high above 23rd Street, a tape intervention (no eruv)



This time it wasn't an eruv, for the line enclosed nothing and went nowhere - nowhere, that is, but diagonally across 23rd Street. It started high up the lamppost in front of the Gotham Comedy Club and ended, at that same height, on the one standing outside the Muhlenberg Branch Library. There was a slight downward bow all along the way, but even the tallest trucks managed to avoid it while I was there.

It was only an inch or so wide, but it was a very bright day-glow orange-pink color. I spotted it as soon as I started to cross the street a couple hundred feet west. At first I thought some fool had stung an electrical cord across the street, and then I noticed it was just tape.

I still don't know who did it (or how). I see a part of Sam Bassett's work on the sidewalk shed across the street in the first photo above and there may be some correspondence in the lines of the work he designates on his site as sculpture and the single line of tape linking the two sides of the street, but I've not usually excited by the former and I'm much taken by the latter. I think it's pretty cool, for its extraordinary minimalism, although it occupies and addresses a very large public space. It's also (almost) intrusive and (almost) invisible at the same time. Is it a nod or a bow to community?

While I was looking into the identity of the artist, Vartanian wrote back that for him part of the appeal of the image I showed him is that it is "location conscious".