1.78 Madrid by Janet Echelman @ Plaza Mayor. | Photos: Ana Laya.


Madrid’s Plaza Mayor is turning 400 years in 2018, that’s why the city mayor is planning a number of activities to celebrate on of the most iconic places of the city. Right now and until the 18th of Februrary you will be able to see one of Janet Echelman’s colourful floating sculptures. It’s called 1.78 Madrid.

Janet Echelman is an American artist that creates experiential sculpture at the scale of buildings, her art shifts from “being an object you look at, to a living environment you can get lost in“, that, along with her use of unlikely materials like fishnets or atomized water particles are the central chareacteristic of her work. Echelman perfectly knows how to “combine ancient craft with cutting-edge technology to create artworks that have become focal points for urban life on five continents”, as we can read in her website.

Image via Janet Echelman's website.
Image via Janet Echelman’s website.

Janet Echelman’s Madrid sculpture is her newest work in her Earth Time Series and focuses our thoughts on time, it’s called: 1.78 Madrid . “The number “1.78” within the title refers to the number of microseconds that the day was shortened when a single earthquake shifted the planet’s mass, thus speeding up the earth’s rotation of one day. This work examines the complex interaction of the many systems of our physical world with one another”, says Echelman.

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1.78 Madrid is a reminder of the many cycles of time at various scales, ranging from a single day to the 4 centuries that people have gathered in the Plaza Mayor. “I like to think about the fact that 400 years ago people gathered here to watch violent spectacle, and that today we are gathering to contemplate ideas through art,” said Echelman, “This artwork calls our attention to our human trajectory.”

You can read more about the project and her work on her website and hurry to the Plaza Mayor to have a look at her piece, preferably at sunset so you can see it lightened as well!

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Size & Materials

Fiber, Buildings and Sky combined with Colored Lighting. Fibers are braided with nylon and UHMWPE (Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene)
Dimensions of net: 100 ft. length x 45 ft. width x 20 ft. depth

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Art: Janet Echelman
Studio Echelman Team: Melissa Henry, Jamie Li, Lillian Rodriguez, Daniel Zeese, Cameron Chateauneuf
Sculpture Engineering: Arup: Clayton Binkley
Installation Engineering: Madrid Destino
Simulation Software Engineering: Autodesk
Festival Production and Lighting: Madrid Destino


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