In the QRbodies Open Tattoo project (#QRbodies) a QR code was tattooed on human body. We designed and created an interface that allows anyone to change the message the QR tattoo links to. It means anyone can change the message encoded in the tattoo.
The Open Tattoo combines two unique concepts:
- Tattoo becomes a dynamic entity
A tattoo, once placed on human skin, is an unchangeable entity. By contrast, the visual form of the Open Tattoo stays the same in the real world, but the virtual extension of the tattoo, its content and meaning can be changed infinitely.
- Tattoo content is user-generated
By placing a QR code on human body we have created a wetware – a cybernetically augmented human body. Thanks to the interface we designed, we enabled anyone to log into the body and change the content of the tattoo. The human body augmented with the QR code becomes a place for selfexpression of someone else, and the people interacting with the Open Tattoo become users of someone else’s body. This puts the concept of body ownership, privacy and bodiness into new perspective.
The QRbodies Open Tattoo project was realized during the summer semester 2012 for New Media Studies (@stunome) at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague in cooperation with the tattoo & piercing studio HELL.cz. The authors are Máša Dudziaková (@mascha_dudu), Eva Gurná (@evagurna) and Veronika Spišáková (@veronikaspisak).
- How does it work?
A QR code was tattooed on human body. We designed and created an interface that allows anyone to change the message the QR tattoo links to. It means anyone can change the message encoded in the tattoo.
You can enter text, upload images (.jpg, .png, .gif), music (mp3), video (embed code from YouTube or Vimeo) or pase URL adress.
In the moment when the Open Tattoo content is changed, the QRbody (the person who has the Open Tattoo tattooed) receives an e-mail on his/her smartphone so he/she can directly scan the tattoo and check the new content immediately.
- How to change the Open Tattoo?
Go to www.opentattoo.cz. Log into the interface and change the Open Tattoo. login: opentattoo, password: opentattoo
- Who is the QR body?
We call QRbody any person who has a QR code tattooed on his/her skin. In the QRbodies Open Tattoo project, the QRbody is a 32-year-old male Zdeněk Siblík aka herrICH. As an experienced body modification user (multiple tattoos, multiple piercings, multiple body suspension, transdermal deep chest implants – unhealed taken out after 15 months) and a great fan of cyberpunk including related aesthetics and philosophy, he became a perfect candidate for our first QRbody.
- Generating and scanning the QR code
To generate all QR codes in this project we used the free Kerem Erkan QR code generator, which claims to strictly follow the established standards for QR code creation. For scanning we have excellent experience with QRReader for iPhone and QRReader for Android.