and Steal From Work
launch an assault on the art market middle man, taking street art out of the galleries and on to the streets with new innovative QR code technology. Street Art Dealer
is one of six commissions by Media Sandbox which aims to bring a new dynamic into public art, and with the help of renowned artists will bypass galleries and allow a new type of mobile interaction.
This innovative use of QR code technology in the arts will be showcased during an exhibition on the streets of Bristol on July 9th where works from artists including Takahashi, Powderley, Sebastian Lowsley-Williams and Zeus will be on display for all to see. The exhibition will have an information hub at a central gallery in Broadmead, Bristol where people will be shown the QR code system and let loose on the streets to discover what Bristols street art scene has to offer. The gallery will also host a shop front installation featuring the eagerly anticipated project BEAM, by up and coming artists Joseph Watts and Haywood Slucutt, as well as demonstration of GRL's (Graffiti Research Laboratory) Laser Tag system, as part of the private view evenings fun.
Art on the street has hit the headlines with works by well-known artists commanding large figures at auction. This demand has given birth to an industry in resale and as a result dealers and galleries have become increasingly interested in the profits to be made. Resulting in large percentages and rises in prices - excluding an interested public from buying the art they see everyday and in some cases being unable to see the art at all.
To address this issue Street Art Dealer is taking the original concept of street art and combining it with the innovative QR code technology to create a tool which allows an increasingly tech savvy public to use their mobile phones to own, interact and locate art in their community. The project aims to promote engagement with the meaning of street art in the context of the environment alongside creating a dialogue and interaction between artists and their local communities - bridging the gap between both parties.
Calum Lasham, Executive Director at C6 said: This project puts the ball back in the artists court. From an artists point of view, this enables a route outside of the gallery system for artists to engage directly with the viewing public.
Street Art Dealer aims to increase UK awareness of QR code technology which allows camera phones equipped with simple, readily available, reader software to scan QR codes and automatically launch and redirect a users phone to specific websites. The technology will allow artists to link the street to the web, providing the public with a platform to find out more about the art on view, purchase art, engage with artists and, through a Google Maps application, embark on art trails within local communities.
Introducing this technology into the art world could have considerable implications, the number of middlemen and galleries which have been profiting from the genre could be reduced allowing street artists to sell their work directly to the public from the street. On the flipside galleries could use this technology to host unmanned exhibitions in spaces which normally require at least two three gallery staff.
Lucie Akerman, Director at Steal From Work said This project has a lot of potential to allow artists to play with the way art is delivered to its audience, particularly exciting for us is the ability to step outside traditional gallery methods, and were also excited to be able to add audience interactivity to the display of art, in this case with a treasure hunt scenario.
QR tags also easily fit into many existing web based tools, for example, the Google Maps application, where it could be used to create tours around places renowned for its street art, like Londons East End and Bristols Stokes Croft. Or Flickr, where it could link in with a history of photos of that location with previous street works there. Or it could simply be used as a link to the artist, allowing them to explain the motivation behind the piece."
Media Sandbox is the innovative commissioning scheme that finances and guides six companies in the South West of England to develop ideas in digital media each year. Projects are selected based on their merits, and their contributions to the sectors they are part of. Media Sandbox awarded C6 and Steal From Work £9,000 to develop Street Art Dealer and have continued to co-ordinate guidance and advice from top industry experts in order to fully develop the project.
Street Art Dealer has benefited from Media Sandbox co-ordinating production mentoring from leading industry advisors such as Mark Watts-Jones from Orange, who have advised them on routes to market from the perspective of a mobile service provider, plus salon dinners, networking events, innovative lab process and regular catch ups.
QR Code Technology
A QR Code is a matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code) created in Japan in 1994. The "QR" is derived from "Quick Response", as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. QR codes are common in Japan, where they are currently the most popular type of two dimensional codes.
In the UK QR codes, storing addresses and URLs, now appear in magazines, on signs, buses, business cards or on just about any object that people might need information about. The majority of camera phones are now equipped with QR code reader software and can scan a code and instantly launch, and redirect, a phones browser to a preprogrammed URL.