Are You Human? Decoding CAPTCHA’s Into Street Art

Are you human? from on Vimeo.

Some of the worst barriers I confront on the Internet are CAPTCHA codes. I can’t decipher them without the assistance of a fully-sighted person, who has trouble doing it, too. The accessibility feature that renders a CAPTCHA as an audio representation isn’t much of a solution, either. My ears are trained to hear the subtlest patterns (crossing the street, my life depends on that), so I hear far more information in the garbled audio than the CAPTCHA permits. As often as not, I fail to prove that I am an independent, self-sufficient human being.

Evidently I’m not alone in my CAPTCHA alienation. German architect Aram Bartholl recognizes this wrinkle in the human condition and is taking it to the streets:

A random string of awkwardly placed numbers and characters, to be recognized and entered to verify you really are human. Architect Aram Bartholl (DE) places CAPTCHA codes as tags in the public space. Their strange art of writing makes sure the codes blend in the street view unnoticed.

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