“Così ce l’ho semper con me – so I always have him with me,” is the comment with which the Italian Andrea Colonnetta provided an Instagram photo that he posted a few days ago. It shows him with a QR code tattooed on the inside of his upper arm. It is the code of the hour, the sign of the times. Not only because it gives you access to restaurants, cinemas and other cultural institutions, without which you can no longer board a plane and enter many countries, unless you can provide some replacement documents. For some, what this QR code represents may be a comfort. Colonnetta’s tattoo says he has been vaccinated against corona.
Andrea Colonnetta from Reggio Calabria in the very south of Italy is 22 and probably just had an original idea. In an interview with the Corriere della Calabria, Colonnetta claimed that the code worked: he only had to raise his arm if he wanted to go to a bar. Can as much accuracy as required by a mark that has to be electronically legible really be produced? If so, then only for the short time in life in which the skin provides the necessary firmness or what it is stretched over, does not deform.
Colonnetta probably chose the motif intuitively, recognized the ornamental potential of this information-storing pattern that is omnipresent in our lives. But there’s more to it than that: in many Asian countries, for example, tattoos are assigned a magical protective function. The QR code on the vaccinated person’s skin picks up on this thought. Colonnetta’s tattoo can also be understood as a social commentary, as an indication of the indispensability of this sign, whether one sees it critically or not. Without it we can no longer get through life, maybe for all time. Then we can also become one with him.