Last year, For Use/Numen, an Vienna-based artist collective, installed a suspended network of tunnels made out of 100 pounds of clear packing tape. Visitors were invited to climb into and crawl around in the structure, which resembled the work of hearty silkworms. (Read more about the Tape project here.) Building on that success, For Use has created another interactive public sculpture, this time using layers of flexible netting held in midair.
Titled Net, the work is an extension of the group’s interest in building transparent artificial landscapes of ephemeral architecture in public spaces. (The trio has designed stage sets, as well as furniture for the likes of Moroso and Element, but are now focused on op-art public sculpture.) The installation is currently on view (and use) at Belgium’s Z33 gallery, but the collective hopes to find a public location for it, preferably in a residential alleyway, where the nets would hang between buildings like oversize hammocks, one layer of netting for each floor.
Residents would step out of their windows and directly onto the bouncy jungle gym; other visitors would be able to enter on the ground floor and ascend to the top. “Many of my friends would love to have it in their backyard, to open the window and jump inside for a sunbath or whatever,” For Use/Numen’s Christoph Katzler tells Co.Design. “But I guess it would be difficult to find a location where all neighbors would give their permission to have ‘strangers’ hanging around in front of their windows.” One possibility, he says, would be to insert it into a football cage.
The main requirement is that people are free to interact with the installation. “Nowadays we write it in our contracts that the public has to be able to go inside during normal opening hours,” Katzler says. Once inside and crawling around on all fours, visitors tend to let down their guard and start chatting with each other. “That’s why we like to see it in the public,” the artist says. “Maybe it is somehow like in a different world and some rules do not count anymore for a while.”
Net is on display until October 2 at Z33, in Hasselt, Belgium.