About the Tape Moscow by Numen/For Use

As part of The Coming World the group Numen/For Use has taken over part of the Atrium space of the Museum to create a large-scale biomorphic sculpture made of Klebio, a newly developed compostable adhesive tape made of cellulose. Visitors can enter the sculpture and spend time inside it, an experience that might be compared to being in the womb, or in a completely alien world.

From the artists:

For more than a decade we have been exploring cocoon-like tape structures based on self-forming, emergent construction processes, similar to those taking place in the natural world.

These structures are inherently biomorphic, formally both clean and messy, switching easily between systems of lines and nets to form two-dimensional skins, spatial organs, and biomorphic architecture.

Their curved spatiality is a spontaneous result of chaotic taping, and their organic shape is maintained through forces trapped within layers of elastic material.

As the Tape Installation project slowly gained global momentum, we began to turn our focus from experiments toward its controversial, eponymous material—adhesive tape—and the pressing subject of plastic pollution and environmental ethics. The polymer-composite, inorganic base of the Tape installation had to be replaced with one that could be dissolved by natural agents.

When we started the process, biodegradable tape did not exist on the market, while global plastic tape consumption was enormous and, for the most part, invisible. 

This fact prompted us to seek partners from within the industry and we eventually found Compostella, a German manufacturer of bioplastics and natural papers. The goal was to develop a potent biodegradable tape which could then be used in the large-scale tape installations we were building worldwide to underline ecological thinking, discuss hidden waste, and promote the concept of bioplastics in everyday life.

We have worked closely with Compostella for more than five years, developing several beta versions of the Klebio eco-tape. Early versions were neither elastic nor transparent enough to replace plastic adhesives. They broke and were not sufficiently sticky. 

Only recently has the process reached its final stage, with the production of a fully biodegradable adhesive tape that has formal and physical properties similar to those of standard taping products that we previously worked with in our projects. Tape Moscow (which is part of The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100, an exhibition dealing with environmental strategies, policies, and visions) will be the first ever entirely compostable tape installation, with the process of its final decomposition becoming an integral part of the artwork.