Tag Archives: art

Barcodes: Pillars of Art

The challenge of public art is often in conveying complicated messages and views through very simple mediums. A statue or mural are the popular forms chosen, however these certainly have their limitations. Conceptional artists Claudia Reisenberger and Franka Diehnelt, of California, have utilised barcodes to show over 200 hundred years of history at the the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening  Project Site (basically a building site).

barcode reader art

Barcodes in Art

Each pillar of the viaduct has been transformed into a red and white barcode which contains some historical information. I’m not sure how practical these barcodes will be to read but it is certainly a striking look.

If you want to investigate barcode reading as part of your mobile application then check out our website.

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Barcode Tattoos: worse than you imagined?

When people hear I work with barcodes it is not uncommon to then be told about someone they know with a barcode tattoo. Popular as an ironic anti-establishment statement along the lines of… ‘I’m not just a number, but to prove it, here is a tattoo which reduces me to such’. You may be able to gather that I don’t really understand it, but each to their own. However, from looking at barcodes printed by computers which are often of poor quality and produce an unreliable read I have started wondering how this works in the unreliable world of body art. Ink does not simply go where you put it but soaks in and smudges slightly, especially if you chose the cheapest tattoo artist in town.

Barcodes are only as reliable as they can be printed. The classic rule of computing still applies, garbage in, garbage out. For more information on how resolution can effect barcode scanning see our knowledge base. So not only is the idea of a barcode tattoo fairly rubbish, but the practicality is only going to produce something unreadable.

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There’s Something Fishy about this Barcode

The Frieze Art Fair in London is one of the biggest of its kind, with tickets starting at £20 it is certainly not cheap. However it is full of innovative new ideas and, this year at least, a novel approach to QR Codes.

We have seen QR Codes in many different guises, from corn mazes to office roofs there seems no limit to what they will be used for. This story is no different, albeit it a bit tastier. The sushi restaurant ‘Moshi Moshi’ has been inviting visitors to the art fair to try their sushi, but first to scan their food! The sushi itself is a QR Code which, when scanned, takes them to a website about the sustainability of the fish they are eating.

This trial is being held at the festival with a view to rolling it out to more of their restaurants, so you too could scan your food before you eat it. This is indeed another gimmicky use of the QR Code. However it is raising awareness about a very important message and reminding us that our food has its own back-story to tell is more relevant than ever.

If you are interesting in using QR Codes, or any type of barcode, in your business then check out our website for barcode reading solutions.

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QR Codes in History

A commission by the Scottish government for a tapestry has raised eyebrows this week as it has been revealed that they plan to include QR Codes within the tapestry. This will enable smart phone users to scan the codes and find out more about the scenes depicted. A bold move which will undoubtedly leave many recoiling in horror, but is it really that bad?

Firstly if it gets a few young people more engaged with the topic (Scottish Diaspora) of each panel then that is better than a tapestry without QR Codes which no one understands as well. Secondly as a historical item maybe it will give a better reflection of our time than a more traditional tapestry. Smart phones and QR Codes are part of how we now interact with media and the world at large, so why shouldn’t they be included in such objects?

The proof will really be in how much the QR Codes are used. This though shouldn’t be a problem to register. Unlike most forms of information/advertising where only a rough guess at the number of views a leaflet has got can be made QR Codes allow for very clear statistics; including time spent on the page with the information.

So I guess time will tell what we should make of this move but it certainly will attract some headlines.

Jack

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QR Code Art

Followers of this blog may well be aware that I am not a fan of QR Codes which have been extensively played around with; removing the redundancy from the QR Codes also removes their advantage and means they are far less identifiable.

However this does not mean that when done very well the results cannot be impressive. This blog I found talks about how QR Code art is now starting to appear in gallaries. I am not sure that this is a sign of it’s acceptance by a wider community I do think it shows the inherent interest people have in the idea of functional art. It gives another, potentially unexpected, dimension to the piece since the choice of what the QR Code contains is also key. Also while they do appear similar to very abstract art it does have a fundamental difference, the message the artist wants to encode in the work dictates a large amount of how the piece looks.

I am not sure I will be rushing out to purchase QR Code canvasses any time soon but its nice to see it being done properly, rather than companies lazily trying to show as bigger logo in the middle of the QR Code as they can before it stops reading.

If you’re on an android phone then check out our FREE application on google play or if you want to integrate QR Code reading to a mobile platform check out our website.

Jack

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Barcodes Out the Office

We are all used to the many numerous applications of barcodes in factories, offices or even hosptials (and if you’re not then look back through this blog!). However their use is not limited to the indoors or the brand new. The USA’s National Gallery of Art East Building is currently being renovated. Built with a distinctive pink marble finish it is currently being stripped down before being put back together.

The National Gallery East Building at Night

It is important to the look of the building though that it should be restored as it was before, not an easy job for such a uniquely designed building. The solution was simple though, as each brick came down it was photographed and barcoded to indicate where it came from. This is a perfect example of where the simple technology of barcodes enables potential human error and confusion to be checked.

What is more little fancy equipment is required. Although in this case they are using an ipad to scan the bricks it is a job that any smart phone could perform. To find out more check out our mobile SDK on our website or download our ready to use application from the Android Market Place.

Any questions or comments? Just ask!

Jack

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New European Flag… a Barcode?

A Dutch artist by the name of Koolhaas has designedd a new European flag, this time a little more exciting than gold stars of a blue background. Although it appears that the EU aren’t falling over themselves to adopt it I thought it worth sharing, mainly since it does look like a colourful barcode; in fact more of a flag amalgamation.

Any thoughts? And would it not have been more exciting if it also scanned?

Can you find all the flags in it?

If you want more barcode art then check out this previous blog or our website for trees pretending to be barcodes.

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Barcode Art

A large amount of my day is taken looking at barcodes. Whether it be to try and work out why someone can’t get it to be read (“have you checked it actually is a barcode sir?”) or simply geeking up on something I have to say they do lose some excitement; if they ever had any.  Therefore I found it fascinating when I came across this website with 12 examples of Barcode art. To see the mundane bars of data which I encounter every day used so differently was refreshing. Although some of them used the similarity to a cage there were several of them simply showcasing the strange, and very subtle,  interest in the shape of a barcode. I don’t think I’d actually like the barcode Chandelier or Sofa (ouch) in my home or office but their existence somewhere is nice to know.

This is not my first encounter with barcodes as art however; QR codes are used widely within the world of marketing and therefore interact with consumers in a way most barcodes do not. This inevitably leads to people trying to make them more appealing and more attention grabbing. It is not uncommon to see a barcode out of the usual black/white mould these days. Some take this one step further and turn the QR Codes into functional artwork as shown by this website which describes how. As a company who provide barcode reading software  software this is essentially a nightmare as they are deliberately taking away the large redundancy provided by QR Codes which make them so effective. I have personally found several examples where so much data has been removed the barcode is no longer readable.It has also occurred to me that by turning the QR Code into art it becomes far less obvious to the consumer what they should do with it.

Our website is covered with pictures of barcode type images appearing in nature, mainly of course in the form of tree lines. Check them out for yourself here.

Jack

 

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