Hello, QR

//A little Friday afternoon song and dance, partly in lieu of the whole new aesthetic kick about and also following some work done together with Peter Romich looking into a few striking examples of QR. It is perhaps worth warning the reader in advance that this is a puckish homage to a medium and its message, one embedded to the nines with flashy misappropriations further encoded within a scattershot surface of shock and awe(ful) prose. A quick response to the Rorschach test cards of machine vision – and the aestheticians who love them.

Hello, QR. It seems I cannot ignore you.

You hail me. In your blatant black white computer liberation jumpsuit. Beckoning portal to the digital patched into a suddenly rickety seeming world of analogues, superfluous colours, ostentatious curves. With your unmistakeable, unapologetic codedness. The almost casual quality to it. Knowing hat tip to machine friendly friends, waving in zigzag from the other side of this zébraged crossing. Hello, QR.

You see me. With those three squat eyes and roving monocle. Watching and not watching. A studied, captivating obliviousness. Invisible glint masked in matrix finish. Jacques, there’s a barcode on that can of sardines. Hello, QR.

Have I seen you before? Was it at a Harbour in Normandy? Was it you draped atop the troopship’s bow, your plumage refulgent, the light scattering off your visor, all razzle dazzle. Such a sore sight for sore eyes. Hello, bonjour, こんにちは, QR.

You tease. You cyber Centre Pompidou. No cloaking of the technological plumbing behind calming, fashioned facades. No shrinking violet this fleurs du H.A.L. Plucked from your natural habitat on the assembly line, happily you go nude into the urban jungle, coyly pronking your pervy compressed camo in a display that hides nothing, blends in nowhere. Enough, QR.

What have you got to say for yourself? Zsuzsa speaks for you, paints a complete portrait. Would you like it, if she told you, of your overenthusiastic hyper babble, your finicky fugues processing in parallel. Listen to your stammer, your natural stutter. It is only natural. Would you like it if Zsuzsa told you, QR, would QR would QR would would QR like it?

What do you see? Do you see the bumble bee and the bobolink? That which swabs the evening dew from your blotted cheek, that we call the morning sun. The sun – grand old augmenter. Night and day – our analogue divide. Visible markers of, #dareonesayit, a binary existence. A shared physics to our metaphysics. Hello, world. Hello, QR.

Do you know history, do you know death? Of your lineage – your mother, the barcode, and your wonky uncle, the random-dot stereogram. Consider them, once handsome and tall as you. Over there, the mounting ash heap of 2D. Cataracts of an older age, soon to be excised. And already your cousins are plotting against you. Hello, NFC. Hello, RFID.

Indeed, you were of your time. Weighted down by a drab magic of marketing. Overly functional, too easily mastered. No dark arts to this blocky dotcom soapbox. The clunking, almost endearing awkwardness in the whole affair. The little meme who would, but never really did. Do you know, I quite liked you, QR.

But still, there was a boldness of a type to that initial gesture of yours, a certain aura to your mechanical reproduction. One could pass you on the street and say “never mind,” yet remain vaguely unsettled by this b(l)ot from Porlock. Something like an anamorphic alterity to your inscrutable visage, extending at its angle of obliquity. The hieroglyphic vulture’s shadowy trace, striking our lips with your tail, suckling us on your three-bosomed pareidolic teats. A subliminal, felt quickening in response. I can’t deny you, QR.

And, oh, your brute, brutalist heart. No skeuomorph’s whimsy here. How we new aestheticians swooned in correlationist ectasy, Tumblring our Taroc packs, excited flurries of the impotent. I think I love you, QR.

Yes — yes! I’m going to stamp you on my breast, tattoo my avatar. A promise that I’ll never desert you. Nothing else. Just us, the cameras, and those wonderful machines! I’m ready for my closeup, QR.

Hello, QR. Hello, QR. Hello, QR.


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