In December 2011, artist Caroline Jaine began downloading web-sourced images of individuals and groups that were somehow part of something much bigger. Through the writings of Clay Shirky and Tina Rosenberg, Jaine was exploring the theory that individuals have an increased influence when they are connected with others.

The 52 images – some 234 people – were then anonymised by hand-painting each in chroma-key paint. Their individual identities are less important than the power they muster. The suits are each relevant: Diamonds explores those expressing disillusionment with financial systems; Clubs the many associations and societies connecting people; Spades (or swords) examines those using weapons for both fun and for murder; and Hearts – those most passionately demanding regime change.

You can now purchase a limited edition pack of cards together with a booklet that holds the key to who they are and what they all mean.

AUTHOR/ARTIST: Caroline Jaine

The book also available as a free PDF 


The printing of the limited edition playing cards was crowd-funded. Many individuals and organisations pledged support via the internet to make this work possible – a mechanism highly appropriate to the piece.

The artist would like to thank everyone who has given to this work and who has spread the word using online social networks. Special thanks to Albany Associates, Askance Publishing, iMedia Associates, Le Menach Foundation and Fred Garnett, Visiting Research Fellow at London Knowledge Lab. Extra thanks to the fittingly anonymous donor who purchased some of the original artwork.


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