San Francisco raves over world’s largest light sculpture
SAN FRANCISCO (dpa) – San Francisco is famous the world over for the elegant silhouette of its Golden Gate Bridge. Now the city’s other bridge is getting its moment in the spotlight with an art installation known as the Bay Lights sculpture.
Officials on Tuesday night turned on a massive array of more than 25,000 computer-controlled LED lights on the Bay Bridge, in what is billed as the largest light sculpture in the world, stretching almost three kilometres from San Francisco to Treasure Island and reaching a height of 150 metres.
The lights are attached to the wires linking the roadway to the bridges’ massive suspension cable.
Spaced around 30 centimetres apart the lights are turned on and off by a computer algorithm to create a massive light grid stretching over the San Francisco Bay, with a moving visage of shimmering patterns and abstract images that never repeats itself, according to artist Leo Villareal.
“My inspiration comes from the motion around the bridge, the kinetic activity of boats, water, clouds, traffic,” said Villareal, 46.
“The piece becomes a mirror of its surroundings.”
The eight million dollar installation is meant to run every night for two years before being taken down. Its hours of operation are from dusk to 2am and city officials predict that some 50 million people will see the new attraction.
Large crowds braved a rainy Tuesday night in San Francisco to witness the opening of the city’s latest tourist draw, and didn’t let the wet weather dampen their enthusiasm for the impressive sight.
“Congratulations, and THANK YOU for bringing such great beauty to our city!,” said one Facebook post. “BRAVO!! Such a gift to the world – ART, BEAUTY AND CREATIVITY LIVE ON!,” said another.