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Inspired from the military business of interpretation, the series of coded work Photointerpretation 1-6, (2009) illustrates clearly the question of dysfunction as related to the notion of empiricism and randomness in the creative process. The artwork is made of a superposition of a QR code (presenting a chapter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights), and aerial images taken by French airplanes in 1940s, in the context of WWII.
This work is designed as an interpretation of notions related to the machine as an extension of the human, an assistant to achieve high-speed decryption and mostly as an exercise of interactivity. The embedded code is deciphered by the viewer using a camera phone, which involves two levels of interpretation, first by vision and second by using an artificial eye (camera) and an algorithm capable of decoding the embedded information—the whole panoply materialised in a smart phone (a modern prosthesis).
As the squares of the graphic have been simplified to look more like curves, the experience relies entirely on the error correction/tolerance of the reading interface, in this case 39% (Level H). This process brings the aerial images to a different degree of the original photo-interpretation, which was the main reason behind their existence.
By giving the viewer the ability to decrypt the code using their own device, the spectator had to come into an encounter with not only the necessity to rely on the machine to interpret the coded message, but also witnessed a collective realisation that speed and accuracy weren’t guaranteed. The errors in interpretation were so common that some visitors had to rely on borrowed devices to read the content of the images. The interactivity wasn’t only between the spectators and the artwork but also inter-spectators.
© Moe Louanjli 2009