Studio Conversation with Janet Echelman

Studio Conversation: Janet Echelman with Daniel Tucker, Graduate Program Manager, Social & Studio Practice happened on September 19th at Moore College of Art & Design.

Janet Echelman builds living, breathing sculpture environments that respond to the forces of nature — wind, water and light — and become inviting focal points for civic life. Exploring the potential of unlikely materials, from fishing net to atomized water particles, Echelman combines ancient craft with cutting-edge technology to create permanent sculptures at the scale of buildings. Experiential in nature, the result is sculpture that shifts from being an object you look at, to something you can get lost in.  A recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, Echelman was named an Architectural Digest 2012 Innovator for “changing the very essence of urban spaces.” Her TED talk “Taking Imagination Seriously” has been translated into 34 languages and is estimated to have been viewed by more than a million people worldwide.

In 2015, Philadelphia will experience the unveiling of Pulse, a work by Echelman that is expected to transform Philadelphia’s historic Dilworth Plaza next to City Hall into a focal point for the city’s thriving downtown. The art will be embedded in the new plaza’s 11,600-square foot fountain and will trace above ground in real time the paths of the three subway lines below. Described by the artist as “a living X-ray of the city’s circulatory system,” the work creates moving 4-foot-tall curtains of mist, which glow at night when illuminated by multiple layers of colored light.

Daniel Tucker works as an artist, writer and organizer developing documentaries, publications and events inspired by his interest in social movements and the people and places from which they emerge. Tucker has recently been collaborating with the curatorial collective Never The Same and is releasing "Immersive Life Practices" (SAIC, 2014), a new book on the history of socially-engaged art in the midwest. He has recently arrived at Moore as an Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Manager in Social and Studio Practices.

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Published on September 22nd, 2014