QR Codes

The Angel, Dillon McEwan

Ten metres high on the side of the timber yard and deep in the belly of storm drain, hung proud in the MCA and sprayed on the walls alongside the tracks, our creativity is both professional and subversive, illegal and illustrative. It curls around inner-west suburbs like an embrace, while communities of creatives entreat themselves to its clusters, creating the rich society we call home.

Because of the nature of this inclusive and often sub-rosa creative community, much of the process of art-making, as well as the inspiration for it and the details of each artist’s creative practice, are hidden.

Which is where QR codes come in…

The QR code system was invented in 1994 by Masahiro Hara from the Japanese company Denso Wave. A QR Code, or quick response Code, is a Code that is quickly readable by a cell phone. Using a combination of spacing as a type of Matrix Barcode (a 2-D Barcode), when a QR Code is scanned, it conveys a wide multitude of information.


The tech has been around for years, but its recent reincarnation as a tracking tool during COVID means that QR codes ubiquitous and our society is increasingly comfortable using them, particularly if there is treasure at the end…

How does it work at inSIGHT Lab?

Custom-designed quick response codes link to content – videos, sound files, images, write-ups, interviews – on the inSIGHT Lab website. A link shortener/ redirection service has been implemented so that our customised QR codes can be mapped/ redirected to specific pages on the site.

What it means is that we can embrace an audience far greater than traditional on-the-ground physicality. With QR codes located throughout the inner west, we can provide a rich insight (see what we did there?) into what’s on, who’s doing it, where, how and why. From ethanol-powered rocket ships in St Peters to a sweet DJ set in Erko, the freshest street art in the hood and a photographic essay that documents and celebrates the Leichhardt Wanderers, inSIGHT Lab is a treasure trove.

Ran Stanton at work at Tortuga Studios