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_Bar Code

A hundred short films make up “Bar Code,” which reimagines the database documentary as an interactive storytelling tool.

2011 Hugues Sweeney,Joël Ronez
DE,EN,FR Visit the project

Bar Code, whose form and content are one, transcends the screen by encouraging its users to look around themselves and see things differently.”

Hugues Sweeney, Producer, in Real Screen

Interactive documentary Bar Code investigates the objects that surround us. “Objects are like mirrors, they reveal who we are,” the opening screen reads. Thirty directors collaborated on the 100 one-minute films that make up Bar Code. Each film provides commentary or fresh perspectives on everyday items, ranging from coffee cups to videotapes to books.

A co-production of the NFB and Arte, Bar Code reimagines the online database documentary—a project that provides its audience with a collection of clips—as an interactive library of films waiting to be unlocked by the visitors. Bar Code’s visitors control its content. Upon arriving at the website or opening the app, visitors are instructed to find a nearby object and scan its barcode in order to call up the film most relevant to the object. Scanning an apple calls up a video of an iPhone Facetime conversation; a book reveals footage of a commercial printing press.  The content is inaccessible without visitor input, making Bar Code a truly interactive experience.

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