Art Around NYC – Zip Ties Gone Rampant!

Holiday Greetings Everyone!

I know I’ve been a bit MIA recently, and I’ll blame the combination of the holiday season and the holiday shopping rush, and my lack of time to create/photograph/write new posts.  And so as a celebration of the holiday season I thought I’d feature a fun, colorful and completely non-religious piece of art I happened to stumble on not far from my office building one day during lunch!

Really there isn’t too much else to say about it, you take zip ties, some very rambunctious street artists (I honestly have no idea who does these) and a few street lights and you have art.  Colorful, fun, art.  And let me tell you, stumbling on these unexpectedly would bring a smile to just about anyone’s face, they are so much fun!

Its funny too because I’d been talking with a co-worker about lights and the weird materials I like to use and she had mentioned these street lights (apparently they were rampant around the East Village over the summer, but somehow I had missed both seeing and hearing about them completely.)  So we had googled the photos and thought they were super fun and cool and I was lamenting not getting to see them in person.  And then a month or two later, there they were!  I swear I started bouncing around from street light to street light like a little kid, waving my iPhone around taking pics from different angles, of different colors, etc.  The friend I was out walking with thought I was slightly nuts.  But hey, it makes for a fun blog post so who cares!

Honestly though, as I was hopping around I kept turning to my friend and saying “Who has this amount of time on their hands?!”  Alternating with, “Gosh I feel bad who has to take all these down…”

After originally looking at photos I of course thought about making a light using this technique.  Now I’m not so sure, or I feel like it would have to be adapted at least a little bit.  I worry that there aren’t enough spikey pieces to make a nice full lamp shade, but then again if I was using smaller zip ties with more layers maybe that would make up for it.  For now I’ll keep thinking, but maybe in the future you’ll see a light pop up and know that the original inspiration was these hilariously fun sign posts.

Happy Holidays!  And I’ll be back early next week with an exciting announcement!

Ciao, Allison

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9 Responses to Art Around NYC – Zip Ties Gone Rampant!

  1. Jorun says:

    I think I’ve seen a lamp at Habitat with two-coloured zip ties (white with a dark tip) but that was a few years ago. can’t remember the shape or the construction method though.

    • I’ve seen a few different sorts of zip tie lights out there on the web, so if I ever try tackling this officially I’ll definitely have to do official research and see what projects have and haven’t been done before, and which ones were or weren’t successful (in my opinion at least!)

  2. After seeing your post, I made my way to the East Village for the first time since I’ve lived here (which is a whopping month). 🙂 Thanks for looking crazy with your iPhone, because it inspired our weekend. 🙂

    • That makes me so happy to hear! I always wonder if anyone cares about these random art posts, but its fun to sometimes look outside yourself to the greater world, plus you never know what inspiration you’ll find!

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  4. M says:

    That is a pretty neat effect! I think it would be relatively easy, although time consuming, to make more spikes… just thread the zip ties (they don’t even necessarily need to be short, but that would give you a different length/width spikes) into each other with greater frequency by pulling the tails long and the space between them short (i.e. if you were trying to be conservative w/ the total number of ties, you would only thread the minimum length necessary from one tie into the other’s lock to get the ties to connect vs. threading in nearly the whole zip tie length, so you pretty much end up with all the zip tie locks next to each other, but lots of tails and using a much larger number of ties.) It might be a really neat effect to use different lengths tails or sizes to give shape to the lamp.

  5. kent latimer says:

    Ive seen those. They do look great and I’m glad that they seem to be proliferating. For a more in depth look at zip tie building, go to

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  7. Pingback: Art is everywhere…even with zip ties | Soirtay

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