If you haven’t yet seen Danny Scheible’s unique creations with masking tape, you’re in for a treat. We asked the Tapigami founder and perennial tinkerer for his thoughts on art, design, and the Maker’s Faire.
Q: How did you get started with touchable art?
I started for the simple reason there was not enough aRt* in the world you can touch. My motto of tOUch the aRt was
born out of feeling like there was so much misuse of aRt to maintain society instead of to create it. Who would have a friend that they can not hug? To true experience something you must hold it. tOUch the aRt also comes from a hope that I can encourage those around me to engage with the creative process and bring it into their daily lives.
*(I say aRt with a capitol are because it is not my aRt and it is not your aRt but it is ouR aRt.)
Q: You’ve been doing this for a decade. Have your creations changed over time?
I have been MAKEing things out of tape for a long time now, starting in 2005. I have put in about 40,000 hours since. After the first year of making aRt out of tape, I decided I was going to keep doing it until I could not make something new. That day has not come, nor do I think it will. So I have now decided to keep working with tape until it is no longer fun.
The creations change from day today and many different factors influence that change. I have a saying, “MAKE aRt for your ideals, but remember to MAKE aRt in your reality.” My of the largest influences of my aRt is other people. I take my aRt out into the world everyday and MAKE it with those around me. I place it in there hands and they tell me what it is to them.
This process of sharing is one of the most creative ones and one of the more challenging because it leaves me open to public judgement.
I push myself to create new forms and shapes with tape everyday. Many of my creations are doodles and a kind of pract
ice in understanding how everything fits together. Also, I have very few people I can learn from when it comes to physical ways to manipulate the tape. I will often times ask the strangers I meet if I can make aRt with them, and have them offer up a challenge about what to make. These forces me to create objects and subject matter that I would never do on my own.
Q: How is your art affected by the medium of tape? What makes it different from sculpting in clay or stone?
All material is different. Tape is a ribbon of a material, and that material can be paper, plastic, vinyl, cloth, mylar to name a few. Tape is a temporary medium thus I am constantly maintaining the sculptur
es I have created. The way that i work with tape is a linear additive process. To create recess spaces you must make separate shapes and add them together. All complicated sculptures are created from the smallest points out and joined. The tape is very temperature sensitive and is very difficult to work with in humid warm environments. In my studio in sAcRamenTo, we have been taking the process I have developed of rolling the tape into long tubes and folding or cutting it in different ways and applied it to glass metal and wood. Learning to manipulate a physical material gives you the tool to create the shape or image that you want. The interaction with the material teaches you the creative process. I often tell students the way to understand a material is to sit around an play with it until it reveals what is is supposed to by to you. I would love to be able to control the physical material that the tape is made out of – i.e. design a tape. Currently I am dealing with the tape that is available for sale around the world.
Q: Are people more willing to try making art with tape than with traditional materials?
Yes. One of the best parts about tape is that it has no social connotations associated with it. No one has ever been told they can not make sculpture out of tape before so they believe they can d
o it. Also the tape requires no tools or infrastructure to create sculpture with. I tell people that to learn Tapigami is to turn yourself into a 3d printer. I also refer to it as liquid Legos. TAPIGAMI is a system of creation where you can control the individual units. When working with tape I feel as though I am only limited by my imagination and dedication. Also the first rule of TAPIGAMI is to have fun while you do it. MAKEing should be fun especially at first when you don’t know what you’re doing.
Q: Are there any communal sculptures you remember especially well?
I have been making the same sculpture for the last 12 years. It is made by everyone who wants to participate with it.
Recently I have made an Imperial Class Tape Destroyer with my friend Eben Burgoon. It is 53 inches long, 29 inches wide, and 24 inches tall. It is attached to a metal pole which allows it to be flown around society. It will be flying around the EBMF though out the day. It took 60 hrs to make and used 600 yards of tape.
Q: What are some of your favorite things at a Maker’s Faire?
My favorite thing at the Maker Faire is that children come up to me and ask what they are supposed to make. The simple fact that there is an environment when sharing learning and creating is open accepted and celebrated makes me happy beyond words. The MAKE movement has beautiful captured the common soul of humanity and celebrates individuals for being themselves and sharing there ideas to inspire others. The MAKER’s Faire is on the forefront of culture and will be creating it for centuries to come.
You can find out more about Danny Schieble and Tapigami here.
Come see Tapigami at the EB Mini-Maker Faire and try out your own creations!