An unused warehouse building in the Navy Yard has been spun with giant, translucent tunnels spanning its steel infrastructure.
A collective of industrial artists and architects based in Europe, Numen/For Use, was invited into Building 694, which has been vacant since 1996 when the Navy pulled out. Using more than 21 miles of packing tape, they created a web of tunnels strong enough to support exploring, albeit on your hands and knees.
“Tape Philadelphia: Enter the Cocoon” is presented by an anonymous group of curators calling themselves Group X. They were also responsible for bringing inflatable sea monster tentacles to the Navy Yard last year.
The piece is meant to draw attention to the Navy Yard, now managed by Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. (PIDC). The public-private development corporation is looking to develop unused parts of the 1,200-acre parcel.
From the PIDC perspective, getting people to experience the interactive art installation might convince future tenants to see the Navy Yard’s possibilities. For Group X, it’s a chance to bring large-scale works by international artists to Philadelphia.