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In this work, originally installed at the Museum of Arts and Design, Echelman interprets the most violent weapon that humans have ever created, using one of the oldest and most humble techniques of tying things together.

The artist was first inspired to make the choreography of the wind visible during her time in India, watching the fisherman pulling in their catch: “I was mesmerized by the form of their nets and the fact that they were so changeable and flexible. They became this three-dimensional form that had no weight.”

The funnel-like space of the Museum’s atrium inspired Echelman to create a cloudlike formation, and with recent news reports of North Korea's nuclear weapons testing, it became a nuclear mushroom cloud. The colors represent the flags of each of the countries known to have detonated such weapons in chronological order: United States, Soviet Union (represented by Russia's flag), United Kingdom, France, People's Republic of China, India, Pakistan, and North Korea.

“I was surprised to discover that all 4 flags of countries from the earlier phase were composed of the same colors - red, white, and blue. The last 4 countries had more earthy colors – green, orange, and yellow. I began to wonder what visual affinities the first countries might share, and whether the last four countries' earthy colors might be related to the fact that they were formed more recently.”

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Materials and Size

High-tenacity polyester fiber and lighting
Dimensions of net: Variable size, roughly 25 ft. height x 20 ft. diameter


Art: Janet Echelman


Museum of Arts and Design, New York City, NY, USA

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