Client: Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority
Location: Oklahoma City, OK, United States
Completion date: 2016
Artwork budget: $185,000
Small Talk About the Weather is a touchstone for the communal sharing of life experiences. In Oklahoma City, the weather is both terrifying and amazing. It is a topic that runs through daily life whether referring to a monumental event or as a topic of casual conversation. The weather becomes a shared experience that ties residents together. The spectacular extremes of the local climate are made visible and interactive in this sculpture.
The sculpture consists of graceful organic geometries that flow and swirl along the length of the pedestrian corridor ceiling. These luminous bands give the impression of abstract weather patterns energetically glowing overhead and offering a stark contrast to the rectilinear geometries of the corridor. The piece features a sensor that enables passersby to control the lighting by waving their hands or playing a video on their smartphone. When used as a gesture controller, visitors have the experience of waving their hands and feeling like they are controlling the wind. When they hold up a device to the sensor, the entire ceiling comes alive and turns into a low-resolution screen that reproduces the colors and motion it picks up from the visitor’s device.
The Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority sought public art for its new $20 million parking garage in the Arts District downtown. The artwork goal for the 750 space parking garage was to reflect the future of downtown Oklahoma City through New Media work with light, sound and an evolving experience. The interactive and responsive work is intended to engage pedestrians in a safe environment with color, movement, and sound, enhancing their experience with the contemporary style of today’s art world.