I've been a big fan of the popular website FFFFOUND! since it's inception. The site is chock-filled with interesting design, curated (for the most part) by users with wide-ranging visual interest and impeccable taste. The way the site works (for you three or four people who don't already know) is this: There are images chosen by various user-members on the main page. By clicking on an image, you are told in effect: "If you liked this image, you may like these as well..." and you are subsequently led to other images related by subject-matter, or style. It's a kind of visual free-association.

Here's the rub: this associative system invariably leads me, without my knowing it, to an image of a naked lady.

It just seems to happen that way. And reconstructing the path it took to get there helps not one whit in my understanding how I ended up with full-frontal nudity. It's sort of like a game of telephone
where X shares a trait with Y, and Y shares a trait with Z, but X and Z have little in common. And, I know, I KNOW- Maybe it's just me- maybe I have answered the site's Rorschach test in this particularly perverted way. But I assure you- I always start out honorably, wanting to take in some design inspiration... and the female form is the inevitable result. But of course, isn't this just the way of the internet in general? Perhaps.

(I would also submit that my OTHER obsessions, like, say, species counterpoint, don't arise in this or any other internet context merely because I am interested in them. I've never accidentally come across a picture of Palestrina or Orlando di Lasso on ffffound. Sex, as we all know, is clearly on everyone's mind. And, incidentally, for what it's worth- I had assumed naked dudes would turn up as often, but they don't.)

I decided to do a little experiment, and see how many steps it would take me to get from a piece of my own graphic design work on ffffound to a page with a sexy woman; and then, how many steps it would take me to get from the nude lady in question back to a different work of my own. I chose design work of mine that is maximally abstract and contains no erotic subtext whatsoever (or so I thought).

Well, the results are in, and I seem to average between 3 and 4 steps removed from the uncloth├ęd female body. Click on the chart below to see how I fared in my first outing:

(Now, as I look at this chart many questions arise- the first and most pressing of which is: why on earth, if someone liked the jacket for Roberto Calasso's "K" would they enjoy that torso/stereo system cited from the Kanye West blog. Some questions are better left unanswered.) N.B. here I was consciously trying to end up with nudity so the results are somewhat skewed...

Now this game could work with anything- see how many clicks it takes you to get from Abraham Lincoln to a picture of a muscle-car. How many clicks between a "Keep Calm and Carry On" variant and a chunky geometric font without counter-holes (why, oh why are these so prevalent?). I think there's a really decent drinking game in all this. The only thing of which you can be sure is- whatever path you choose, you will eventually have to look at a beautiful woman. But I suppose there are worse things in life....