QR codes in New York form massive scavenger hunt

13 portals QR codes mural door

Murals with the barcodes have converted the East Village into a large puzzle for visitors and residents.

A new street art project in New York City’s East Village has brought together technology and artistic talent through the use of QR codes and a creative scavenger hunt project.

The scavenger hunt was created to be incorporated into a number of hand painted murals.

The Free Art Society is an art collective that is currently working on painting the space in abandoned doorways across the East Village in New York City with beautiful and yet still quite mysterious hand created murals. Each of the paintings features QR codes that can be scanned by people who view them and who have smartphones or tablets and virtually any free scanning application.

13 portals QR codes mural doorThe QR codes are used as a part of an interactive project that brings technology, street art, and urban space together.

It is called the 13 Portals project and it uses the QR codes to use urban spaces in an artistic way that will allow for community beautification and a sense of identity. Each of the barcodes sends the viewer a new clue or adventure in order to be able to complete a scavenger hunt. Each step needs to be completed in order to pass into the following “portal”. When all of the portals have been passed, the participants are given “keys” that will unlock a doorway.

The doorway will lead the player to a “theatrical happening” that may mean that the QR codes user will experience any of a number of different possible things, when the Free Art Society’s wild reputation is taken into account.

Previously, the Free Art Society has performed some of the most unique and thrilling projects that the city has ever seen. For instance, they held a guerrilla Mad Hatter Tea Party. Furthermore, before the QR codes project even existed, the founder of the group, Nicolina Johnson, invited 60 artists from across the globe to come together and paint 58 fishing boat rooftops in the Quadra da Urca historic Rio de Janeiro harbor.

According to Johnson, the aim of the QR codes as with all of the other projects taken on by the group are “to explore the degree to which art in public places can affect the community that owns it.”

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