Artscanner

I was going to put up an intemperate post about economic policies, but that can wait for another day – not least because I haven’t worked out all the details yet.

In the meantime, this seems interesting and worthwhile. I went back to Fabrika a couple of days ago and discovered they have an interactive exhibition. There’s some neat stuff there including a harp with lasers instead of strings, a sound tree, a video installation that gives ghostly images of people who’ve walked past it (probably mine is one of the faces on it now) and an art scanner installation.

It works like this: artists upload images of their work to a website, artscanner.org; the images are of course available online there directly, but uploading work allows you to download a link in the form of a QR code. You can print off the QR code and stick it on the wall in the gallery, or indeed anywhere else that takes your fancy. There’s a scanner next to the installation so in the gallery it’s easy to scan the codes and the images come up on a screen – outside the gallery, many mobile phones and pad-style computers have cameras so you can take a picture of the code, and they have software that reads the code as well, which will resolve into a clickable web address for the image.

QR codes aren’t new. They started off as security features on tickets, etc. and then became more widely used on all sorts of products. A lot of nightclubs now embed QR codes into their posters and such, so savvy punters can find their way to the place and find out more about events etc. So this isn’t new technology but it’s a new application of the technology that I think would have a much wider application than just one exhibition in one gallery. It could enable people to encounter artwork, stories and a whole bunch of other stuff on their travels – see a code, check it out, find out what that place means or has meant to other people. That kind of thing. It’s not so much a way of bringing the virtual and real worlds together (though it could do that, I guess) but allowing interaction with others based on a very fine-grained sense of space and place.

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  1. February 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Great idea. The application of these codes would bring art to folk who wouldn’t normally encounter it. Who knows, it may even get people interested in art who weren’t before!

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