Studio Echelman’s Sky Sculptures Bring Global Data to the Urban Scale
Studio Echelman’s Earthtime Series explores the physical manifestation of global time inspired by data from NASA and NOAA. These artworks displayed in cities across the world explore interconnectedness as a complex network that humans are a part of. Each design in the series is generated from the data of major geologic events that have shortened the length of a day.
Typically installed outside, each piece is designed for and influenced by the natural elements of the host city. The entire network reacts as the wind ripples through individual strands, reminiscent of the shifting length of an earth day that inspired each artwork.
The first of the series, “1.26”, features data from the 2010 Chilean earthquake that resulted in the length of the day being shortened by 1.26 microseconds. The 3D form was generated from the measured effects of the resulting tsunami as it rippled across the Pacific Ocean. In the project description Echelman says, “a geologic occurrence in one part of the world can have rippling effects across the entire Pacific Ocean is fascinating to me. In our busy urban lives, I feel a need to find moments of contemplation, and I hope my art can offer that to each person in their own way.”
Another installation from the Earthtime Series, “1.8,” is inspired by wave data from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and the resulting tsunami that hit Japan. This earthquake momentarily increased the rotation of the earth resulting in the day being shortened by 1.8 microseconds. Initially installed over Oxford Circus in London, this piece not only changed with winds blowing through, but the patterns of light projected onto it could be altered by viewers on the ground. The choreographed and crowd-sourced light projections with the fluctuating weather patterns create an ever shifting artwork that is never the same twice.
Recently opened in Gwanggyo, South Korea, “Earthtime Korea,” is the first permanently installed piece of the Earthtime Series. Inspired by the waves that rippled across the Pacific Ocean after the 2010 earthquake originating in Chile and the hues of blue used in traditional Korean temple paintings, this newest piece seems to float over the public plaza in Alleyway Gwanggyo.
Similar to her other sky sculptures, “Earthtime Korea” consists of braided fibers and ropes that represent the collective interconnectedness of humanity. Together, the woven nets create a stronger and more resilient whole. Echelman invites visitors to all her projects to spend time to notice the subtle shifts in each piece and to discover their own meaning within each installation.