Barcodes have become ubiquitous and imbedded into many aspects of our lives even as their reach spreads ever further... and deeper. They code and track objects in our life from basic needs like food and clothing, to transportation and travel. They even code and track us. We have become products. To me, barcodes epitomize our consumer culture. Consumerism implicitly defines our modes of communication and interaction. It has the ability to engender collective stupor; the daily repetition of images, phrases, and messages lull us into unconscious interaction or dialogue. We have constructed our lives around products and codes without thought. My project is meant to invite a new consciousness and awareness to the encoding of our lives.
For this project I have chosen to work with 2D barcodes, these barcodes are composed of black and white squares that encode the URLs to any website of creator's choice. However, I have discovered the codes can be made in any two contrast colors and are still capable of being decoded. Through my research I have learned how to create and program 2D barcodes with embedded text messages. I have also discovered that these barcodes can be reproduced in a variety of materials and are still capable of being scanned/read with a cell phone.
The public/ user interacts with the piece in the following manner:
The viewer downloads the software program from either NeoReader
or from the Apple App Store into their own phone and takes a picture of the 2D barcode. Once the program decodes the 2D barcode, the user is taken to a website that I created and my encoded text message appears on the phone.