Janet Echelman’s colorful fiber and lighting installation examines the complex interconnections between human beings and our physical world, and reveals the artist's fascination with the measurement of time. The volumetric form suspended from the ceiling of the Renwick Gallery's Rubenstein Grand Salon is inspired by the data recorded March 11, 2011, following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that rippled across the Pacific Ocean toward Japan. The geologic event was so powerful it shifted the earth on its axis and shortened the day by 1.8 millionths of a second, lending this work its title. Echelman's knotted meditation contrasts the forces we can understand and control with those we cannot, and the concerns of our daily existence with larger cycles of time. Dynamically-changing lighting casts projected shadow drawings in vivid colors that move from wall to wall, enticing viewers to lie down on the carpet and contemplate the work.
Museum purchase made possible by the American Art Forum.
Janet Echelman, 1.8 Renwick, 2015, knotted and braided fiber with programmable lighting and wind movement above printed textile flooring, Smithsonian American Art Museum, photo by Ema Peter