#boxtape – an f-off event:

Tape:  Collective consciousness sculpture builing. –

Using a shit load of clear packing tape and through a shared sense of labor, hospitality, and dance, we invite the public to join as we build and dance a sculpture with tape that binds together the social fabric of the performance environment. We will question the idea of ‘product’ by broadening the parameters and perception of what a performance event might look and how the interaction might unfold. A sticky situation…

A social investigation

Architecture as Performance

Getting Caught

Collaborative authorship …


a kind of a stigmergy: a mechanism of indirect coordination between agents or actions.[1] The principle is that the trace left in the environment by an action stimulates the performance of a next action, by the same or a different agent. In that way, subsequent actions tend to reinforce and build on each other, leading to the spontaneous emergence of coherent, apparently systematic activity.  (Wikipedia) – Jeremy or Thea found this one…

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/116564126″>Slow Tape</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user5229682″>Peter Trosztmer</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Research began with Sonya Stefan, Elinor Fueter, Marie-Claire Forté, a little Jeremy Gordaneer, Thea Patterson, and Lois Brown. and now some Nathan Yaffe, Winnie Ho, some Sigrid Patterson and Elise Vanderborght.

Big help from Harvey Lev, and Calq of course

Packing tape – relavtivily inexpensive, beautiful, strong and versitie.

I am interested in creating innovative, avant-garde works that challenge our perceptions and expectations to make us think. I am fascinated by the idea of implicating an active spectatorship, where people are given the opportunity to take responsibility for themselves as spectators.

At the crux of my work is a reflection upon, and attempt to introduce some kind of mutual engagement between what a performance is, its spectatorship and the venue or location. It is my desire to be fully integrated in my art, as dancer, artist, musician, human being. It is also my desire to re-define the paradigm of collaborator within the structure of my work – where the recognition for the work better reflects the degree of creative input given by all involved. In many ways I am building a collective creation and as a result am searching for collaborator labels that help to democratize this hierarchy.

One of my interests in this specific creation paradigm  lies in the IDEA that we can potentially transform the work to be activated within the specificity of any venue/location and that we will take time in a location to do so. This challenges the traditional exchange and asks that new values be placed on time and the potential to build the work with a community. Thus, while nevertheless, existing within a capitalist art making paradigm we attempt to also situate ourselves outside, or to expand what this can be. It requires one to approach the idea of a dance performance experience in a new and interesting light.


Thea P: words from those involved or those who have been around:

sculture that is not ( or is more than) sculpture

dance that is not ( or is more than) a dance

also standing out:  collective will of good will and friendship –   or simply the collective will…

visceral, entangled, organic (???) (uggg)

sticky, is it strands of DNA? is it the inside of a body? is it fascia?

something hive like about it…. worker bees maybe— the ultimate collaborators….

and perhaps this:

non-representational, a-syntactic, nonlinear –  movements of thought. This kind of felt thought, charged by the chaotic force(s) of the  unthought, can be called a diagrammatic process.  –  the presentation of the relations between forces unique to a particular formation;  it is the distribution of the power to affect and the power to be affected; it is the mixing   of non-formalized pure functions and unformed pure matter […] a transmission or  distribution of particular features. (Deleuze, 2000, 72-73)  the matter-movement of not-yet-formalized thought and sensation.


Jeremy G:  Tape–what it means to me.

-Transforming a space.

-Working with people to achieve something larger than each persons vision.

-Allowing for and valuing everyone’s input.

-Being constantly surprised.

-Creating a sculptural installation on a large scale-  that has other purposes than a sculptural installation.

-seeing it change/transform due to use.

-Learning from those transformations.

-spending time, considering options.


-Having ideas that fail.

-being curious.

-Danger and risk, both calculated and unexpected.


-Allowing for possibilities.

-Creating through restrictions.

-Restricting movement to create movement.

-making dance that isn’t dance.

Making sculpture that isn’t sculpture.


-Creating something through a collective urge of good will and friendship and work.

-having fun.

-drinking coffee…

Winnie Ho :  I was invited to help out in the space.  I had no idea what to expect.  The space was already installed with endless webs of tape.  Memories of many hours spent at playgrounds climbing, swinging, falling, laughing, crying and playing together came back.  I wanted to be a kid again, to play, discover, fall and laugh uncontrollably…

There where no schedules nor any orders to follow.  Instead, I followed my own curiosity to create and contribute in my own way.  I listened to the space and tuned in to what was needed on a collective level.  I created solos and colaborated with others in the space.  We discussed less and played more.


Elize Vanderbourght: The structure is like fascia, it is really similar, the look of it, the way it is alive and respond to strain pattern, us the little cells apply more collagen fiber where needed.
Check the 2 pictures, then down the page the movie scrolling under the skin (start at 3:30m) and the fuzz speech is good to.
You said yourself it need to be work on and walk on, that is the strain forces that shape the fascia, fascia is very plastic.

The sticky aspect of the tape, and the accumulation of layers that get stronger make me think of the accumulation of experience we go true life Our experience pile on each other, and it gets more difficult to react to an event neutrally. We are congested, in our mind and body.

Being in the tape suit, was like having a skin that is to small for me, sometime that is the way I feel in the morning (the fuzz speech), I felt like I had to relax accept and not fight, trust was necessary and the presence of scissors for a quick release to.

I felt like layering on the web was very addictive, like playing solitaire or knitting, not sure those exemple speak, but just like a work you can t put done and you could always do more, before the room is full. And you built something it is the magic of crafting work, and it gets bigger and bigger.

the sticky wedding is a good comment on relationship and all those little bonds that accumulate and are so painful to undo. In the wedding you glue yourself often arbitrary with a very strong sticky tape.

I liked the people on my head like a burden, it is a strong image, that spoke by itself.

Emmalie Ruest:  Expérience Box Tape:  L’aspect chaotique de la structure de papier collant n’est pas à négliger. C’est ce qui pousse les gens à intervenir, à réagir. Ce chaos laisse place à l’interprétation et à l’action, que ce soit des actions de constructions, de destruction, d’observation, de création, etc. À l’instar de créer une structure stable et esthétique, Box tape est un projet, réunissant à la fois les plus belles qualités de l’humain, mais également ses plus sombres côtés. La simple possibilité que n’importe qui peut intervenir sur la structure comporte un risque. La structure a été construit instinctivement, en laissant les portes ouvertes à l’exploration de propriétés physiques possibles du ruban adhésif. Box tape n’est pas un résultat voulu, c’est une exploration en continu qui s’ouvre au monde. Où les gens sont invités à prendre part à la recherche. Et il est aussi intéressant d’observer comment chaque personne réagit à la proposition parce qu’elles sont un reflet de leur tempérament du moment. Et comme la structure éveille une certaine forme de chaos, ce tempérament peut être exacerbé, ou tempéré. Sans aucun jugement, l’observation des comportements humains devient fascinante par l’entremise de ce dispositif.

La sensorialité du projet n’est pas non plus à négliger. Le fait même de travailler le papier collant évoque des sensations physique et émotives assez intenses, dépendamment de la sensibilité de chacun, bien sûr. Le fait de tirer une bande de papier collant, le son que cela fait, s’il est prêt ou loin des oreilles, sa texture lisse, collante et tranchante, la répétition du geste, sont des actions hautement sensorielles, qui définissent l’expérience de Box tape. Lorsqu’on choisit d’utiliser le papier collant, on se retrouve devant plusieurs autres options : construire, renforcer, envelopper, lancer, etc. Ces choix que nous faisait nous donne un pouvoir créatif immédiat. Et ce pouvoir peut être très excitant. Il existe également une excitation à travers le fait que les sens sont perpétuellement sollicités lors de l’expérience. Ils le sont encore plus lorsqu’on pénètre la structure. Nous sommes enveloppés, soutenus, les odeurs sont différentes, notre monde est contenu, suspendu, ballotant. Et le son du papier qui froisse, s’étire, se casse parfois. Ce sont des informations en continues qui se rendent à nous et peuvent nous absorber entièrement.

Gabreil Painchaud: Hey Pete.  C’était très intéressant de participer à une telle installation.  Au début, j’ai ressenti un petit stress de monter dans la toile.  On se demande si elle va tenir le coup… et oui.  C’est surprenamment résistant.   Après, on s’y fait et on progresse plus rapidement et avec une plus grande aisance.  On se faufile comme dans un labirynthe, on rampe.  On a parfoit l’impression d’être dans un hamac.  Ce que j’ai trouvé très intéressant de faire c’est d’essayer d’évaluer quelle partie de la structure est plus faible dans le but de la solidifier.  On se perd rapidement dans les nombreuses ramifications multidirectionnelles.  On fini par solidifier un endroit qui est ”à peu près” ou c’est faible.  Ce faisant on renforcit quand même la toile en se disant qu’avec le temps et les passages d’autres personnes, quelqu’un renforcira l’endroit précis que l’on voulait consolider.   Ceci devient donc une expérience de confiance envers tout ceux qui ont participé à l’installation et qui y participeront.

Bien sûr, comme tout les petits gars qui ont grandi à la campagne je grimpais dans les arbres étant jeune.  Cette toile était un terrain de jeu magnifique pour revivre cette activité de l’enfance.


ptrosz:  Feel free to speak about the work as if it is yours – not yours alone but yet you have ownership as does all the others who have walked in the room and worked/played/created and have a voice in this conversation.


Yes there will be times when I will ask everyone to do something – when you will look to me for leadership. I will do my best to be capable of answering this but I will fail (at least, I hope I fail – cuz if I don’t then I am just wandering through my known self) – but in failing I hope to succeed.


We can all look to each other – not for approval necessarily but rather for complicity. The larger the group the more complex this will be yet through a sensitivity, time, hospitality, and work we will better understand what the fuck it is that we are doing here.


Thank you all for your generosity and patience and what-ever …


video shot by Sonya Stefan, and performed by Elinor Fueter:


The Workshop

The whole thing is a creative exercise – a performance model – a way to consider work and contextualizing work – we have a model that we use and rely on .. but it is just a stepping off point – where we go with it is revealed through the people we r working with – in this case in the people in the and the people who attend the performance event workshop – and what their interests are –

Another way to think about it is – a creative retreat – where we get to inspire each other – but where we have a comfortable safety net to rely on – that will be provided by us.   The idea that creating an atmosphere where the pressure is off to produce – so that you can create…   Everyone who gets involved begins skeptical but no one walks away without transformation…

It is taking time to learn how to articulate these idea’s –   – but that is kind of the most interesting part of this for me.  We are not there to do a workshop on some “method”  –  what we are doing is alive and working and we are doing it and developing it at this moment.   I get why people feel safe learning the tried and tested but – we are artists and therefore need to find ways to walk bravely into the unknown – which leaves us where exactly… – kind of in that great place where we have no clue what the fuck is going on …  at least that is what I am looking for as an artist –   Knowing I have 20 yrs of experience and 100 of different shows in different contexts helps me to feel safe to rely on this base of experience to figure out the next step – but even that – who wants to feel safe?   –

Recently stared asking folks to tag images or video with #boxtape so we can see what they saw..







2 thoughts on “#boxtape – an f-off event:

  1. Great project….very interesting in terms of process, becoming, collaboration and especially overall “wildness”! Very interesting sound as well…..

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