Dinosaur Search was installed on an iTouch. It uses an app that basically does a Google Image Search for the word “dinosaur,” then shows every image that comes up in association with that word in slideshow format. Each image is shown one by one, in order of popularity, until it exhausts the entire set of images.
In August 2010 (when it was created), a Google Image Search for the word “dinosaur” brought up about 8.8 million responses. Shown for 3 seconds each (this is the automatic rate at which the iTouch app cycles through the images), for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it would run through all of the images in a little over 300 days.
In essence, this project literally shows the full gamut of the world of dinosaur visual culture. However, just like with the real culture, it can only be appreciated in little chunks. The complete run of images is impossible for anyone to watch in its entireity; all anyone can get is glimpses into the anatomical images, the cartoon images, the book illustrations, the toy packaging, the TV ads, the pictures of the band Dinosaur Jr., pictures of senior citizens ironically captioned “three old dinosaurs,” and so on.
A few stills from the installation, and Dinosaur Search in action:
You can also see a PDF of the poster here, which explains the project in even more detail.