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Images of the Day
An Inflatable Jungle Gym For Adults And Other Large-Scale Artworks Made Of String
February 19, 2014
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Outside The String Prototype
1/6 OPEN GALLERY

The String Prototype is a three-storey inflatable structure with a matrix of ropes on the inside, something like a giant jungle gym for adults. The project comes from Numen/For Use, an Austrian and Croatian design studio, which based their design on inflatable advertising cubes that use ropes on the inside to help brace the structure. “I looked inside and said, ‘Wow, this is crazy, it looks like great minimal art,'" Numen co-founder Christoph Katzler told Wired. “We saw this and thought, ‘OK, can we make this bigger?’”

They sure could. The String Prototype, which they built in Vienna, measures 10X6X6 metres. From the inside, it's hard to see where the ropes end and the translucent exterior shell begins. As Numen puts it in the artist statement, "impossibility of perception of scale and direction results in simultaneous feeling of immenseness and absence of space." Check out some of the dizzying views inside the structure in the gallery above, and some other large-scale pieces of art made from string and nets below..

Net

The String Prototype isn't Numen's first foray into climbable artworks. In 2011, they created Net, an installation that consists of a series of interwoven hammock-like nets which form a "floating landscape" for visitors to climb on. Numen refers to both works as social sculpture. Here's Net installed in the House for Contemporary Art in Hasselt, Belgium:


(Photo: Numen)

And here's a later version, constructed inside an inflatable shell in Yokohama, Japan:


(Photo: Numen)

Janet Echelman's Suspended Nets

American artist Janet Echelman creates large-scale public sculptures made out of nets that are suspended high up above cities. Her work was initially inspired by fisherman's nets she came across in India, an experience she talked about in her popular TED Talk "Taking Imagination Seriously." Here's her 1.26 Amsterdam, installed as part of the Amsterdam Light Festival in 2012:


(Photo: AP Photo / Peter Dejong)

Echelman is currently working on what will be her largest work ever: a 213-metre sculpture that will be installed over Vancouver for the 30th anniversary of the TED Conference. She's currently raising money on Kickstarter for the project. This video gives a sense of what to expect:

Sebastien Preschoux

This Paris-based artist creates intricate geometric sculptures using lengths of thread that he hangs together in taught grids, which resemble the curve stitching drawings you might remember from grade school. This video shows his process:

Preschoux posts many of his creations on Instagram:

Hottea

Finally, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the phenomenon of yarn bombing. Minneapolis street artist Hottea is a leader in the genre, which replaces spray cans with lengths of wool:


(Photo: Clint McMahon/Flickr)

For an exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, he used 135 km of orange yarn to create Letting Go, a sort of suspended sun which viewers were invited to lie underneath:

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