inSIGHT Lab., presented by Tortuga Studios in association with Inner West Council, is an insight into the rich cultural and creative heritage of the inner west. Designed to make the most out of QR code technology, inSIGHT Lab is just that, a project that allows us greater perceptive vision of the creative wealth that exists all around us.

Insight is a rare thing. Flanked by the well-groomed horsemen of intelligence – wisdom, understanding, and appreciation – insight is intrinsically linked to illumination and revelation, a flash of light that brightens the unknown. A neurological phenomenon, insights are considered part of the information prism, stablemates to hindsight, foresight, intuition and instinct. And it is believed they emerge into our consciousness when we are ready to capture them.

But what happens when the insight is presented to you in a natty Japanese inspired barcode that just begs to be scanned?

How many times have you wondered what goes on behind the towering warehouse walls and rusted roller doors of the inner west’s creative industrial areas? Sometimes there’s a tell-tale sign, the spark of an angle grinder spilling fizzing light into the air; bass pulsing from under a locked factory gate; flecks of paint littering the tar…

Perhaps you’ve heard there’s something happening, a creative gathering that captures the soul but stubbornly refuses to fit into your schedule? As a series of Labs around the inner west as part of EDGE, Tortuga Studios offers up a bird’s eye view into what’s on, who’s going it, where and why.

QR codes are two-dimensional matrix barcodes designed as a machine-readable optical label that contains information about something or someone. They are magical, a pixelated tunnel that leads to Alice’s wonderland. One click and you are transposed into another reality: into rehearsals for a sky-high aerial performance, perhaps, a demo track on loop that swells into a crescendo; a private viewing of an online gallery, or a voxpop piece on Vimeo.

Lab One/ Greenway

Click the link and you are transported to a virtual tour of the immersive arts residency in place on the GreenWay at Lilyfield as part of EDGE. A green urban corridor that unfurls across Sydney’s inner west, this natural enclave bustles with bike paths and foreshore walks, cultural and historical sites, cafes, bushcare sites, parks, playgrounds and places to splash. It is also home to a colony of artists.

Legs on the Wall, EDGE Greenway, 2019

Art Camp on the GreenWay is a three-week residency program that runs 15 April to 9 May, on site at Iron Cove Bay in Lilyfield. A temporary home to acclaimed creatives from all over the inner west, it is a hive of creativity, from sun-exposure prints to trapeze rehearsals, dance workshops and bright minds bent in concentration.

Much of this incubatory work would never normally be seen – until now. inSIGHT Lab is designed to act like a portal, to bear witness to the conception of new work, seek out what inspires the Art Camp creatives, and peek behind the processes they use. A steady stream of information, QR codes throughout the LGA invite you to click to experience this post-COVID artistic resurgence. 

Lab Two/ Sydenham

In celebration of the creative culture of the inner west and the eclectic, often hidden clusters it creates, inSIGHT Lab promises a glimpse behind these rusted rollers. Pasted up larger than life throughout Sydenham’s industrial heart, QR codes link to an artist’s profile or a creative co-working space’s Insta page. The embryonic beginnings of a giant industrial sculpture crackles into life courtesy of time-lapse, while an upcoming exhibition has a chat-to-the-artist interview, ready to air.

From In the Night Garden, Tortuga Studios