The Navy Yard Is Getting a Giant Interactive Cocoon Exhibit

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City

You can visit — and crawl through, if you’re brave enough — starting on Saturday.


Tape Philadelphia: Enter the Cocoon | Photo courtesy of Group X

The Navy Yard is about to get weird.

Group X, the anonymous Philly-based art collective responsible for SEA MONSTERS HERE (the bright blue, green and purple tentacles you saw all over your Instagram feed last fall) will open another public installation at the South Philly waterfront business campus on Saturday, November 9th. And this one might be even cooler — or freakier, depending how you look at it — because it’s interactive.

Tape Philadelphia: Enter the Cocoon is, as one might assume, a giant cocoon made of tape. What makes it especially … interesting … is the fact that it’s suspended in the air, so you can crawl through and relive all your childhood memories of those colorful Sky Tubes at Chuck E. Cheese. (As one colleague said: “Looks germ-y.”)

The temporary art piece has been installed inside 1701 Langley Avenue, also known as Building 694 at the Navy Yard. It’s made out of a whopping 21.5 miles of translucent tape, which, FYI, you could stretch along the entire distance of the Broad Street Run course from start to finish and back again.

Photo courtesy of Group X

Photo courtesy of Group X

According to Group X, the piece is “activated by an audience” and takes on an “organic, moving form” when in use — so if you enter it, expect it to maybe sway a little bit. It’s a collaborative effort by industrial designers Sven Jonke, Christoph Katzler and Nikola Radeljković, who go by the name Numen/For Use.

“In a city of monuments and murals, we see this experience as an expansion on what public art can be,” the group said in a statement. “On its surface, Tape Philadelphia: Enter the Cocoon is playful, perhaps a bit mesmerizing, and definitely weird. Underneath that, the project is asking questions about the role of the viewer in public art and the responsibility of art that’s presented for public consumption.”

Photo courtesy of Group X

The exhibit, which will run through December 1st, can be visited from noon to 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Visitors can view the exhibit from the ground or enter its interior (which still freaks me out a bit). Admission is free. (The installation will be closed on November 17th as well as November 28th for Thanksgiving.)

Building 694 is located west of the Navy Yard’s Broad Street entrance. The single-story warehouse has been vacant since the shipyard closed in 1996. You can get to the Navy Yard by car, subway (via the Broad Street Line’s NRG Station), Navy Yard shuttle (here’s a schedule) or bike.

To enter the installation, you must be at least 40 inches tall, 11 years old (or accompanied by an adult) and wearing socks, which will be provided if needed. You’ll also have to sign a waiver. The thing is made of tape, after all.



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