QR Anthology: performance art project

Rachelle Stein-Wotten

Sounder News

Tuesday, April 25 2017

Take a peek behind the Gabriola Arts Council building or stroll along Brickyard Beach and you’ll find a portal to a poetic artwork in the form of a small aluminum square containing a QR code.

The QR Anthology, a joint project between Poetry Gabriola and the Gabriola Institute of Contemporary Art, is in the process of unveiling the first 11 pieces of its public art installation/geo-caching treasure map, with the first two already installed. 

By visiting the official website, www.info63236.wixsite.com/qranthology, viewers will soon be able to view a map where the first pieces are located, and once they find them, use a QR code reader app on their smartphones to view the works.

In total 20 submissions have been acquired, said Andreas Kahre, chair of the Poetry Gabriola Society. 

“What we have been happy and delighted to find is that we’ve gotten a really broad range of response from people … and that it has appealed to different kinds of artists,” he said.

Younger participants, stemming from the society’s Fountain of UTH project, have also contributed.

Pieces so far range from a haiku by Naomi Beth Wakan, an experimental short film from Chris Welsby and a musically accompanied text from Dinah D.

“Poetry Gabriola has always had an interdisciplinary focus,” said Andreas. “The QR code format lends itself to interdisciplinary projects because anything you can put in a digital format can be called up by QR code.”

While many may first think of poetry as an art form consumed textually, Andreas said the QR Anthology responds to poetry’s other identity as a performance art. 

“What this, to my mind, does is it extends that aspect of poetry that is enacted in some way, and so it is more akin to spoken word, but in this case the space itself becomes active as a participant in it,” Andreas said.

The hope is to install new batches of work every season from people inspired by Gabriola.