Although you may not know their name, surely you've seen them everywhere. These codes are an evolution of barcodes, and like them, are used to store information. They are recognizable for their three corners with large concentric squares and lots of dark squares distributed in an apparently random way. They can store far more information than barcodes and are becoming more and more widespread, replacing barcodes often.
With the help of a smartphone or other mobile device, you can scan them and access to certain information, usually through a link to a website, a business card V-Card, geo-location coordinates, or plain text. Therefore, we could say that QR codes are a gateway to access from the physical world to the Internet.
Although initially created for use in the automotive industry, they are currently widely used and have applications as diverse as advertising, merchandising, graphic design, business cards, catalogs, help in locating Alzheimer patients, information on art works or monuments, menus translation in restaurants, etc. Thanks to QR codes it's really easy to access the web from an advertiser, keep your contact details on the agenda or make a call, send an email or see your situation with Google Maps.
QR codes are encoded with an algorithm that introduces some level of redundant information in order to correct possible errors while reading them. Consequently, up to 30% of the information they contain may be disregarded, allowing therefore some degree of deformation, distortion or modification, making it possible to create custom QR codes, or QR Art.
QR Art is the term generally used to describe a trend that uses QR codes as a starting point for creating art works in any discipline. This is a very recent tendency, but it has already created a legion of experimentation and creation. You can find plenty of examples on the Internet, but here you have some that have caught our attention.
Furthermore, the QR Art has been carried to all disciplines:
The QR Art Lab, with a vision that combines art, technology and solidarity, aims to use QR codes as a canvas on which to create cutting-edge interactive artistic creations. Through exhibitions, competitions, lectures, workshops, games and more, we aim to explore the possibilities of this tool, which allows us to link the real world to the Internet, or send any information to an electronic device. The QR Art Lab is an event committed to our society, and therefore we give special attention to the transmission of high social contents.
The QR Art Lab has five targets:
The QR Art Lab is open to the participation of a large segment of the population. It is an event which accommodates artists, graphic designers, developers, programmers, performing artists, artisans, etc. Professional artists from different nationalities will participate in the project, and we'll count with the contribution of students from various art schools with which we are reaching collaborative arrangements.
The deadline to participate in the First QR Art Lab Competition ended on August 20th. If you want to participate in future calls, please contact us so we can keep you informed.