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Smartphones and QR Codes Feature at Auckland’s Sculpture On The Gulf

Smartphones and QR Codes Feature at Auckland’s Sculpture On The Gulf


headland SCULPTURE ON THE GULF is New Zealand’s leading contemporary outdoor sculpture exhibition set on a spectacular coastal walkway on Waiheke Island in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf. This year the event has two sculptures out of the 30 that requires you to use your smartphone to scan a QR code to get further information about the exhibit and interact with that instillation in a special way.

The first is called I am Auckland by Aaron McConchie.


It requires three viewers at a time to work together to position mechanical signs that form a QR code. Using a smartphone, a fourth viewer can then access a dynamically driven website that extracts streaming information from around Auckland’s Twittersphere. With no positive stops on the levers, a process of direction and negotiation between active participants in necessary.

The second is called In Case of Emergency LIKE this page by Trish Clarke.


In 20122 NZ watched on in horror as an oil spill occured off the coast of Tauranga, caused by the grounding of MV Rena on the Astrolabe. Because it happened the same day that Steve Jobs died and the Occupy Wall St movement was dominating headlines, it took some time to get some traction in the news. However the plight of the blue penguin covered in the oil slick went viral quickly, and its need for little knitted jumpers. Clarke’s encourages participants to ‘like’ the Facebook Page and interact with it by posting images of Sculpture On The Gulf and of any environmental issues encountered throughout the exhibition period.  Take a look at the Facebook page here.

What do you think about artists using this technology in their pieces?

Dani McAllen is a free spirit who left the sunny shores of Australia in 2008 for a life filled with adventure. Since then, she has lived in London and Paris, travelled Europe extensively, and started multiple blogs. She works in Social Media and is currently completing a thesis on Social Media in New Zealand. Never one to sit still for long, she is putting her roots down for the time being in Auckland. Passionate about the online world and its potential, Dani can be found writing for multiple websites, and blogging at Feel free to contact her via Twitter or email for a chat.

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  1. gerri50 - January 28, 2013

    That is an exhibition with a difference. One question that comes to mind is that not everyone has a QR code scanner on their smartphones (if they have a smartphone that is). What happens then?

    • Dani McAllen - January 28, 2013

      When I was taking a photo of the second piece I had a bunch of, er, shall we say, ‘older’ people who were asking what the fangdangled thing was? I explained that I was using my phone to scan the QR code to go to the Facebook page to interact. They laughed and said it was way over their head and walked on. So for them it wasn’t any good. For me (and those lining up behind me with their phones) it was great and a new way to interact. So I guess while it does leave out some people, it makes others interact even more!

    • Phase19 - February 12, 2013

      Download an app, if you have smartphone you are probably familiar with the concept…

  2. Phase19 - February 12, 2013

    I like the QR code interactive thing, the Facebook ‘like’ is lame

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