Sunday, July 04, 2010


There's an enormous structure built of bamboo and rope perched atop the the roof deck at the Met. It's Doug + Mike Starn's Big Bambu, an ongoing installation that opened in April and is in perpetual construction through October. Part overly complex treehouse, part scaffolding, part chaotic wave cascading over Central Park, it's a pretty exciting thing for the Met to showcase. Visitors can always see it from the roof deck--hundreds of spindly poles that impossibly manage the hefty structure--and if you wait in a lot of lines, show your photo ID several times, and sign a waiver promising not to hold anyone accountable should something happen to you on it, you're permitted to totter around the thing on a very small (but expanding) network of pathways that flex satisfactorily beneath your feet as they lead you up into and around the sculpture. Going inside Big Bambu means listening to a short, well-intentioned guided tour comparing its structure to all sorts of poetic things: ocean waves, the circulatory system, molecular structures. I found it most enjoyable not to hear statistics about how many pieces of bamboo are being used and how many miles' worth of rope tie the knots, but just to look at. Large. Nest-like. Good for the summertime. I wouldn't mind roosting up there some warm evening.


Unapologetically Mundane said...

Hello! I owe you an e-mail but am instead reading your blog to avoid actual social interaction!

I've been interested in this but am scared of it. It's like the very largest rope bridge, except instead of taking it slowly and one at a time, I'm sure it's a bunch of assholes running across it in groups. I'm glad you experienced it for me, though.

la_sale_bete said...

It's not very scary. Most of the people on the "tour" with me were senior citizens marveling at how "innovative" the structure was, and asking crass questions like "who's paying for this?" and "what will they do with the bamboo when they're done?"
The thing is so sturdy and up to code that it's probably got a fire exit hidden between the poles.