Patrick O’Shea

Master of Fine Arts in Studio, Art and Technology Studies


Lightning bugs, fireflies, glowworms…

One night, these insects seemed to suddenly appear at my temporary residence in Northern Vermont.
They had been nestled in the Earth, waiting.

There are over 2000 different species of lightning bugs worldwide.
They live between 1-2 years, but only produce light as an adult for about a month in the summer, enough to mate.

Lightning Bug Life Cycle:
Egg ~3 weeks
Larva ~50-102+ weeks
Pupa ~3 weeks
Adult (light) ~3-4 weeks

Communication through light is something humans share with lightning bugs. Ancient humans made fire to signal from far distances. Ships at sea communicate in morse code with signal lamps, and use lighthouses as markers. Now, we send incredible amounts of information through light, transmitted and received beyond Earth through satellites and back down through cables under the sea.

But, it began as something simple. A blink of light.