Artist Leo Villareal Lights Up the Bay Bridge

Forever eclipsed by its grander, older brother, The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco’s Bay Bridge got its turn to shine with 25,000 LED lights on Mar. 5. This new nightly appearance will light up the murky waters of the bay every night from dusk until 2 a.m. for the next two years. Commemorating the bridge’s 75th year anniversary, the installation spans almost two miles and 5oo feet, making “The Bay Lights” one of the world’s largest public art projects ever launched.

“The idea is to take the iconic structures of the Bay Area – which are the bridges – and augment them with another layer and in this case it’s a layer of light,” artist, Leo Villareal told The New York Times. “We’re merging technology, art and light in this monumental piece of public art.”

Drawing inspiration from the surrounding environment, the installation changes rapidly giving the illusion of television static one minute before transitioning into cascading silver skipping ropes the next. Villareal uses a sequencer to layer the light patterns giving the installation its ephemeral quality. The exalted artist, whose previous  “Buckyball” and “Multiverse” displays have been highly commended, estimates that over 50 million people will view the artwork over the two-year period.

The hypnotic exhibit will also be live streamed nightly via webcast sharing the display with non-natives of The Bay Area. Check out a sample above.


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