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WhiteOut

SpaceOperaForm designed a reactive installation in Salzburg using polypropylene panels that inflated and deflated according to the body's static condition.  

By Jeanne Tan / 25-02-2010

The body, the architecture and material behaviour formed the guiding forces behind the WhiteOut installation designed by Alex Suarez of SpaceOperaForm

Situated inside the Hallein Salt Factory in Austria, the installation comprises a series of vertical sequential dividers (150 x 1.5m) suspended along the aged wooden beams of the factory ceiling. As visitors walk through, the light weight spunbond polypropylene panels react to the body's proximity and velocity to widen and narrow the passage. The faster one moved through, the more the panels inflated. "I wanted to explore the body and the body's relationship to tectonic reality - also very important was working with the existing architecture (structure) of the salt factory," explains Suarez.

The reaction of the material was a surprise to visitors. Spunbond polypropylene is a non-woven fabric composed of thermally-bonded continuous filaments. "The most unexpected thing about the visitors' reaction was how much they enjoyed walking through the installation," Suarez continues. "It triggered a joyful and very active response that I wasn't expecting. This was also due to the polypropylene's reaction to the body and also the visual blur while walking through. It was surprising to the visitors because they just thought the material would remain as static vertical panels."

The installation was part of the 2009 Salzburg International, Summer Academy of Fine Arts Hallien, Austria.

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