Reddit wrapped up its 2023 r/Place collaborative canvas on Tuesday, but if you missed it while it was happening or want to relive the evolution of the artwork, there’s a few ways to look back on the project.
If you just want to take it all in as it happened, I’d recommend watching Reddit’s official r/Place 2023 timelapse, which I’ve also embedded at the top of this post. The coordination on display is impressive. While the project was going on, users would be able to place one individual pixel every few minutes, so to do any sort of complex artwork, groups of people across Reddit would have to work together to bring their designs to life. If you want to look at the evolution of r/Place more granularly, you can scrub through the canvas’ history from the subreddit itself. (Note that you’ll need to be on New Reddit or one of the company’s mobile apps to do so.)
In the early stages of r/Place, you can see that a lot of the early art and messages openly protested CEO Steve Huffman, who goes by the username “spez” on Reddit. (Perhaps the most common message on the board, “fuck spez,” is a phrase often used on Reddit itself to protest the company’s API pricing that forced some third party apps to shut down.) As the project went on, much of the protest work was covered up by other images, creations, and country flags; personally, I loved the Charizard Pokémon card and this multi-day animated video. But at the end, users banded together to write “fuck spez” in giant letters before everything turned white.
The 2023 canvas officially launched on Thursday and was active until Tuesday. Reddit added space to the canvas six times.