This is a question about what counts as too far towards an art contest.
If I asked the question "render the Mona Lisa in 1000 bytes" on the main site, would it be on topic? Assume the question contains precisely specified guidelines about what the program is and isn't allowed to do, but that the winning criterion is "popularity contest", with the expectation that people will vote for the answer whose output most closely resembles the Mona Lisa. The only restriction on entries is that the rendering part of the code cannot be more than 1000 bytes in length.
Note that I'm not really asking whether this would be a good challenge, though I might post it if it's on topic. This is more about understanding what the community considers acceptable winning criteria for questions. I'm also not asking whether it should be on topic, but rather whether it de facto is on topic according to current rules and conventions.
I ask because many existing on topic, well recieved questions have "looking like a given input image" as the goal, with American Gothic in the palette of Mona Lisa: Rearrange the pixels perhaps being the cream of the crop. I really like these questions, and I want to know how far that kind of idea can be played around with without straying into "art contest" territory. Answers backed up with reasoning and/or links to previous meta discussions would be appreciated.
Edit: I've put a draft of the proposed question in the sandbox.
Edit 2: The question has been posted on the main site, where it was closed, reopened and then closed again. I have now edited it based on feedback given in various places. (Here, in the comments on the question, in another meta post about popularity contests that was sparked by my question, and in a chat session with moderator Dennis.)