SAN FRANCISCO – On March 5, 2013, at 9 pm PST, Leo Villareal‘s The Bay Lights—the largest LED light sculpture in the world—was lit. Since 1936, the Bay Bridge has been a central landmark of the Bay Area of California, connecting San Francisco and Oakland. The Bay Lights was inspired by the bridge’s 75th anniversary. The $8 million privately funded piece, which will illuminate the 1.8-mile western span of the bridge nightly from dusk until midnight for the next two years, is the most ambitious project yet by the Manhattan-based artist.
The Bay Lights isn’t static. To create a sensation of movement with flashing lights, Villareal synthesized patterns from waves in the San Francisco Bay, traffic, wind and the environment using complex algorithms. The patterns will never repeat themselves. “Being able to create this monumental piece of public art that millions of people will see at no cost is a tremendous honor,” says Villareal. “The Bay Lights celebrates light, art and technology in a new way.”
Live images of The Bay Lights will be streamed nightly for the life of the piece at thebaylights.org.