CONFLUENCE: A Journey in Five Movements

Opening Procession for Buffalo Bayou Park.  Houston, TX
October 3, 2015

CONCEPT, DESIGN, DIRECTION: Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles
ON-SITE ARTISTS: Camella Clements and Justin Dunford
EVENT PRODUCER: Buffalo Bayou Partnership. Anne Olsen, director / Trudi Smith, Program Coordinator

22 Bayous fan across Houston, converging lines that link neighborhoods, histories, ecosystems, and cultures – all gravitating toward the common arterial space of Buffalo Bayou. On October 3, we gathered to celebrate the restoration and re-imagining of Buffalo Bayou Park with a multi-pathed procession of giant community-built lanterns converging from various locations along its storied banks. 

Confluence reflected upon a waterway and a city in perpetual motion – of bats, boats, bicyclists. Four thematic “streams” of marchers moving to the rhythms of Free Radicals and Batala Houston, came together from throughout the park. Each stream illuminated a different aspect of the Bayou (and Houston as a whole): from its primordial roots to its commercial rise, from its creative visions to its recreative rituals.

Confluence was created over the course many weeks of free, creative building sessions. Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles of Processional Arts Workshop shared techniques for constructing large-scale lightweight illuminated structures, as particpants drew inspiration from a collective wall of images and themes first developed in community story-sessions. Workshops sessions extended by popular demand were led by local Houston artists Justin Dunford and Camella Clements culminating in over 50 unique giant illuminated sculptures, evoking the many aspects of Buffalo Bayou's story in a roving installation of light.