Musical Postcards Create Tones When Read Aloud

Musical Postcards Create Tones When Read Aloud

A new art project penetrates the world of bar codes in a distinctly human way.

Rachel Pincus
  • 2 january 2014

As the Internet of Things becomes more complex, we have an increasing number of devices that speak only to each other. Though the result of these communications might be useful to us in the end (let’s hope so), it’s fascinating when we get a rare glimpse into the encoded world as computers read it. ::vtol::, an ongoing project from the Moscow-based media artist, musician and engineer Dmitry Morozov. His latest project, post code, which premiered at the Cité internationale des arts, Paris, combines the visual and auditory sides of his work by utilizing product bar codes – a ubiquitous identifier in both consumerist and industrial environments that is nonetheless unreadable by humans.

His tools for interpreting bar codes include an old photo printer, a circuit-bent webcam, a mono sound system, and of course, a bar code scanner. Interpreted as pitches and sounds, the glitchy bar code ‘music’ is strangely haunting, providing one possible first-person perspective of a bar code scanner’s inner workings. The postcards generated by the photo printer as the ‘music’ plays, however, is what really drives home the message of the project, turning something so mystifying to humans into a tangible (if now dated) artifact of our communications – which, when hand-written, are just as unintelligible to computers. See this unusual way of reading bar codes in action below.


Sources: Aeon::vtol::

GIF: Prosthetic Knowledge


Fitness Advocate: Paving The Future of Workouts With Audio

Fitness & Sport
Innovation Yesterday

After The Initial Success Of AR Gaming, What Does The Future Hold?

With Pokemon GO earning up to $10m a day, R&D departments are busy searching for the next phase

Arts & Culture Yesterday

The Next Great Art Movement Will Come At The Swipe Of A Finger

An improved app, optimized digital display and monthly art discovery service round out Electric Objects' renewed commitment to democratizing the art world


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Retail Yesterday

A TV Streaming Service Is Designed Just For Kids

Toca TV is a new platform offering thousands of original and curated children's videos for a monthly subscription fee

Travel Yesterday

Bus Stop Transformed Into A Fitness Station For Commuters

Sports drink company Lucozade live-streamed an athletic trainer working out at a stop in Manchester to encourage travelers to get moving

Related Expert

Ed Brojerdi

Interactive Windows

Technology Yesterday

Shiseido And Microsoft Have Created A Makeup Filter For Women Who Telecommute

The Japanese cosmetic company built an augmented reality app that works alongside Skype for Business

Mobile Yesterday

Samsung Is Using AR To Help Beachgoers Stay Safe

Pocket Patrol utilizes a phone's camera to promote beach safety and educate people about hidden hazards

Design & Architecture Yesterday

500 Plastic Chairs Used To Create A Recyclable Pavilion

Design agency CODA built a grandoise art piece from simple lawn furniture


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 21, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

PSFK Labs Yesterday

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

Retail Yesterday

Exchange Your Old Razors For New Ones At This Bartershop

The subscription-based shaving company lets customers trade their unwanted razors for Harry's brand steel at a temporary New York pop-up

Food Yesterday

A Brewer Has Created The Most Expensive Chips To Snack On

St. Eriks Brewery created crisps made from rare mushrooms to go with its artisan beer, donating all proceeds to charity

Op-Ed Yesterday

Marketing Experts: Millennials And The Power Of Cool

'Good Is The New Cool' Authors Afdhel Aziz and Bobby Jones share their 7 principles for branding with a social impact

Travel Yesterday

Melbourne Hotel Lets Guests Stay In Their Own Chrome Airstream Trailers

Notel is a luxury rooftop with six guest rooms made from vintage 1970s mobile homes

Infants Yesterday

Battery Powered Cradle Will Rock Itself

NoomiNoomi is a clever device that makes it easier to put babies to sleep

Sustainability Yesterday

Swedish Citizens Get A Tax Break For Repairing Old Goods

A sustainability initiative encourages people to fix, rather than replace, broken objects

Fitness & Sport Yesterday

How Precision Data Can Make Anyone A Better Performer

The Sports Debrief from PSFK Labs looks at how analytic tools are being developed to optimize human performance across all industries

Home Yesterday

You Can Now Buy Furniture From A Daytime TV Show

Home furnishing online retailer Wayfair is partnering with Lifetime to create a shoppable life improvement television program

No search results found.