Portuguese artist Nuno Serrão wants to make art viewing more stimulating by incorporating music through an iPhone app and QR codes.
The artist’s photography exhibit called Project Paperclip is currently housed at the Centro das Artes in Madeira Island, Portugal. People can walk in and do something usually discouraged at galleries — wear headphones and listen to music while taking in the images.
“It can carry you to a different interpretation of that moment in the frame,” Serrão, who has a background in programming, design and music, told Mashable. “All the pictures are inspired by science, curiosity and imagination.”
People can experience it by downloading the free Project Paperclip app. The app developed especially for this exhibit scans the QR scans very easily, connecting to musical airwaves. Try it online, where a few images from the Project Paperclip are viewable.
“The QR codes are used to unlock the soundscapes so that the viewer has access to the reactive soundscapes designed for that photo,” he said as he explained how the idea evolved.
The experience at the gallery or using the app outside the exhibit will be different for everyone. The soundtracks will change depending on when and where you open the application. Your voice, level of noise in the room, movement, and location will set off different sounds, according to the artist.
This gallery is the first augmented reality art exhibit, revolving around a Cold War theme — chosen because it is interesting from a cultural, scientific and political standpoint.
“There has been an incredible wave of great feedback, I’ve been following mostly on Twitter,” said Serrão, who hopes to bring the augmented reality art experience to international audiences.
The photos are surreal, especially with the pairing of soundtracks. The artist captured natural sound where photos were taken, plus sounds captured later and mixed in.
“I think I feel in love with the concept of joining art forms when I read a book [by] Arthur C. Clark called The Songs of Distant Earth,” he said, mentioning the 1986 science fiction novel that eventually was sold with a CD based on the book after 1994.
The 16-photograph exhibit opened Feb. 11 and will be available until April 29. The app is currently only available for iPhone 3 and later.