Suspiro/ First Kiss is an immersive sensory installation that moves with the wind. 1000s of VHS tapes are suspended demo a 4 meters height, creating a black cube floating in the air. When the wind blows, this solid block disperses and the reflectivity of the VHS tapes make them shimmer in the sunlight. Being lightweight, you can walk through the installation and push the tapes gently away, creating a sensation as if you are swimming in water. The tapes are hanging a bit above the ground so while passers-by might notice people in the installation, they cannot see the faces, making it an ideal spot for the coveted first kiss. The sound of the tapes in the wind is similar to tree leaves rustling, making a logical connection from the artwork to the natural environment. Building this installation is quite labour-intensive: finding, cutting and hanging VHS tapes takes a lot of time. This is where the residents’ role comes in: it is a fairly easy process so you don’t need special skills. The installation is very simple to build and should there be any damage, it can be easily fixed.
I have made two concept videos: one of a prototype in real life, showing wind and weather conditions. another is a 3d model to scale. In hte 3d model, I only simulated two sides because animating 16000 pieces of tapes was impossible.
video 1 (3d model): https://vimeo.com/619138530
video 2 (real-life): https://vimeo.com/619113131
In the attached photos, the installation looks like a black block but in reality, you will see the small openings between the tapes.
The VHS tapes have to be cut and tied to the wires. With approximately 16000 pieces of tape, this will take a lot of time if I were to do it all by myself. Hence the community can help here. I will design a labour process to facilitate the building of the installation and maintenance (see below in the maintenance section) of the installation.
Another part of community involvement will be the sourcing of VHS tapes: I will need a very large quantity of them and I hope that I can find them within the community. I hope a town-wide campaign will help to make this possible.
The installation uses fairly basic materials: 4 flagpoles, anchored with cement in the ground, a washing line for the wires, fishlines for the wires to hang the VHS tapes on, lots of VHS tapes, green netting to go on top. The total materials cost is less than €1000.
Some parts are open for change: for example, the main wires at the sides could be replaced by wooden sticks if they would not bend due to their length.
I have had a prototype outdoors now for approximately 6 months in different weather circumstances. The tapes remain in good condition. When it rains, the tapes tend to stick together and it is not that beautiful, but as soon as the rain stops, the wind will blow the tapes dry. Although this is not a permanent installation, I am confident that it can be alive for at least one year.
I cannot rule out that there will be a negative person will vandalize the installation. As simple as it is to build (although labour-intensive), as simple is it to damage it. For that, I want to reserve a sum for the community to maintain the installation and replace parts should it be necessary.
– This installation requires only 4 concrete points to anchor the flagpoles. When the installation is removed, these concrete anchors can be removed easily without severely impacting the environment.
– The VHS tapes are secured to the wires and should not be able to get loose so cannot get into the forest.
There are three main costs.
- Materials: approximately €840
- personnel cost: €9000
- contingency (20%): €1968
If I am working with volunteers, I think they should have at least catering been taken care of. Hence a part of the budget will go to offering helpers food and drinks.
I have made a full proposal where I go into detail about every aspect. For this online part, I have tried to make it shorter.