

Richard Birkett