1.26 Montreal, 2015, 2016
1.26 is a travelling sculpture about the interconnectedness of our world. It has been installed in 5 cities and 4 continents, and Montreal marks its return to North America for the first exhibition since its 2010 premiere.
Janet Echelman created 1.26 just after the 2010 Chile earthquake when she learned of NASA data that measured the effects of the earthquake and ensuing tsunami. The vibrations momentarily sped up the earth’s rotation, shortening the length of the day by 1.26 micro-seconds. This became the catalyst for the artwork. Studio Echelman collaborated with a team of engineers, lighting designers, computer scientists, and architects to transform the tsunami data into a 3D image for the basis of the sculptural form.
Originally commissioned in 2010 for the Biennial of the Americas in Denver, CO, it then traveled to Sydney, Australia in 2011, suspended over the busiest intersection on the continent, then to Europe in 2012-2013, suspended from Amsterdam’s City Hall over the Amstel River, and to Singapore in 2014 for Marina Bay’s biennial iLight Festival.
The sculpture is completely soft and constructed from highly technical fibers, making it lightweight enough to lace directly into existing structures without extra reinforcement. Its billowing surfaces are animated by the wind, contrasting with the rigid surfaces of surrounding city architecture. At night, colored lighting transforms the work into a floating, luminous form.
The exhibition in Montreal’s heart - the Quartier des Spectacles - brings a new context to the 1.26 story. Echelman worked with the Montreal lighting team to develop a lighting design specific to the vibrant, ever-changing atmosphere of the Quartier des Spectacles.
The physical sculpture is entirely soft, made of two types of fiber. Spectra®, a fiber more than 15 times stronger than steel by weight, makes up the structural portion of the artwork. Custom color blends of high-tenacity polyester braided twines make up the remainder of the sculptural net. Echelman combines these with programmed colored light to create the final artwork.
“I'm excited to bring my work to Montreal - to this vibrant, ever-changing creative center,” Echelman said. “This sculpture reflects on the interconnedctedness of nations and the rippling of events over time, so the dynamic, fluid atmosphere of the Quartier des spectacles is ideal. My hope is that people will spend time underneath the sculpture and take a moment to contemplate the changing weather patterns - how the sun casts shadow-drawings onto the ground, and the wind and water interplay with the art."
The 1.26 sculpture exhibition is on display in the Quartier des Spectacles’ Jardins Gamelin through October 2, 2016.
Materials and Size
Spectra® Fiber, high-tenacity polyester fiber, and colored lighting
Dimensions of net: 80 ft. length x 60 ft. width x 30 ft. depth
Installation Dimensions: 417 ft. length x 165 ft. width x 110 ft. height
Art: Janet Echelman
Studio Echelman Project Manager: Melissa Henry
Design Engineer: Peter Heppel Associates (Paris)
Lighting Design: Quartier des spectacles Partnership
Photography: Ulysse Lemerise / OSA
Quartier des spectacles, Montreal, Canada