Alternate Views, a QR code, smart Phone enabled photography show

A Unique Art Experience
for Seattle Pedestrians

created by Kevin Wildermuth

AlternateViews is a virtual gallery project juxtaposing photographs of Oaxaca, Mexico with views from Seattle sidewalks in the Capitol Hill and Fremont neighborhoods this summer. Forty seven bright yellow placards, each displaying a QR code linked to a different photograph, will be posted in storefront windows and on utility poles for six weeks beginning in July. Pedestrians are invited to scan the codes with their smart phone to compare the actual scene before them with a scene photographed in Mexico by the artist.

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Project update:

The QR code placards all went up on Capitol Hill July 1st and in Fremont on July 2nd. Many of those were taken down almost immediately. Among some members of the public and within certain agencies in the city the concern for poster-free poles overrides any tolerance for the use of this public commons for public art. All QR placards will be removed from utility poles and storefront windows around August 15th. So the artist urges you to go find those placards soon.

The web site has been adjusted so that the ViewSites are better described and the photography easier to see for those who find the locations but discover that there is no code to scan. While experiencing the artwork on your smart phone you may find the ViewSites by tapping on one of the two map or ViewSite List buttons on most screens. From this page you can click on the corresponding link in the column at the left.

In the Google custom map of ViewSites links to the Oaxacan photos appear when you tap on a marker. Thosee photo screens in turn are linked to images of the view from the related ViewSite. This means that if the QR placard is missing you can refer to the latter images to see the scene that the artist intended to associate with the Oaxacan photograph.

The artist would like to thank the participating businesses who allowed him to put the placards in their store windows. Please consider patronizing these art-friendly businesses:

On Capitol Hill:
Chris Bachtel Property management
Chungee's Drink and Eat
Vermillion Bar
TNT Espresso
Dave's Appliance Rebuild
15th Avenue Garage
Broadway Café
Velo Bike Shop
Callahan's Auto Rebuild
Office Nomads
Mercedes Benz of Seattle
Blick Art Materials
Emerald City Smoothie

In Fremont:
Espresso to Go
Not a Number Cards & Gifts
Burnt Sugar Frankie
Sinbad Express
Free Range Cycles
Costas Opa Greek Restaurant


 

Be sure to come back to this site for more updates.

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While traveling to various cities in Mexico Kevin became interested in how different, and yet similar, the everyday environment is to what he's used to in the United States. This project invites the audience to look a bit more carefully at a familiar scene in their own environment and then to consider a photograph from a very different place. Sometimes the photo and the physical location share a very literal connection - the automobile and related businesses are ubiquitous in both cultures, for example. But other times the connection between the two is less obvious and a connection made because of an emotional resonance that the artist experienced in both places. Either way, the hope is that a thought-provoking, and hopefully enlightening experience is the result.

By using QR code and smart phone technology Kevin hopes to reach beyond the traditional audience served by the gallery system and also to remind people that this technology has uses other than the commercial applications that predominate today.

To see examples of viewsite pairings with Oaxacan photographs click on one of the thumbnails in the right column.

To see a map of placard locations, which the artist has dubbed ViewSites, click on either the Capitol Hill Map or the Fremont Map thumbnails in the right column. A list of the ViewSites for each neighborhood, with their addresses and approximate GPS coordinates, is also available via the ViewSites List links in the left column under each neighborhood heading.

Artist Talks

The artist gave two presentations early in July at the Capitol Hill and Fremont branches of the Seattle Public Library where he explained the project and gave attendees a chance to meet him and ask questions.