IAA 2021 Odeonsplatz.

The Odeonsplatz becomes an art experience.

August 12, 2021 – 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 today. It will be on display until the beginning of October.

“Earthtime 1.26 Munich” interacts with nature

The monumental yet lightweight “Earthtime 1.26 Munich” sculpture explores the interconnected networks of our cultural and physical worlds. It 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.

Art funding by Mercedes-Benz

The sculpture “Earthtime 1.26 Munich” will enrich Odeonsplatz until the beginning of October. It 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 promotion of art is part of a broad-based cultural commitment of Mercedes-Benz AG and thus also of Mercedes-Benz. It is an expression of the corporate self-image of responding responsibly to social issues and developments. With its commitment to art and culture, Mercedes-Benz wants to build a bridge and offer access to and knowledge about art for the residents of and visitors to the city of Munich. In this spirit, the artwork “Earthtime 1.26 Munich” will be an integral part of the Mercedes-Benz brand presence at the IAA MOBILITY. At Odeonsplatz, the brand with the star will be presenting its entire current and future portfolio of electric vehicles, as well as an exhibition on the core elements of its sustainable business strategy, such as CO2 neutrality, resource conservation, reuse and recycling.