Originally designed for the automotive industry in Japan of 1994, a QR code (Quick Responsive Code) is a digital matrix of readable optical images containing information about a given item to which it is attached in order to efficiently store data. Although initially used to track parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR codes are used today over a much wider range of applications; URLS to cleverly embedded treasures of information.
From this notion of things being ‘hidden’ is when I began to explore the innovative ways one could use QR codes within the arts.
Charged Sigils may be used and empowered for multiple purposes: such as evoking of the 72 Goetic Demons, Runic Magick, Vodoun Veves or for the WILL of the creator, for example. Everyone has a personal method in which he/she makes their own sigils – from the combination of sacred symbols, via Gnosis to removing the vowels and repeated letters within the given diagram of the sigil.
Welcome to the world of today where ‘all things hidden’ are staring you right in the face. QR codes could, in effect, be embedded within clothing, pictures, food, buildings and even skin. Therefore, in line with most popular trends, you would expect QR codes to be everywhere, so what’s preventing the proliferation of this hidden data? For starters, the user experience begins with a barrier of searching for the most suitable app, waiting for it to download and then positioning your mobile in one position long enough for it to capture the necessary data. This can be so cumbersome for some that they often give up on the overall process.
An alternative option would be to use a Mobile Visual Search (MVS) app (which builds off of the QR technology). The most popular at the moment is Google Goggles which enables you to take a picture and have the internet search for it at the designated url. However, this is not very accurate, nor is it bespoke to your message or product since Google Googles picks up ALL images similar to the one you are searching for. At the moment, until someone from the ‘Digital Think Tank’ improves the technology of this cumbersome process, here are at least some suggestions that you may want to use to integrate this technology into the “Hidden Embodiment of your QR Sigils”:
- QR Codes may be read universally, therefore language is never a barrier for you to translate information back to any given url or page.
- Where there is limited space within the canvas of your work you display to the public may include your QR code that relates to any given page within the Internet including downloadable documents.
- QR Codes can be made up of colour, therefore you may incorporate them within your overall branding never taking away from your imagery in the way you would a large body of too much copy.
If you’re really keen on trying some of this technology out be sure to check below “For Further Reading” where I have provided links for you to explore. OR – you may decide that you really don’t want to use QR Codes to embed your information and want to wait until technology advances allowing it to be more customisable and user friendly. No matter what you end up doing, know that this technology is not going away and can be used as an option in the event you have large amounts of information to broadcast in small space. If you you’re already using it or decide to try it out I’d be interested in viewing your examples.
For Further Reading
- Generate your own QR Code – http://www.qrcode-monkey.com
- 26 Creative ways to Use QR Codes – http://www.boredpanda.org/26-creative-ways-to-use-qr-codes/
- QR Exhibit at the Venice Biennale 2012: i-city / Russia Pavilion – http://www.archdaily.com/267138/venice-biennale-2012-i-city-russia-pavilion/
- Technical explanation of how QR Codes are made – http://www.ams.org/samplings/feature-column/fc-2013-02
- Google Goggles – https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/166331?hl=en
- Popular QR readers for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7 & Blackberry – http://www.708media.com/qrcode/qr-code-readers-iphone-android-blackberry-windows-phone-7/
*At the moment, QR Codes may only by mobile devices ie your phone. provided you have downloaded an app to read QR codes. QR Code apps which may easily found by searching for “QR readers” on within your store app within your phone.