QR Code Plaque Interventions


Kirkstall, Leeds (UK)
Participants: Joe Newman, Gaia Rosenberg Colorni, Gwilym Sainsbury

In order to devise a site-specific framework for the viewing and exhibiting of EOP’s video The Island, the group explores the potentiality of QR codes as a pertaining to a particular type of contemporary imagery of its own right, whilst retaining an interdependence with a referent which is absent from their immediate physical domain.


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QR codes can be instantly generated for free on various internet platforms which automatically translate any URL into a correspondent image for smartphone recognition. Through this process, EOP participants have generated their own QR codes, engraved onto two weather-proof plaques, which when activated redirect the user to the YouTube page on which The Island is currently hosted. To provide a comfortable seating area for the exhibition and viewing of the film, the plaques have been especially designed to fit the surface of a public bench, emulating the archetype of the commemorative plate which is commonly affixed to such objects.

Drawing from the example of the ‘guerrilla benching’ movement, the group purchased, transported and permanently installed a bench in the middle of the island’s grounds, in a shaded area surrounded by trees and overlooking a pond. To complement this intervention as well as to invite a target audience from the outside the group also secured a second plaque onto a pre-installed council bench located on the opposite side of the river which directly overlooks the island.

QR codes (Quick Response codes) effectively act as bar codes which can be deciphered by most smartphones, and as a result redirect the smartphone user to a specific webpage. By taking a photograph of a QR code, now commonly appearing on food packaging, leaflets, billboards, business cards, and even tourist attraction boards as well as plaques for historical sites, the smartphone user is granted access to a particular set of information, which is usually and almost exclusively made available online by marketing specialists.

Images of the installation of two QR code plaques that when read by a smartphone direct the user to the youtube page of The Island video:

Related projects:

 The Island. March - June 2011the_island.html
 OnCampus. June - July 2011OnCampus.html