A place to see what is happening in Fine Arts at Rocky Mountain School for the Gifted and Creative

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tape Artists

It started with a balloon and a roll of duct tape. The first balloon popped. One boy spent days working on his tape-ball, until it became heavy and very un-balloon like. Of course more followed. Watching the tape supply flag, I issued a challenge: “I see that is a lot of fun, but is it art?”
We have had many discussions around this topic, and we are fairly comfortable with the unknown (this is a good time to start humming the Clem Snide song ; I love the unknown), but my students got the point. If this is simply tape-wasting, it’s all over.

The multi-layered form which once covered a small balloon was opened to create a zig-zag jaw line. Another had several long, dangly legs attached, becoming a “brain-slug” or spider alien.

And one, which by now was the size and heft of a coconut, became a coconut. A tree was added to hold up the coconut (and also to finish convincing me that it was, indeed, art - it is hard to argue with a palm tree).

There is a popular art trick involving clear packing tape and human volunteers: you simply wrap the volunteer in tape, (first layer is either saran wrap or the tape reversed so it won’t stick to the model), then after many layers, the form is cut away and reassembled. This is a very popular project in high schools and art camps. http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/high/Kris-TapeFigures.htm But it takes about three roles of tape per sculpture (ca-ching)…

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