Project 9: bar codes and colour

Before I began this next stage of development of the bar codes I thought quite a bit about colour values and so decided that I would experiment with the complementary colours of red and green as they also represented action and inaction and this plays a large part in my life.

The first attempt was useless – see below – the colours were too saturated and energetic.


I wanted to create a visual statement about action/inaction that also evokes a sense of age and weariness as social exclusion has been going on for too long. For example, if I wanted to visit my GP’s surgery I still have to phone in advance and ask for a “special” ramp to be put out….Anyway I came up with this.


I like the sense of the image being a maze as well as a code but that’s about all I like about it. The evocation is so reliant on an image title that I explored incorporating symbols to offer a little more sense of meaning to the viewer. See below.


As you will see I have incorporated two symbols in the image. The first is brightly traditionally coloured symbols for women and men. They are in the green area as physical access for them is guaranteed. Then in the top right corner I have placed a grey barely visible traditional wheelchair symbol. I hope people won’t notice this straight away and it will register with them only after a second or so and by so doing trigger thoughts about the meaning of the image.

What is interesting about bar codes is that they are pure code – they have no iconography to hint at their meaning at all. Of course anthropologists would get a lot out of them in terms of what such codes are used for and why but in terms of disability I think the only thing they offer is the fact that all subjects can be turned into basic codes – whether it’s a bar code or some other form.

I don’t think the work I have completed in Bar codes is very interesting or good though. The images are not interesting or evocative.


About Pete

South Londoner struggling with life, art and photography.
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1 Response to Project 9: bar codes and colour

  1. asitbeats says:

    I’d like to think of myself as energetic but u don’t like the colour!

    Liked by 1 person

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