Last month, residents of (and visitors to) Melbourne’s Federation Square were invited to crawl through a vast network of semi-transparent tubes suspended nearly 20 feet in the air. If that sounds like a carnival ride you’d rather sit out, you won’t be comforted by the fact that the structure was made entirely of packing tape.
The installation was the latest iteration of Tape, an ongoing project by the Austrian/Croatian art collective For Use/Numen, but the first time it appeared in a public space, rather than a semi-public space like a museum courtyard. “When you go to a museum, you always expect something,” the group’s Christoph Katzler tells Co.Design. “But when you do your daily business and all of a sudden you pass by such a huge spider web with people inside, you get curious and want to go inside. Such unexpected experiences can change your day.”
The tendon-like structure spans across 52 feet between two buildings in the city’s civic center and was constructed with the help of temporary support platforms. For Use/Numen installs each tape installation in response to the specific site, without consulting computer models or drawings. “It is basically just working, working, working, because whatever you do, it will always shrink into forms that are geometrically perfect,” Katzler says.
For Use/Numen is willing to repeat Tape as long as people continue to respond enthusiastically to the piece. “The audience is reacting actually all over the world in the same very, very, positive way!” Katzler says. “It does not matter which age they are and it does not matter if they are into architecture, design, art, or into none of them. The minute they go inside, they all have fun like small kids do.”