The Language/Absence Series is a series of three locative media works (2012-2013) that used QR codes as blank signifiers within language.

Speak2MeInCode (2013)
“I Tried…” (2012)
Velcro + Cupcakes: QR Codes in Public Art (2012)



Poster from Speak2MeInCode
Speak2MeInCode (2013)

Speak2MeInCode (2013) is a locative media project commissioned specifically for the Electronic Literature Organization performance/exhibition at the Modern Language Association Conference in January, 2013.

The project included 12 posters – each designating place from a usage guide (everywhere, anywhere, somewhere, nowhere). Each poster had a QR code. When scanned, the QR code brought the viewer/reader into a section of the story.

Told through the guise of a modern grammar, the rules of language quickly devolved into the rules of relationship, which were actively being broken. An illicit affair. Concrete poetry. And of course, social media: During the 2013 MLA Conference, on-going Tweets – of place and story – pointed towards an illicit romance that might – or might not – be unfolding in real time.

Read more about Speak2MeInCode (2013)


“I Tried…”

Dancers, text, QR code
“I Tried…” (2012)

In “I Tried…” (2012), the reader is introduced to the project when they first see a simple statement, posted near the door of the main auditorium during the Electronic Literature Organization Conference at West Virginia University (Summer, 2012).

It says:
“I tried to say ‘I love you’ but all that came out was [QR code]”

The QR code, in this case, is an unintelligible symbol. It represents pure possibility: Scanning it could lead anywhere – something more eloquent than ‘I love you’ – something less trite – or not at all – perhaps failure… The possibilities are endless. And yet, without scanning the code: Nothing. Simply a small black-and-white box.

Every few hours, another phrase was posted on the wall. Each one represented an attempted utterance… and, like the un-scanned QR code… a failed communication.

When scanned, the codes lead to experimental film segments, each full of yearning, of desire, and language, but ultimately also… ambiguity.

There were 10 phrases in all.

View the full project here.


Velcro + Cupcakes: QR Codes in Public Art

“Velcro + Cupcakes” (2012) is a QR code sticker project in which multiple artists created videos inspired by QR code technology. The stickers were designed to be presented in public places.

Velcro+Cupcakes phone pole
Velcro + Cupcakes: QR Codes in Public Art (2012)

Read more about Velcro + Cupcakes: QR Codes in Public Art here.

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