Civic Art

Big Bubble

Big Bubble

Located in Buffalo Bayou, beneath the Preston Street Bridge.

  • Big Bubble, 1998
  • Dean Ruck
  • Air Compressor, Electronics, Pipes
  • Commissioned by Central Houston Civic Improvement, Inc.
  • Featured in the book Designing the World's Best Public Art, by Garrison Roots, Images Publishing Group.
  • View a Quick Time Movie of Big Bubble

Dean Ruck conceived of Big Bubble after reviewing the Buffalo Bayou Master Plan's call for increasing aeration in the waterway. He was selected from a national competition for projects in Sesquicentennial Park.

“I didn't want to announce it as a piece of art. It's an occurrence, an event, a happening. The button itself is up there unannounced, and so it creates a real curiosity to people that come across it – it's just a red button. Do I push it or don't I? – You know? What's it gonna do? So, I liked that idea that it's not a labeled or plaque piece of art. It's just something that people discover. Obviously, there's a certain ephemeral quality to it because it's not always there to see. It happens occasionally. You have to be here at the right time to see it. It creates a certain mythology of its own by what's going on there, what it's for, what its function is, how it's – how it's created. So I like that idea of it not being thought of or – or seen as a piece of art, but it just – something in the bayou.”