There are some very important artistic principles that are going on here. Stop reading if they get too heavy!
To celebrate individual creativity through collaboration
Visual art is typically about one person's perspective. Creating an image by hand is an intimate and unique expression of who you are, where you are from, and what you believe. This uniqueness and self-expression is valuable and to be celebrated.
By working towards a common goal, but having the space for individual expression, we are hoping that a collaboration can evolve that communicates a single powerful message in its numbers, yet maintains the intimacy of the individual.
To test the limits of artistic collaboration on a massive scale
The project is partly an experiment, to see whether artistic collaboration is possible, and what will be its result on such a large scale. We simply do not know whether the end result will be one coherent image, or a patchwork of many different themes, or simply a collection of unrelated individual artworks. Whatever happens, this will be a truly democratic piece of artwork with no "right" or "wrong" answer.
To reconnect people with art
The artistic establishment can sometimes appear to be a closed and private world. It is often perceived as removed from the lives of every day people, fuelled by a stream of sceptical or negative commentary through the popular press.
The One Million Masterpiece is an attempt to reunite people with art by turning an established relationship on its head. Instead of asking people to interpret the work of individual artists - we are asking the artistic community to embrace the collective work of every day people. Who is more qualified to deliver a message about our complex society than the people that live in it?
By inspiring one million individuals to deliver their own work to the artistic establishment, we hope to spark interest and debate in people who might otherwise have a negative preconception of art.
Essentially, the picture will represent the defining achievement of online communication - to level traditional hierarchies and give real people a voice.