Objects fill our spaces and shape the ergonomics of day-to-day living; we design, manufacture, purchase and use them in response to needs, wants and functions. Far more than tools or decorations, they’re extensions of our relationship to the surrounding world; every object reveals something about the person using it.

With 100 short films by 30 Canadian and European directors, this interactive documentary for the National Film Board of Canada explores society’s relationship with objects and, with new perspectives, shakes up our habitual ways of seeing them. Through the web and iPhones it extends the concept of interactivity by diverting user attention away from screens and back to the real world.

Exploration begins through a simplified nav that gives visitors the fewest choices possible: Search, Scan, Share. By scanning the universal symbols of consumerism (bar codes), the site drives an experience through the objects surrounding each user and brings them to life through documentary content that promotes interaction between online and offline, encouraging people to use objects as gateways to discovery.

• The site was in development for fifteen months.

• The build required a database of keywords corresponding to the films. Since the bar code world is a chaotic one, with no universal protocol and no central database, the team entered keywords by hand for every category, product and brand.

• The project is on Twitter (@BARCODETV), Facebook and Instagr.am and a site blog features a special series of contributed stories of objects.

• Progress through the project can be charted in the My Itinerary section of the web platform where it’s transformed into an interactive game that challenges users to be the first to watch all 100 60-second films.

• The site is moderated by the National Film Board Team to ensure that every contribution fits with the interactive goal of the project.
Credits: nfb.ca
| pro.arte.tv
| departement.ca

Communication Arts

// From our friends at Communication Arts

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