Janet Echelman was commissioned to create the headlining sculpture for GLOW 2013, the art event for site-specific works on Santa Monica Beach. Lasting only one night - from dusk to dawn - the beach is transformed into a “playground for thoughtful and participatory, temporary art.” On the night of September 28, 2013, more than 150,000 people attended GLOW and participated in sculpting the earthwork beneath Echelman`s aerial sculpture, “The Space Between Us,” making it one of the largest public art events in the U.S. In an article published the morning after the event, The New York Times credited Echelman`s work for “giving crafts a coolly conceptual edge.” Echelman`s ground-breaking work utilized experimental elements, including shaped earth and an audio component that synced to a pulsating lighting program. The artist and her team collaborated with City Public Works staff to create carved sand indentations for visitors to enter and gaze up at the aerial sculpture, becoming a part of the immersive experience. Echelman views this commission as a point of growth and departure. “The beach is the charged zone between human society and uncontrolled nature,” she said. “I`m interested in sculpting earth and sky, and placing ourselves in between. It`s the collision of heaviness and lightness, between our gravity-bound bodies which walk on sand, and the part of us which seeks to float in air, or in water.” “My goal was to invite people to have an ephemeral sensory experience without words - a moment of contemplation that can evoke preverbal memory and engage our Limbic brain.” Produced by the Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division and the Santa Monica Arts Foundation, the goal of the evening was to “break through the public`s preconceived notion of what art can be, encouraging both thoughtful contemplation and energetic participation,” said GLOW organizers. Courtesy of Studio Echelman.

Installed, 2013


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