Want to try something new for promoting your next exhibition or include a bit of nifty technology in your next art project? Try a QR code (those funny black and white squares you see on adverts in magazines, billboards, and tube station posters); you’ll need an tablet or smartphone with a camera and an app that can scan QR codes, such as this one:
The original intent of QR codes (or Quick Response Codes) is something like a bar code. Once the pictograph is scanned (by your tablet or smartphone), you’ll be taken to a website to read more about the product, or perhaps to watch a YouTube video, or see an image.
Of course, artists and creatives have been using QR codes for years; here’s a few examples of what can be done: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/qr-code-artworks/
I’ve used QR codes a few times myself, to tell a little art joke:
…When the code is scanned, the viewer goes to this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxEmnxiUz8w
And in another project “A Walk Through Palestine” (2015, installation), when the code is scanned, the viewer can listen to the “audio guide” soundtrack that accompanies the exhibit:
Besides including the QR code in the actual art project, here are some other uses that an artist might find handy, such as using them to provide a link to your website or electronic invitation on:
- The press release
- Business cards
- Other promotional materials
Create your own QR code – it’s super easy!
So how do you make one?
It’s really easy. First, go to a website on which you can generate the QR code. A quick Google search found these:
So I used http://www.qrstuff.com for this one. I opened the website, entered the website URL I wanted a code for, and presto, on the right-hand side was a little box with the QR code in it. From here, the code can be downloaded as a .jpg image or even just take a screenshot of it, saving it as a .png, .gif, or .jpg. or some other image format.
Then it can be added like any other graphic in your project. Now you try it!