Flight Patterns

Finalist's proposal for the Jacksonville International Airport
Concourse A & C Window Project, 2007

Cut handblown antique glass with acid etch and vitreous enamel

Total Budget: $250,000

Airports are a place to send off from and welcome, accumulating in their history the many destinations and points of origin that airplanes and passengers have been in their lifetimes. In Flight Patterns, flags and butterflies are anchored at opposite ends of the concourse windows, in Terminal A and C, respectively. They are also subtly and inconspicuously interlaced within the images, with butterflies appearing within the flags, and vice versa. When seen at large from a great distance, the flags of Terminal A mimic the nature of airplanes in that some will be see in “stand-by”, like idling airplanes on the tarmac or waiting to be raised on flagpoles, while others seem to be taking off, airborne, or landing. The butterflies within the flag imagery represent passengers: distinct, unique, perhaps originating from far away and going somewhere else. The organic butterflies in Terminal C are the stand-ins for the diversity of the flying passengers in the airport, bearing within them the flags that symbolize not only the variety of origins but also the possibility of destination.

With the new Terminal C window facing south, allowing direct sunlight year round throughout all seasons, the butterflies will be seen projected on the terminal floor in addition to the window as direct sunlight permeates the colored glass. As the projection changes according to time of day and time of year, so will the floor projections of the butterflies. Like flight patterns that are recurring daily, weekly, and seasonally on only slightly modified paths and schedules, these butterflies’ ephemeral counterpart will appear to be moving slowly as the sun position gradually shifts, eventually fading out and disappearing as the sun sets, until the next day when the sun rises up again, day after day.