The Johnny Cash Project ~ Google Chrome honours the Man In Black

Posted on 19 September 2011
By Oliver Logan
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Google Chrome have marked the eight year anniversary of Johnny Cash’s death with a new crowdsourced video to accompany his sombre track, Ain’t No Grave.

The Jonny Cash Project is the brainchild of Director Chris Milk, who has worked with a team of producers and editors to get this new creative initiative off the ground in honour of the great man’s legacy. Johnny Cash died on Sept 12th 2003 as a result of complications from diabetes.

Contributions were opened to the public and the response has been overwhelming, with over 250,000 people adding their personal tributes from 170 countries around the world.

The result is a collaborative art project which brings together a collage of reworked stills and frames spliced together over the haunting soundtrack.

Each image has what seems like a nano-second of air time before merging into the next frame, and the effect is both dark and hypnotic.

The technical aspects of the piece have been achieved within the confines of the project’s website, with the use of a specialised drawing program.

This has allowed artists and fans to recreate individual frames and portraits of Cash in their own style and then combine their work on the same reel.

The software starts with an original frame as a reference point, which can then be manipulated and built upon to sculpt a unique version of the master copy.

There are any number of permutations of brush colour, opacity, size, and style available to get the right effect, and there is even a zoom feature for added detail.

The official site describes the project in these terms: “Through this interactive website, participants may draw their own portrait of Johnny Cash to be integrated into a collective whole.”

“As people all over the world contribute, the project will continue to evolve and grow, one frame at a time. Submit your drawing to become a part of the new music video for the song Ain’t No Grave.”

“Strung together and relayed in sequence your art, paired with Johnny’s haunting song, will become a living moving and ever changing portrait of the legendary Man in Black.”

Take a look at the video here, and decide what you think of the final product. It is definitely worth a good few watches and the pause button gives you some scope to enjoy your favourite stills for that little bit longer. Comments below.