at philadelphia’s dilworth park, artist janet echelman is reshaping the urban landscape with a monumental public sculpture that reacts to the surrounding environment. described by the artist as ‘a living x-ray of the city’s circulatory system’, ‘pulse’ emits vibrantly colored mist curtains that fluidly move across the park’s fountain and trace the footprint of the passing trains below. as SEPTA trains traverse beneath, 4-foot-tall beams of colorful atomized mist ephemerally follow the course of the transit lines.

janet echelman philadelphia
image by sean o’neill

 

 

‘I’m thrilled to see pulse come to life – my first permanent artwork using cool mist with colored light,echelman says. ‘when I started work eight years ago, this was a forlorn plaza. so it’s especially exciting to see the colors come alive in this beautiful park. the art traces layers of philadelphia’s history of water with water. with the successful opening of this first phase, I feel great momentum towards completion of the blue and orange lines to activate the entire park.’

janet echelman philadelphia
image by sean o’neill

 

 

presented by center city district (CCD), ‘pulse’ draws from center square’s history as philadelphia’s water and transportation hub. echelman and her team worked closely lead engineer urban engineers, landscape architect OLIN, and water feature consultant CMS collaborative from design concept through final implementation. echelman generated the color palette by blending multiple individually colored hues of light, in homage to the paintings of mark rothko.

 

the launch of the first phase of ‘pulse’ on september 12 will help support fundraising to complete the remaining two sections of the installation, which trace the market-frankford line (blue line) and the broad street line (orange line).

janet echelman philadelphia
image by melvin epps

janet echelman philadelphia
image by sean o’neill

janet echelman philadelphia
image by sean o’neill

janet echelman philadelphia
image by sean o’neill

janet echelman philadelphia
image by sahar coston

janet echelman philadelphia
image by sahar coston

janet echelman philadelphia
image by sahar coston

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