Barcodes for arts sake?

March 6, 2014
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barcode labelsSome technological processes or commodities in our everyday life are meant to be invisible. Well, not necessarily invisible but they should not draw attention to the consumers eye. They are meant to do their job in the background so effecting a seamless process to the outside world. One of those commodities is the barcode.

A simple and effective stock taking tool

So simple and effective, it is an essential tool for retailers and manufacturers alike to keep abreast of stock and assets. Because it has a a back room use only (2d barcodes however are on the starting blocks to change all of this) they become invisible to the consumers eye. If customers are looking at the label they are looking for a language they understand, not those boring black and white lines and meaningless numbers.

Modern art grabs the barcode

Well, the art world bless them can obviously see beauty where we cannot and have made barcode labels the centre of a new craze for bring the joy and facets of a barcode to life in the form of a multi-coloured post card.

In an article in the Huffington post Russian born Dmitry Morozov, has turned our boring little barcode labels into “digital landscapes of melting colours and shapes.” Rather than being totally abstract the creations are directly related to the layout of the barcodes. He designed a mechanism whereby the labels are scanned and retrieves the melodic beeps and hums hidden within the codes. the method while creating the artistic postcard purports to be using sound as well as what we see to create the finished product.

Is this beauty?

Dmitry says on his website “Thus, such exclusively digital object [sic] becomes means of obtaining an artefact, suitable for archaic, but ultimately human mode of communication — a postcard.”

Having viewed some of the postcards on his website they are clearly innovative and intriguing in how the simple black and white lines have been transposed into startlingly different effects. Beautiful?  Not for me. I find them garish and soulless. In fact, I am now beginning to warm to those age old black and white lines…

 

 

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