The Poetry in QR Codes

QR codes are the center of a slight controversy in Philadelphia.
The codes—which are in the form of a sticker—are being placed all around town, often without permission. When users scan the codes, they are taken to lines of poetry written by Philadelphia poet Judy Breslin.

She has placed the stickers all over Philadelphia, numbering in the hundreds. The stickers contain only a small black and white QR code and nothing more. To Breslin, this is merely a form of art…better yet, a form of art that she has managed to sneak into many commercial districts. She has placed them on parking meters, storefront window and several other locations.

To her, it’s a form of expression and an interesting way to display her poetry.

To others in the community, however, it’s just another form of vandalism.

However you might view what Breslin is doing, one thing is for certain: it’s a great way to use QR codes that not many people have caught on to yet. Certainly, this sort of artistic gesture might be more widely appreciated in artist districts. QR codes provide a great way for artists and writers to place their works in a public space without actually taking up a lot of space.

This is exactly why some people in Philadelphia are laughing off claims that these tiny stickers are a form of graffiti. They are not large like most tagging or spray-painting and are, for the most part, not obstructing anything.

This again exemplifies one of the great things about QR codes: when used properly, they can get across a point or deliver your message, offer, or service in the form of a tiny square. Of course, you want the code to be large enough for users to scan but not so big that it’s an eyesore.

What are your thoughts on Breslin’s use of QR codes? Graffiti or not? And how else have you seen artists creatively using QR codes to promote their work?