Google Rorschach doodle puts a blot on digital art form

Google’s home page today is a Rorschach test.

Not a Rorschach test on anything, just a Rorschach test, period. And how am I feeling about that?

Not good. What can I say? I’m a doodle purist. The Google doodler and I go way back. I met Dennis Hwang, then Google’s doodler-in-chief, back in 2004. Great guy. Great job.

Hwang presented me with a sample sheet of his work: A tasteful image of a friendly pumpkin and a ghost incorporated into one of the O’s of the Google logo for Halloween; two intertwined hearts replacing the O’s for Valentine’s Day, a double helix standing in for the O’s on the anniversary of understanding DNA, etc.

Clever. Subtle. Refined.

Now the doodle has gone all whiz bang. Simplicty isn’t enough. Now doodles are interactive, like today’s. “Share what you see,” the home page demands when you click on the inkblot to plumb your inner psyche.

(This is not the first time online Rorschach’s have inspired controversy, by the way.)

And sure enough you can blast your self analysis off to friends, relatives, co-workers, bosses on Facebook, Twitter or, what’s that other one? Oh yeah, Google+. (Hmmm. On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t have posted that bit about how what I see in the inky darkness is my evil boss again making my life hell.)

Messing with the Google doodle is like painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa or bringing the iPhone out in lime green. Oh wait.

Google needs to get back to simplicity. Why, this Rorschach thing (and other recent doodles) doesn’t even stick to the most basic requirement, as far as I’m concerned. The jazzy doodles don’t really incorporate themselves into the Google logo, though the Rorschach makes an effort, with two Gs framed on Rorschach’s wall, a plant for an L and a window for an E. Lame.

But I don’t see any O’s, unless that’s just me. Maybe you see them clear as day.

All I’m seeing is red.

(Photo: Google screen grab)

 

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