Visit the project
“As new people discover and contribute to the project, this living portrait will continue to transform and grow, so it’s virtually never the same video twice.”
Chris Milk, Creator, in The Johnny Cash Project
In 2003, country music superstar Johnny Cash made what would be his last studio recording—the mournful, haunting “Ain’t No Grave.” The 71-year old Cash passed away shortly thereafter, and the single was released posthumously in 2010. Subsequently, artist Chris Milk, interactive firm @radical.media, and Google’s Creative Lab teamed up to make an interactive tribute to Cash. Their collaboration, The Johnny Cash Project, is a crowdsourced music video for “Ain’t No Grave” and a collective expression of people’s feelings towards the iconic musician.
When visitors arrive at The Johnny Cash Project, they are encouraged to contribute a frame to the “Ain’t No Grave” video, sketching on top of an original video frame. The available palette is limited to shades of gray to give the project aesthetic and formal coherence. The project randomly pulls frames submitted by users, creating a video that is unique each time it plays. Website visitors can stop the project at any time and view information about who has submitted the current frame. A dynamic timeline also allows people to browse submissions frame by frame.