In a time where man has walked on the moon and cameras have shown us the bottom of the ocean, artists like Brannon Dorsey continue to search for fresh, unexplored frontiers. Dorsey's frontier is Zetamaze, an ever-changing, user-generated 3D labyrinth. Anyone with an Internet connection can design and decorate this digital world. The first thing a visitor sees when entering the site are three options, “Make,” “Draw,” and “Play.” The “Make” option presents you with an aerial view of the maze, which you can manipulate with a few simple clicks.
Next, the site prompts you to “Draw” upon the walls of your creation. A simplified version of Microsoft Paint is your only tool, but many Zetamazers have crafted intricate, beautiful, and witty drawings to accompany their exploration. The maze has become home to plenty of the vulgarity we’ve come to expect from any anonymous digital hoodlum, but the naughty drawings are completely overshadowed by inside jokes, interesting doodles, and pictures of everyone from Heisenberg to Shrek (lots and lots of Shrek).
Dorsey is a Chicagoan known for his interactive new media art exhibitions that bring up some of the most complex questions of the 21st century. His self-stated goal for Zetamaze is “to create a situation that encourages online communication and collaboration in a setting that presents older ideas”—which include file sharing, graffiti and the nature of video games—“in truly contemporary ways.” His other projects deal with similar ideas. He designed a digital version of the timeless game of tag, which pits two players on one keyboard against one another. He also designed a program called Recutter, which reorganizes a movie along its existing cuts, arranging it into something entirely new.
Zetamaze is currently in its beta stage, but it is already highly addictive. You’ll spend hours drawing a masterpiece, and then another running around looking for it.
In the meantime, we were't kidding about that Shrek art. Perusing the virtual gallery we noticed one of the broadest ranges of Shrek fan fic we've ever seen--each piece as unique as a snowflake. Is there something about the good-hearted green monster that appeals to social media audiences? Does he embody the egalitarian spirit of the internet?...Is he just easier to draw? There's literally more conclusions than Shrek drawings, but in the meantime check them out for yourself:
To try out Zetamaze and draw your own Shrek, click here.