Friday, January 07, 2022

SaSaS #1

We start this first edition of the South Arlington Stick Art Scene with some bad news. Arguably the soul of South Arlington's sticker art scene was the utility poll outside of Bob & Edith's Diner. Over time, this post accumulated a delightful collection of stickers. For those paying attention, passing by was like encountering a public art exhibition.

Alas, some thoughtless soul took a bottle of black spray paint and turned this cooperative art scene into an eye sore. Why? I can't imagine.

In happier news, I was psyched to spot a couple of 'Art Is Dead' stickers while running last week. It's quite possible these were ordered off the web and randomly slapped up to mar public property. However, I'd rather believe this is the work of the same artist who made a statement by covering a bridge in Sherlock stickers. I'd seen the 'Art is Dead' sticker with the text lined up vertically before, but this was the first time I've seen the letters lined up diagonally. I'm interpreting this as the artist continuing to tune his or her work, which I suppose is the complete opposite of the 'Art is Dead' message of the sticker. Well played anonymous artist, well played.

Finally, here's a new favorite sticker I came across a couple of weeks ago. This one isn't located in South Arlington, it's across the bridge in DC.

I know what you're thinking, that's a QR code--big deal. Except, it's not. It looks like a QR code, with the checkered pattern and distinctive black-outlined rectangles in the corner, but if you try to scan the sticker with your phone, no QR code is detected.

Looking at this page which describes how QR codes work, it's still not clear to me what the above image is lacking to be detected as a valid QR code. I can see the Finder Patterns and Timing Patterns clearly enough. But still, it doesn't work.

Granted, the most likely explanation for this 'sticker' was that the poster intended it as a working QR code. The fact that it doesn't scan is almost certainly accidental. It's also possible that some kid intentionally posted this QR-looking code simply to mess with tourists.

However, like the 'Art Is Dead' hypothesis above, I'd like to imagine that this sticker slap is an artist's statement. What looks like urban visual detritus is actually something more. It's not an ad for a company or band; but a hidden-in-plain sight piece of art that you expect to behave one way, but behaves another.

As far as I'm concerned, this humble "QR Code" could easily live in the Hirshhorn Museum, among other clever and subversive pieces of art.

No comments:

Post a Comment