The Art4GlobalGoals project draws attention to the UN’s seventeen Global Goals for the world’s sustainable development. The project owes its success to the commitment of various partners, which include UNESCO and Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the latter acting as official sponsor.
Initiated by UNESCO Special Envoy and YOU founder Dr. Ute-Henriette Ohoven, the artist Leon Löwentraut translated each of the global goals into a powerful image. The artworks can be seen around the world in a traveling exhibition and on Art4GlobalGoals.com. Our task was to make the project accessible for all online. On the interactive website, visitors can acquaint themselves with the Global Goals and, what’s more, make a statement against our world’s problems with just a stroke of a digital paintbrush.
The website visitors’ digital brushstrokes appear deceptively real. To realize them, we made hundreds of brushstrokes, scanned them, and digitized them into stamps. Each brushstroke on the website consists of thousands of these individual stamps. To make the stroke appear even more natural, every twenty-fifth stamp is left out. Users can’t paint endlessly as the digital paint starts to run out once a set stroke length is reached – just like with a normal brush and paint. The end result is an exceptional stroke shape.
Finally, the collected brushstrokes were transformed into something even bigger: an image made up solely of the users’ brushstrokes. However, this prompted the question of how to mix the colors properly. The solution was to have each paint stamp also identify the color that lay beneath it, with the algorithm then combining everything into the proper mixture ratio.
Users from 111 different countries had already contributed with over 131,683 brushstrokes by just a few weeks after the launch. This is how they collectively created the eighteenth image, which can now be seen along with the seventeen images by Leon Löwentraut at the exhibition traveling globally.