First Animated Tattoo by Karl Marc
The intersection of tattooing and technology is fascinating and full of possibilities. We've seen scannable bar code tattoos, augmented reality tattoos, and even a CNC automatic tattoo machine. While these examples have a definite cool factor, they have tended to be less artful. And that's why I was very excited to see this use of tattoo tech that combines a custom tattoo by a respected artist and interactivity (beyond strangers trying to touch and ask its deep meaning).
Tattoo artist Karl Marc of the wonderful Mystery Tattoo Club in Paris tattooed a design incorporating a matrix code that, when scanned, presented an animation of the tattoo. The animated tattoo, which is deemed the first of its kind, is part of Ballantines' Human API project and their "Leave an Impression" promotion.
As you can see in the video above, Ballantines live streamed Karl Marc tattooing the work (on June 16th), and during the four-hour session, the artist discussed his process and also interacted with online viewers who logged into the Human API Facebook Page. You can see the text chat popping up in the video, as many offered suggestions for the work and made profound statements like "Ouch."
Another note on the tech: As the code triggers online content and the URL associated can be changed, Karl's client, Marco, will be able to change the animation whenever he wants (he already has an additional animation on top of the one showed on the video).
The next Human API video will take place on July 14th with a graffiti artist "mixing spray and user interactivity." You can take part in that on their Facebook page as well.
For more on Karl Marc's tattoo work, check his online portfolio.
UPDATE: Some people have brought up hygiene issues in placing the smart phone on the fresh tattoo. Here's Ballantines response: "It's been cut in the edited video, but during the actual session, Karl cleaned and sterilized thoroughly both Marco's chest and the device before triggering the code. [...] The last thing we (and surely Karl) want to do is to promote unprofessional tattooing."