Earthtime 1.26 Munich - the IAA MOBILITY becomes an art experience

With its visitor concept, such as the BLUE LANE, the IAA MOBILITY already proves that, instead of isolating itself in a closed exhibition center like traditional trade fairs, it wants to interact and communicate with the public space and society. At the same time, it is definitely also their claim to use their ideas to influence the public perception not only of mobility, but to make thinking about the world of the future something that can be experienced.

Janet Echelman's art project "Earthtime 1.26 Munich", which was presented at a vernissage on August 12 and was created especially for the IAA MOBILITY, fits in exactly with this concept and can be seen on Munich's Odeonsplatz.

Earthtime Munich
Source: Daimler

Proximity as art

The American artist has created a monumental art installation that initially looks like a multicolored sail spanning the space in front of the Feldherrnhalle, constantly changing shape.

The monumental yet lightweight sculpture "Earthtime 1.26 Munich" explores the interconnected networks of our cultural and physical world. It is approximately 24 meters long, 21 meters wide and 16 meters high. Its fibers, woven like a fishing net, are made of recyclable high-tech materials, some of which are 15 times stronger than steel in relation to their own weight. Wind, rain and light transform the net, which is constantly in motion, changing its shape and color, permeating and activating the urban space and allowing it to breathe. The number 1.26 also refers to this natural phenomenon, which has led to an acceleration of the earth's rotation, shortening the length of the day by around 1.26 microseconds. "Earthtime 1.26 Munich" can be seen for the first time in Germany. It is part of Janet Echelman's "Earthtime Series," which explores humanity's connection to nature.

"I am delighted to install Earthtime 1.26 Munich on the historic Odeonsplatz, where past and present intertwine to create a dynamic urban now. My artwork reflects the linking of opposites - flexibility with strength, earth with sky, things we can control with the forces that transcend us. I invite viewers* to pause for a moment beneath my sculpture to reflect on our interconnectedness with each other and our planet, and to become aware of our own sensory experience," said Janet Echelman.

No status quo

With their fluid movements, the living sculpture stands in opposition to the rigid forms of the finished city and questions the urban status quo.At night, colored LED lights transform them into floating, luminous forms.The project was created in collaboration with Daimler AG's art promotion department, which has other similar projects planned for the IAA.

It is located across from the Odeonsplatz by Mercedes-Benz studio, where the design model of another sculpture by Janet Echelman is on display. The work, titled "Skies Painted With Unnumbered Sparks," embodies the fusion of art and technology. The in-location app EXOS enhances the analog exhibition space, also during IAA MOBILITY 2021, with digital content, turning Studio Odeonsplatz into a social media space that provides an interactive stage and thus a holistic experience for visitors*. They get access to daily updated information around the studio and can also experience their on-site experience digitally as well as share, comment and like. In addition to the exhibition of the two sculptures by the American artist, Studio Odeonsplatz by Mercedes-Benz, together with the Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art (MUCA), invites art and culture enthusiasts to take part in guided tours of contemporary art in Munich in September.

The new look

"Art offers us the opportunity to dare to take a new look at the world, to dislodge routines, to allow the unfamiliar, to expand our view. This is exactly what is happening with Earthtime 1.26. We are proud that Janet Echelman is enriching the completely redesigned IAA MOBILITY with her work of art. Because the IAA MOBILITY expands the view of tomorrow's mobility: climate-neutral, digital, networked. That's what it's all about, and that's why Earthtime 1.26 is just right here," says Dr. Lutz Meyer, Head of Communications and Media at the German Association of the Automotive Industry, which organizes IAA MOBILITY.