As you’d expect, it’s quite large. There are 21,000 words pictorially represented, which means the tome comes in at a hefty 1240 pages, so you’ll need a strong coffee table to support this unusual conversation piece.
Felix Hayes and Ben West are the people behind the book’s creation, which was made possible using two PHP scripts, one for alphabetically downloading the first image related to a key word, and the other for arranging them on to PDFs.
Although it’s not stated, we wonder whether SafeSearch was left off for this mammoth task, although West’s estimate that “about half the book is revolting medical photos, porn, racism or bad cartoons,” suggests it’s an unfiltered example of all Google Images has to offer.
Of course, copyright problems make a wide release of this visual dictionary-according-to-Google highly unlikely, but there are plans to publish a limited run of hand-bound, hard-cover examples. There’s no information regarding such a run on either artist’s websites yet though.
Part bizarre art project, part “uncritical record of the state of human culture in 2012,” it’s one of the very few books that you can spoil for yourself in just a few moments, as if you’re asking “hmm, I wonder what the entry is for redolent, or tremulous,” it’s extremely easy to find out.
To get an idea of what the book is like, take a look at the video below and have fun pausing it every few moments, then trying to guess where in the alphabet you are, and which pictures represent what words.