1x1 is a project developed by Neal White of the Office of Experiments with artist Tina O’Connell.
“Most moving of all, however, is Office of Experiment's 1x1 comprised of 1,000 small vials of "tears," water collected in Japan after the earthquake. Visitors are encouraged to pour the water on a cherry tree bringing about a symbolic rebirth. This act also reflects what Tokyo's mayor hoped to do a century ago: promote an international exchange between the two continents encouraging new life and friendships to blossom…” Interview Magazine
Drawing on the specific historical connection to the gift of the Cherry Trees to Washington DC one hundred years ago, 1x1 reflects upon the range of experience and responses to the Tsunami and Fukushima Diaichi catastrophe in Japan just one year ago.
With a personal connection to the events, the artists considered how the unhealed wounds could be tended to with intimate personal acts of commemoration, turning public art into private contemplation.
In mapping Washington DC infrastructures whose responsibility it is to respond to such events, with an intervention using a banner, this element of the project reflects upon the invisible nature of an official response, and its representations of events endlessly played over.
In drawing attention to both the temporal nature of the blossoms and the monumental core that conceals and reveals a geography of social, political and human response, we ask the question of how public art can remain open and fluid, reflecting meaningfully to the breadth of an event whose waves of impact have not yet become still.