Sunday, May 29, 2011

Smart Art: Lower Burrell gallery launches #QR code pattern art world - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The only thing missing from the new cutting-edge art exhibit at Artform Gallery in Lower Burrell is the art.

Or, so it seems.

Entering one of the Alle-Kiski Valley's newest galleries and trying to find the 58 pieces in various mediums can create a head-scratching moment. The exhibit comprises pieces from 48 artists from around the world, including the Alle-Kiski Valley and Pittsburgh areas.

The traditional frames are there, but inside all of them are matrix bar codes, consisting of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. Techs like to call them "QR" codes, short for "Quick Response," because they were created to allow contents to be decoded at high speed.

"It's quite shocking at first," says artist Seth Leibowitz, show co-producer and gallery co-owner. "We wanted to be the first to have an art show with zero physical art hanging on the walls."

Don't worry if you are old school. The gallery will loan you a phone-device to see the show.

The results yield considerably more than what usually is found at art shows, Leibowitz says.

In addition to the art itself, the code provides access to the artist's biography, a photo, a YouTube video interview and a hyperlink to their website and Facebook.

The point of mounting this exhibit around Quick Response technology is to convey the practical use of it in everyday lives. "We want to educate people on how it can benefit their businesses, art, social lives, schooling, teaching, publications and show how the world can easily be connected in a matter of seconds," Leibowitz says.

Artform Gallery has a mobile version of the exhibit, which Leibowitz refers to as an "educational art show on the road," available for schools and organizations. He has presented classes to students and teachers at Art Institute of Pittsburgh on the use of the technology.

"We want to spread the use of this amazing technology, rather than people walking by these codes and not even knowing the power they hold," he says. Read More

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