In 2009 American Esquire, of this Church, became the first printed magazine to create an augmented reality cover.
The cover featured a shot of Robert Downey Junior, who would magically get up and dance on the screen of your iPhone when you waved the camera lens over the QR code (those monochrome Rubiks cube-esque things you see emblazoned on everything from orange juice cartons to tube adverts) printed on the cover.
Back then the technology was pretty rudimentary, these days it’s anything but.
On Thursday night, London-based creative collective 15folds (founded by Jolyon Varley, Margot Bowman and Sean Frank) took the form to its zenith, opening an exhibition of GIFs created by 20 contemporary artists including Gary Card, Matthew Stone and Phoebe Collings-James, revealed only by unlocking a humble QR code.
Printed in oversized form around the walls of the 48 Hoxton Square Gallery (formerly the White Cube) the codes spring to life in GIF form when you, the viewer, hover your phone or iPad (with the help of a downloadable app specially created for the exhibition) over the shapes.
The first time the technology has ever been used in this way, the exhibition – titled Everything All At Once - is not only ground breaking, it’s also surprisingly beautiful. Thing is, it’s only open until next Wednesday.
Everything All at Once runs from 22 to 29 May at 48 Hoxton Square, N1 6PB. 15folds.com