art

You Can Climb Through This Web Made From 27 Miles of Tape

By Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan on at

12 people and ten days: That's how long the artist collective Numen / For Use says it took to create a cellotape jungle gym inside this gallery in Paris, where visitors can crawl inside their milky, transparent network like spiders on a web. How much tape did they use? Almost 30 miles.

The installation at Palais de Tokyo, which opened last month, is called Tape Paris. The tensile cocoon is strung from structural members within the former industrial building, creating a gently deforming landscape of parabolic arcs made from transparent tape. According to the artists, the wrapping began slowly, with broad strips of clear tape looping around concrete columns and beams, framing the basic structure:

You Can Climb Through This Web Made From 27 Miles of Tape

After that, the project team used cranes and ladders to begin the process of shoring up gaps within the skeleton, creating what they call a "stretched biomorphic skin" made of cellophane. "The main idea was to transform the whole building into a convulsive mind/body organism whose slippery inner limits a motivated explorer has yet to trace and confront," they add.

You Can Climb Through This Web Made From 27 Miles of Tape

The installation is open to people who want to climb inside the hanging web—without shoes or sharp objects, of course—up to a limit of a few people. One writer at Wallpaper got to try it out, reporting back that "once you reconcile that the tensile strength from 44km worth of tape is enough to support five humans at once, the experience shifts from terrifying to transportive."

If you want to check it out for yourself—or do some Shelob cosplay—the show is open until January. [Palais de Tokyo]