On the occasion of the IAA Mobility 2021, Mercedes-Benz is transforming Munich’s Odeonsplatz into a living art venue with a floating sculpture created from recyclable fibres. The monumental 24-by-21-metre artwork “Earthtime 1.26 Munich” by U.S. artist Janet Echelman is constantly changing due to natural forces, thus symbolising the dynamics of our ecosystem. This sustainable message corresponds with the core idea of the new IAA concept and the entrepreneurial attitude of Mercedes-Benz.
The multi-coloured sculpture kicks off Mercedes-Benz’s appearance at the IAA Mobility, which is being held in Munich for the first time. For the duration of the trade fair from September 7 to 12, 2021, it will float in the sky above the luxury automobile brand’s exhibition and experience area at Odeonsplatz, which will be entirely dedicated to sustainable solutions for the future of mobility. Mercedes-Benz, artist Janet Echelman, Munich’s Department of Culture and the Munich Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art (MUCA) jointly opened the art installation. It will be on display until the beginning of October.
“Public art is not only an aesthetic enhancement, but also a contemporary organism. By being in a public location, a work interweaves with society in its myriad facets,” said Stephanie Utz, Co-Founder Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art (MUCA).
The monumental yet lightweight “Earthtime 1.26 Munich” sculpture is around 24 metres long, 21 metres wide and 16 metres high. Its fibres, woven like a fishing net, are made of recyclable highly engineered fibres, some of which are 15 times stronger than steel by weight. Wind, rain and light continuously transform the net, which is constantly in motion, changing its shape and colour, interweaving with and activating the urban space and allowing it to breathe. The three-dimensional shape is inspired by the 3D data model of the ocean’s surface following an earthquake that caused ripple effects across the Pacific Ocean. The number 1.26 also refers to this natural event, which led to an acceleration of the Earth’s rotation, shortening the length of the day by about 1.26 microseconds. “Earthtime 1.26 Munich” is being shown in Germany for the first time. It is part of the artist’s “Earthtime series” exploring the interconnectedness of humans with nature.
The sculpture “Earthtime 1.26 Munich” is located directly opposite the Studio Odeonsplatz by Mercedes-Benz, where a process model of another sculpture by Janet Echelman is on display. The work, entitled “Skies Painted With Unnumbered Sparks”, embodies the fusion of art and technology. The in-location EXOS app extends the analogue exhibition space – including during IAA MOBILITY 2021 – with digital content and turns the Studio Odeonsplatz into a social media space that offers visitors an interactive stage and thus a holistic experience.
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