Presenting the first biodegradable Tape installation, produced from a new organic material which was developed over the course of five years in collaboration with a German manufacturer of bioplastics and natural papers Compostella.
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, easily switching 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, maintained through tension forces trapped within layers of elastic material.
As the Tape Installation project slowly gained momentum, we began to turn our focus away from experiments in form and towards its controversial, eponymous material - the 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.
At the time we started the process, biodegradable tape still did not exist on the market while the global plastic tape consumption was steadily enormous and, for the most part, invisible.
This fact prompted us to seek partners from within the industry, which we eventually found in Compostella.
The goal was to develop a potent biodegradable tape which could then be used in the large-scale installations we were building worldwide - to underline ecological thinking, discuss hidden waste and promote the concept of bioplastics in everyday life.
Over time Compostella developed several beta versions of the “Klebio" eco-tape, and initially neither version was elastic nor transparent enough to replace the plastic adhesives - they would break and not stick sufficiently.
Only recently the process has reached its final stage with the production of a fully biodegradable adhesive tape, having formal and physical properties similar to the standard taping products we have previously worked with in our projects. Tape Moscow (which takes part in “The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics, an art exhibition dealing with environmental strategies, policies and visions) will be the world premiere of an entirely compostable Tape installation, with the process of its eventual decomposition becoming the integral part of the artwork.
"We have made private tests at our home because the tape is not yet certified. Private tests have shown that the pure cellulose film has been completely decomposed within 10-12 weeks.The same result has been made with the tape which is coated on 1 side with an adhesive made from renewable materials. The tests have been made with flat film and flat tape fixed on the ground, just under wind, water and sun conditions...
...The tensile strength of the film is 125 MN/m² (MD) and 70 MN/m² (TD). The film is marine biodegration approved and dissolves in water...
...The film is made from more than 90% cellulose which is a wood product. The wood is FSC and PEFC certified. Moreover, the film itself is industrial and home compost certified as well. The adhesive is a so called water bourne PSA of a special modified acryl-copolymer which is also biodegradable...
...For the process of decomposing one needs humidity and warmth. It is advisable to mix the used tape together with fresh cut grass and compost soil."
A.Schleier, CEO Compostella
This biodegradable tape is currently comercially available under the name Klebio