Monday, May 16, 2011

Tape Casting and "Ghost Senior"

"Ghost Senior"



The school days remaining to our seniors can be counted on one hand.  So, last Tuesday I set before my senior advanced art students their final high school problem: As a team, tape casting a human figure and installing him on school grounds in such a way as to reinforce context and meaning.  The project, inspired by modern  installation artist, Mark Jenkins, involved:
  1. Deciding the pose and installation location best suited for a sculpture that would elicit a response from the school community
  2. Wrapping a willing student in packing tape over the course of a couple of class periods.  
  4. Reassembling the pieces/parts so that the figure had structural integrity.
  5. All wrapped up
  6. Securely installing the finished work in the desired location.
With one figure down, and one and a half to go, the pressure remains to finish the other sculptures over the next few days.   We installed the first completed figure Ghost Senior last Thursday using a very tall ladder.    Unfortunately, I couldn’t maintain my balance and exert the force necessary to jam the torso into the duct.  I think the air was a bit thin up there.  At any rate, one of my students took over after I extracted his promise that he wouldn’t fall; and if he did, his parents wouldn’t sue me.  Gravity kept defying us until one of the kids had the brilliant idea of skewering him through the torso with a pole for support.  Poor Ghost Senior, he now looks like he’s not only haunting the hallways, but getting ready for a barbecue.  But for now he’s secure and won’t be going anywhere, let alone a barbecue, until someone else kindly retrieves him at the end of the school year.  

Installation Crew for "Ghost Senior


  1. I like this project; looks like fun!

  2. I like the escape 'taped legs'and can probably get it done but not sure how to get the person out of the tape. If anyone knows how to do this could they please reply to this. Thank you

  3. I think it's cut up the back and then retaped.

  4. Doesn't the tape stick to the clothes?

    1. For The first layer of tape, apply it sticky side up so it only sticks to itself. Additional layers can be done sticky side down until all of the first layer is covered. At least that worked for me!

    2. Plastic wrap first, then tape is another way to do it.

    3. Here's another question how do you put plastic wrap around someone's head without suffocating them?

  5. We actually used a life-sized glass head piggy bank from Pier One Impports.

  6. I was specifically pondering to myself, how could I make a "ghost" look like it's halfway into this vinyl... then I found this! This is amazingly creative and just utterly fun! My 7 and 10 year old boys and I did this so successfully! So much fun and so scary. Thanks so much!
    -Also, if i may(?), to the "Unknown" user with the suffocation question; your answer is simply use common sense, darlin'.

  7. How do you attach the legs to the ceiling?