In collaboration with artist Aaron Koblin, Creative Director of the Data Arts Team in Google’s Creative Lab, Janet Echelman revealed her largest aerial installation artwork to date at the TED Conference in Vancouver in March 2014. Spanning 745 feet between the 24-story Fairmont Waterfront and the Vancouver Convention Center, at night the aerial sculpture is lit up and choreographed light projections are enacted onto the sculpture by the spectator’s manipulation of mobile phones. The result is stammering visual light displays of color influenced by the movements of the sculpture. The sculpture is made of fiber 15 times the strength of steel.
The inspiration: Echelman spent time in Mahabalipuram, India on a Fulbright lectureship, while awaiting her paints that never arrived, she reverted to learning the bronze casting of the local artisans, however, the materials were to expensive for her scholarship. One morning, Echelman watched the fisherman bundle their nets – and the idea came for a form of sculpture: one that Mrs. Echelman stated, “create(s) volumetric form without heavy, solid materials” Today, her artworks are known worldwide, and they are an immediate transformation of urban spaces.
There could have been several times when Echelman did not continue to innovate due to physical obstacles, rather she allowed those obstacles to redirect her mind to another path – a path that was entirely different from the first. It is a testament that no art medium holds a true artist as no business idea arguably holds a true entrepreneur. All great things come from reinvention and navigating obstacles – it can be determined then that all success comes from failure, yet it is constructed and guided by perception. Do not neglect your day dream.