TED Conversations

Janet Echelman

Sculptor, Studio Director, Studio Echelman


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Creative vision -- how do you develop and hold onto it, especially when obstacles appear in your path?

Artist Janet Echelman overcame rejection and doubts to develop her methods of building voluptuous sculptures the size of buildings out of simple materials like fishnet. In this live conversation, ask questions and share your own experiences with Janet about the path to creative endeavor.

This Live conversation will open on Feb. 13th, 2012, 2 pm EST.

If you couldn't make to this Live Conversation, the discussion with Janet Echelman continues on her TEDTalk page: http://www.ted.com/talks/janet_echelman.html


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    Feb 13 2012: Dear Janet, thank you very much for being with us today :) My question is: how do you feel about industrial high-tech materials, as opposed to handcrafted nets, fabrics... how do high-tech materials compensate for the lack of the originality that comes with handcrafting something?
    • Feb 13 2012: That is a good question. I recently asked myself the same thing. I am trying to work on some mixed media paintings and I have questioned what I could get away with in the terms of materials. Is it acceptable to use high-grade, high-tech stuff in art? I would think so.
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      Feb 13 2012: Hi Simone, I think that's a very interesting question. How to answer...
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      Feb 13 2012: I can only speak for myself. I am drawn to the idiosyncracy of hand-made things, from the way a hand-whittled chair is just slightly off center. I suppose it has to do with our human bodies, the way we are imperfectly symmetrical.
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      Feb 13 2012: I am quite interested in high-tech manufacturing methods, and most especially in the new "smart" methods where we can use digitally controlled manufacturing methods to create production which is able to constantly vary.
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      Feb 13 2012: If you've listened to "Taking Imagination Seriously" you have already heard about my work with industrial fishing net manufacturers. While I didn't have time in the TEDtalk to discuss, I'm working with many different kinds of industrial manufacturers. I'm interested in so many things, and I'm never sure which method is going to yield something interesting, so I try out alot of different avenues. I briefly mentioned the new work I'm utilizing for my commission for Philadelphia's Dilworth Plaza in front of City Hall, where I'm working with industrial kanufacturers who produce mist-making machines and fans to create a new kind of art effect that combines with colored light to produce an ethereal colored "scrim". There are industrial knitting machines that can create a seamless 3-dimensional form, and I'm very excited about those possibilities.

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