Treatise consists of seven original QR codes displayed across seven web pages. QR codes -- standardized, two-dimensional glyphs -- can contain textual and contextual payloads, and can be decoded by software commonly available on mobile phones. Once scanned, each code in Treatise visualizes a proposition of Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.

Here, QR codes have been layered, animated, reflected, and otherwise obfuscated in relation to the philosophical clauses contained within each code, allowing for an interactive investigation into the epistemic forces communicated by Wittgenstein's work. These pictorial presentations address the limitations of language as a primary means to express complex thought and perception, by further translating the precise, philosophical propositions into visual abstractions which cannot be directly read by humans.

The widespread use of QR codes in marketing and popular culture has begun to articulate a functional model of Wittgenstein's picture theory of language, in which graphical artifacts embedded in the physical world can contain clear and actionable information, and can provide a consistent correspondence between the source ideas and their translations.

buildinging · 2012