Janet Echelman Public Lecture: "Taking Imagination Seriously: Reshaping Urban Airspace"

Janet Echelman Poster 2022

The Department of German at Amherst College invites you to “Taking Imagination Seriously: Reshaping Urban Airspace,” a lecture by renowned urban installation artist Janet Echelman, on Wednesday, October 26, 2022 at 5:30pm in Pruyne Auditorium, 115 Fayerweather Hall, at Amherst College. The event is free and open to the public. All are welcome. Please wear a mask.
 
Janet Echelman has worked with NASA, Autodesk, and mechanical engineering and computer modeling companies to create her technologically-generated signature net-like sculptures that float peacefully (some have said sublimely) over publicly trafficked urban spaces in nearly twenty metropolitan areas across the globe, including, to name just a few, in Munich, Vienna, Amsterdam, Porto, Madrid, London, Sydney, Santiago, Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Seattle, Philadelphia, Boston, and Beijing. Animated with such natural forces as wind, rain, and sunlight, her dynamic sculptures are realized through the highly multidisciplinary effort of her studio, mechanical and aeronautical engineers, software designers, architects, and urban planners. Her TED talk "Taking Imagination Seriously" has been translated into 35 languages with more than two million views. Recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, Harvard Loeb Fellowship, Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellowship, and Fulbright Sr. Lectureship, Echelman received the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award in Visual Arts, honoring “the greatest innovators in America today.” In popular culture, Oprah ranked Echelman’s work #1 on her List of 50 Things That Make You Say Wow!, and Echelman was named an Architectural Digest Innovator for "changing the very essence of urban spaces.”  http://www.echelman.com/. On October 13, 2022, MIT announced Janet Echelman as a 2022-23 Distinguished Visiting Artist at MIT, beginning this Fall and hosted by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology. 
 
Echelman’s visit is made possible by the generous support of the Victor S. Johnson Lectureship Fund, the Eastman Fund, the Lamont Fund, the Departments of German, Sexuality, Women’s and Gender Studies, Art and Art History, Mathematics and Statistics, and the programs in Architectural Studies and European Studies; Hampshire College; Mount Holyoke College Department of German Studies; and the Five College Lecture Fund.
 
We hope you will join us.
 
 
 

Bertolt Brecht's Paper War: Exile in America 1941-1947

A poster with a drawing of a man holding a newspaper Eighty years after his exile in the U.S. began, the exhibition titled Bertolt Brecht's Paper War looks through Brecht’s glasses with contemporary eyes, reflects on his views of the "American Way of Life" during the time of Roosevelt, Truman, and McCarthy, and brings together Brecht's writing and the newspaper clippings he used for inspiration. By juxtaposing these elements in an exhibition, co-curators Grischa Meyer and Holger Teschke pay homage to Brecht’s montage format, expanding and renewing an aesthetic point of view while infusing contemporary context and understanding into the works. Filmmaker Andrea Simon's film Salka Viertel, Every Sunday forms a part of the exhibition, along with an online mini film series including Peter Voigt's 2004 film Die Hinterlassenschaft, A Legacy, recently subtitled for this exhibition and event series by the DEFA Film Library at UMass-Amherst.

  • Exhibition Opening Lectures/Conversation: Thursday, Sept. 29, 5:00 PM with reception to follow
    Free and open to the public
  • Exhibition: Thursday, Sept. 29–Friday, Nov. 2, 2022
  • Location: Reading Room, Robert Frost Library, Amherst College
  • Idea/Concept/Design: Grischa Meyer with Holger Teschke
  • Artwork: Gerhard Oschatz

This exhibit includes images that depict violence and death associated with war, as well as primary source materials that contain racist language. The opinions expressed in these materials are those of the original authors only. They do not reflect the opinions or views of the curators or of any Five College or Amherst College faculty, staff, or students.

The intention of showing these materials is to provide an opportunity for analysis with the understanding that the sovereignty of all humans is respected.

Participant Biographies

A graphic of a man reading a news paper.

Brecht's Paper War Film Series

To accompany the exhibition, a mini film series will be streamed from Sept. 19–Nov. 2, 2022. We thank director Andrea Simon and Jutta Voigt for making these films available, and the DEFA Film Library at UMass-Amherst for adding the English subtitles.

Exhibition Opening lecture/conversation on 9/29/22 at 5pm, Frost Library Reading Room

  • Grischa Meyer, Co-Curator and graphic designer, Berlin
  • Andrea Simon, Documentary filmmaker, New York
  • Jonas Rosenbrück, Assistant Professor, Department of German, Amherst College
  • Exhibition and related events co-coordinated by Heidi Gilpin (Chair, Department of German, Amherst College) and Karen Remmler (Chair, Department of German Studies, Mount Holyoke College)

Sponsored by: the Five College Lecture Fund, Amherst College Department of German and the Eastman and Lamont Funds, Mount Holyoke College German Studies Department, Smith College Department of German and Italian, Hampshire College, The University of Massachusetts-Amherst Department of German and Scandinavian Studies and DEFA Film Library, and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung New York Office.

Free and open to the public.

This exhibit includes images that depict violence and death associated with war, as well as primary source materials that contain racist language. The opinions expressed in these materials are those of the original authors only. They do not reflect the opinions or views of the curators or of any Five College or Amherst College faculty, staff, or students.

The intention of showing these materials is to provide an opportunity for analysis with the understanding that the sovereignty of all humans is respected.

This Event Is Free and Open to the Public