Veronica Herber

Tracks - Tidelines Project

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My temporary installation for Tidelines will begin with the repetition of a simple formula: visitors to Wynyard Quarter are invited at random to be followed as they walk around North Wharf, making their way over and along the exposed train tracks that run from Silo Park past the Viaduct Events Centre. Each of their steps is transcribed into a unique patterned sequence using Washi masking tape. Every footstep they take is traced, leaving a trail of shapes that map their interaction with the site.

The installation process will be very immediate but the tape lines will last on the ground for many weeks. The participants' meandering routes will give a playful randomness and a paced rhythm to the formation of patterned lines on the ground. Gradually, over a series of days, these plotted tracks will layer and accumulate to suggest the swarm of bustling activity to be found on the waterfront. Made visible, these plotted journeys will display the way people consciously and unconsciously navigate around other pedestrians, over the historical railroad tracks and towards the many points of attraction along the newly redeveloped and now more accessible site.

Tracks temporarily picks out a small sample of the many multitudes of footsteps that have fallen along the historic wharf over time. The work will create a tangible contrast between the permanence of the old metal railway tracks and the ephemeral passing of people over them. This places each individual's passage within a legacy of layered human interaction that has unfolded on this site over time.

The installation aims to prompt everyone, from tourists to workers to local residents, to become more physically aware of their movements within these surroundings. As each individual step is highlighted the movement of human bodies becomes a measure for transcribing space and the fall of footsteps on this reclaimed land becomes more visible as one of the many means of traversing the Waitemātā Harbour.

Special thanks to TapeSpec.


Aerial shot:
Veronica Herber, Landform, 2km super sized Masking Tape, 4000+ wire staples,60 x 40m. Photo Copyright Andrea Haumer.


  • Tracks completed and now can be followed down at Wynyard Quarter


    After a week of perfect weather and some help from kind friends and supporters 'Tracks' is now finished.

    It was an engaging installation with many curious passers by asking us what we were doing with our rolls of tape carefully placing marks on the ground.

    I chose 5 people at random, (one per day) and surreptitiously followed them from a distance, marking out their trail at 10-meter intervals. Once they had gone I filled in the footsteps with an individual code per person. The two longest trails are 150 meters long

    To keep it completely natural I couldn't approach them so I was surprised when the final person I chose strode purposefully to one of my helpers halfway down the promenade. They talked for a while, did a neat circle of steps then walked back towards me and away. (Me trying to look nonchalant as I marked their progress). It turned out he was one of the Volvo race volunteers who had been watching the progress of the installation over the previous four days and had finally come down to inquire what it was all about.

    Inadvertently he had become part of the installation himself, he was watching us, then I was watching him. There was a neat synchronicity to all this as his was the final track.

    The installation is down at Wynyard (in front of the Restaurants) till the 25th of March if you would like to come and follow the trails. Many many thanks for your support. x V

    Tracks completed and now can be followed down at Wynyard Quarter
  • Slow foot movement


    First install day on Monday.

    I have decided on sea green for the tape colour. The Washi (Japanese rice paper) tape has a lustrous sheen to it so I am looking forward to seeing how it contrasts with the road surface and train tracks.

    My own driveway has been a good test.

    The section of train track I am following is 150 meters long and we step about twice per meter so each of the five pathways will be around 300 footsteps.




    Slow foot movement
  • Making Tracks


    I will be installing Tracks from the 2 - 6th of March. To trace the hundreds of footsteps along the waterfront will take some time.

    Anyone who would like to be involved and join the following, tracing, tearing, placing of tape fun is very welcome.

    I will post up the dates/places/times on this page.  X V

    Making Tracks