Seductive Technologies and Inadvertent Voyeurs Effect


  • Simone O'Callaghan


This paper is based on practice based research undertaken to examine the use of Quick Response (QR) Codes in print-based artworks. Knowing that scanning a code can unlock hidden aspects of the artwork can make the urge to scan quite seductive and often irresistible. What happens, though, when the code reveals content which may be disturbing, or evokes strong emotional responses? Contextualized within the areas of interactive art, mobile devices, affective technologies, presence and intimacy, the discussion examines audience perception of a series of artworks that were created for this research. Evaluation methods draw on precedents set by other researchers in Human Computer Interaction and Grounded Theory. The findings indicate that participants showed strong emotional reactions to the works and revealed unexpected confidences, as well as highlighting that there are opportunities for the artist to surreptitiously entice audiences to engage with content that is taboo or issues that may take people out of their comfort zones. These are discussed within a wider awareness of the ethical considerations when manipulating the emotions of audiences through the mediation of presence and intimacy.