Tulsa Patterns

Tulsa Patterns (Firefly Reference)

A temporary light work in downtown Tulsa, OK, installed in April 2015 and ending in April 2016. Located at the Pierce Block (now known as the “Mimosa Tree and Pinnacle Building) at 3rd and Detroit Streets.

Commissioned by Urban Core Arts Project, in conjunction with The Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa.


Statement, Spring 2015

Public Art has the unique capacity to ask us to slow down, contemplate and question our own perceptions of place. As an artist working in the public realm, my intent is not to judge a site, but to collaborate with what is there in order to bring about a new point of view for the situation. Changing the pace of how we look at our environment is key for me in bringing about this new information.

We could think of this installation as a sort of slow motion view of the area. We slow down and examine details that we often miss, or even dismiss. The pulsing patterns and durations are meant to trigger a sense of waiting – this is the firefly reference for me – and while we wait we look. We imagine.

As I first experienced the Pierce Block (now known as the “Mimosa Tree and Pinnacle Building) it quickly showed itself to be a fragment from a past cultural structure that was no longer impacting the activity within it or around it. It had reached a second, third or perhaps a fourth life and its shell was now housing a contemporary work scene. And there were parking lots surrounding it.

This condition was easy enough to see, but the subtlety and complexity of these transitions through time had to unfold for me, and this unfolding had duration.  And this duration needed to be defined somehow. TULSA PATTERNS is my attempt to establish a pace that allows for a rich construction of history and speculation within this particular urban space.

This installation lasts a year. My hope is that early in this period of time, the pre-conceptions of what a “light art” installation SHOULD or WILL be will start to dissolve and the public can start to see what IS there – not only the light installation, but the environment that triggered its making. As I stated earlier, I am not judging the site or the neighborhood. Hopefully I am revealing it with a fresh set of eyes for those who inhabit it, who in turn can decide for themselves, the value and meaning of this place.