Connie – LookingOutwards – 01

In my senior year of high school, our top orchestral and symphony groups were invited to perform at a music festival in Washington D.C. and during our free time while on tour, we went to visit the Renwick Museum. The museum featured a work by Janet Echelman, entitled “1.8 Renwick” because the earthquake shortened the length of a single day by 1.8 microseconds.

It was inspired by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and incredible heights of the tsunami waves in the Pacific Ocean and uses some technology that links it to a map of the energy released by the powerful tsunamis across the Pacific Ocean. Many artists are inspired by their surroundings or historical events; the impacts of earthquakes on human society have been also noted by other artists such as Ai Weiwei.

I love this project for its interesting link between the vibrancy of spectacular colors and use of technology to bring a visual experience that symbolizes the powerful impact of a natural disaster. The dramatic color shifts in the netting show viewers how quickly things in our natural world can change and how deadly these shifts and changes can be. I don’t know how exactly or how long it took Echelman to create this project or specifically what algorithm she used but I do know the lights are linked to the energy maps of the tsunamis in the Pacific Ocean during the earthquake, hence the shifts in color.

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