janet echelman: 1.26 installation at the amsterdam light festival
janet echelman: 1.26 installation at the amsterdam light festival janet echelman: 1.26 installation at the amsterdam light festival
aug 11, 2013

janet echelman: 1.26 installation at the amsterdam light festival

janet echelman: 1.26 installation at the amsterdam light festival
all images courtesy of janet echelman



the form and content of janet echelman’s luminous 1.26 sculpture, that suspends over the amstel river in amsterdam, has been drawn from the study of earth’s interconnected systems. echelman used laboratory research from NASA and NOAA, which documented the effects of the 2010 earthquake in chile — the historic shock resulted in the shortening of the earth’s day by 1.26-microseconds, which became the influence for the installation’s namesake.


the colorful volumetric piece takes the shape of a tsunami canyoning across the ocean. in her studio, she generated a three-dimensional model of the tsunami that resulted from chile’s earthquake, then used software to create an outline of the rendering’s highest amplitude area, realizing the silhouette as a sculptural form. the material underscores connectivity — echelman’s work utilizes spectra, a material that is 15 times stronger than steel by weight. the knotted mesh can withstand high winds, but is engineered specifically to imitate the intricacy of handmade lace.


you can watch the making of janet echelman’s 1.26 installation suspended in amsterdam, below:



amsterdam light festival 2012: the making of 1.26 – timelapse
video courtesy of amsterdam light festival



the 230-foot aerial sculpture is the signature project of the 2012-2013 amsterdam light festival, a celebration by contemporary artists who illuminate the city and its historic canals with their installations. ‘1.26’ has now been exhibited on three continents — originally it was suspended from the denver art museum and then traveled to australia, where it was hung in front of sydney’s historic town hall, before finally arriving in amsterdam and taking its place in front of the city hall. the piece will be illuminated from 5-10pm daily until january 20, 2013.



a detailed view of the meshed sculpture



‘in amsterdam, the river and canals have been central to city life for the last four centuries,’ said echelman ‘the light reflections on the water’s surface become a focus of the sculpture here, creating an opportunity for contemplation. the sculpture invites you to pause and consider how we’re knitted into a larger fabric.’



‘1.26’ is suspended above a canal in amsterdam



changing colors, the installation appears to be floating in space



a point of view of the silhouette of the piece


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