While most everyone has seen and used Quick Response (QR) codes these days to instantaneously learn about companies or receive offers, it appears the black and white matrix might also be used as a technology-savvy solution to tagging and vandalism.
|(Left) The original mural was created in 2005 by Hi-Fi Murals. (Right) The QR code covers up a graffiti tag and when scanned directs smartphone users to an image of the original work.|
How? According to various news reports, a mural sponsored by the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, was recently defaced with a large red anarchy sign (an all too familiar fate for murals and other public works of art).
Following the vandalism, someone hand painted over the “tag” with a giant QR code. The code, when scanned with a mobile device, leads back to an image of the original mural along with information about its origins, reports say.
The person who painted the code was graffiti artist Vince Dumoulin, according to his blog.
Dumoulin said, “First of all I’m happy for Milan Basic, who originally painted the mural. I’m also really excited because I painted the QR code with some youths.”
“This was a selfless act of kindness,” he said.
Many critics and bloggers have offered varied opinions on utilizing QR codes in this fashion. For example, many have cited this as a “creative,” yet “temporary” solution to unwanted graffiti tagging.
Some indicated that the use of the codes could potentially backfire resulting in more spray paint- wielding vandals. Others expressed concern that this might replace actual restoration of murals.
However, many seemed to applaud Dumoulin’s use of the code to show the mural in its original form.
The original mural was created by Hi-Fi Murals in 2005 to help “beautify the neighborhood” and deter graffiti in the area, according to the artist’s website.
The approximately 45’ x 14’ mural features a young girl with the Vancouver Art Gallery shown in the background, the site said.
In his description of the work, the artist said, “I was trying to capture a dreamlike setting while keeping the image simple in order not to distract the passing motorists.”
The QR code now planted across the wall could prove to have a differing effect on motorists, as they might now reach for their smartphones to scan while driving by.