'The Babel Vessel is an attempt to combine an actual experience with a virtual one by enabling an object to connect to the Internet through mobile technology.
Quick Response (QR) barcodes are similar to the barcodes we find on most products. They function as a link to factual information; I was interested exploring their potential for story telling. To begin with, I generated a QR code which links to a page on my website when scanned by a barcode reader, available as an App for some mobile phones. I then extruded the 2-dimensional image into a 3-dimensional form using CAD software. This was then given the shape of a Chinese hu.
On a visit to the British Museum I noticed the surface decoration of the hu, (6th century BC Chinese ceremonial wine vessel), as it reminded me of the QR barcodes. When translated, the Chinese symbols tell of battles won or of heroic deeds by emperors. Like the QR code, I wasn’t able to read them without a translator (or an App).
So the idea is that the viewer can scan the Babel Vessel with a barcode reader mobile phone App which then connects to a page on my website telling the story, providing additional information thereby creating a simultaneous actual and virtual experience. I plan to offer a series of similar pieces where the QR code is generated for a client linking the piece to information specific to that person. So, as heirlooms, the virtual experience could tell the story of the journey of that object through the generations.'