The Bay Lights – A light sculpture by Leo Villareal

The bay lights. Light sculpture by Leo Villareal. &Copy; Lucas Saugen The Bay Lights is a light sculpture realized by the artist Leo Villareal that was inaugurated the 5th of March, 2013. The project, called the world’s largest LED light sculpture, illuminates the bridge’s 2.9 kilometers western span with 25.000 LEDs attached to the strings of the suspension cables. The complex installation changes the character of the Bay bridge and turns it into visually appealing structure, that can match the attractiveness of the well-known Golden gate.

From the distance the installation appears as bright, blinking light mass, but every pixel of the LED strips can be controlled individually, thanks to a software developed by Leo Villareal. With his laptop he can change the patterns and dynamics of the installation. This mixture of technical and artistic skills fits particularly good in a city full with start-ups, technology wealth and busy programmers.

The Bay Lights was originally conceived by Ben Davis, Chair of the San Francisco-based nonprofit Illuminate the Arts, which aims to support and create outstanding works of public art. Illuminate the Arts’ mission is to produce and promote innovative contemporary art with civic impact, social activation and global reach to stimulate a culture of generosity, community, collaboration and love worldwide.

The bay lights. Light sculpture by Leo Villareal. Watch a video of the light sculpture…

Tesseract – Exploring a cube’s fourth dimension

Tesseract installation © 1024 architecture Tesseract is a light installation created by 1024 architecture. It was inspired by the tesseract, a geometrical form often described as a four-dimensional cube. The installation reinterprets the mathematical concept with moving lights that create further geometrical shapes within a cubic structure.

For the installation the artists use common scaffolding structures to build a large cube. The external faces of the cube are covered with translucent fabric. In the inside, a number of robotic lights are attached to the main structure in arrays. This set up allows the display of complex geometrical compositions, in which angles, depth, and movement create shapes in space. The the swift movements of the robotic lights create and deconstruct volumes in the air.

Tesseract was first shown at the New Forms Festival 2013 in Vancouver. It has also participated in the Signal Festival 2013 in Prague as well as in the GLOW festival 2013, Eindhoven.

Tesseract installation © 1024 architecture Watch a video of Tesseract


Pipette Installation, King's Cross © John-Sturrock Pipette is a light installation located at the new subway entrance tunnel of Saint Pancras Square, in King’s Cross, London. The tunnel was built to create a link between King’s Cross and St Pancras stations; a path that is used by 100.000 person per day. The light wall is the main feature of the tunnel, located on the outside of the curve, measuring nearly 100m long. It was conceived by Speirs & Major, with the artwork created by Miriam Sleeman (Cross Kings) and Tom Sloan Design.

The installation was created with the commuter’s day-to-day experience in mind. Instead of provoking hectic or stressing visual effects the team behind Pipette decided to create a calm atmosphere. When the pedestrians walk through the tunnel, they can enjoy a relaxing visual experience that contrasts with the often accelerated pace of urban life. The colors chosen by the team also reflect the concept of the installation.

The technology was provided by The Light Lab, which designed, manufactured & installed the seamlessly jointed glass wall, backlit with LEDs. It is capable of emitting the full RGB spectrum and a white light spectrum from 3.0K to 6.0K. This provides a continuous curved appearance, with no shadow lines throughout.

The tunnel itself was designed by Allies & Morrison architects. The wall was commissioned by Argent.

Pipette Installation, King's Cross Watch a video of Pipette…

UVA at the Serpentine Gallery

Serpentine Gallery intervention © United Visual Artists In 2013 the Serpentine Gallery commissioned architect Sou Fujimoto to design a temporary structure in the surrounding areas of the gallery. The Pavillion was constructed from 20mm steel poles arranged in a complex latticework that created a cloud-like structure. The structure occupied an area of 350 square-meter, yet its delicate structure blended itself with landscape of the gallery. The architect described this free-flowing space as a transparent terrain.

United visual artists (UVA) temporarily transformed the Serpentine Gallery’s summer pavilion, bringing the structure to life with lights installed in the matrix designed by Sou Fujimoto. The performative installation of UVA aims to make the architecture “breathe” around the people, as the light patters slide rapidly through the structure. The installation of UVA explores thoroughly the 3D possibilities offered by the pavilion, highlighting and deconstructing volumes with light. For this piece UVA reference their past works which, similar to Fujimoto’s, rely on geometric foundations and interests.

To create the installation, LED strips encased in plastic tubes were attached with magnets to the temporary pavilion’s steel grid. The performance was accompanied with thunder-like sounds, created by the artists by mixing samples of the hums and buzzes of electric power stations and synthesised sounds.

Watch more pictures of UVA’s intervention…

Light barrier – Floating light shapes

light_barrier_kim_and_chips_01 Light Barrier is an art installation by Kimchi and Chips (Elliot Woods and Mimi Son). The installation premiered on 4–6 June 2014 at the New Media Night festival, a digital arts event including experimental music and workshops in Russia.

The installation crosses millions of light beams to create phantoms of light in the air. The rays are coordinated and directed towards single points. The combination of points generates shapes which float within its environment. This creates the impressive, ephemeral effect of the installation, where shapes magically appear, wander around and fade away. With this installation the artists explore the light barrier as a metaphor; a universal law which stops anything from travelling faster than a photon. The installation exposes exotic phenomena which serve to reinforce these fundamental laws.

light_barrier_kim_and_chips_02 Watch a video of Light Barrier…

Ninety Six – Inflatable pixels

Ninety Six installation © Nils Voelker Ninety Six is a site specific installation created by Nils Völker for the exhibition Höhenrausch at the OÖ Kulturquartier in Linz, Austria. It comprises 96 plastic arranged in a matrix. The plastic bags can be individually inflated and deflated in different rhythms that create wavelike animations in the wall. While each bag is mounted in a fixed position, the sequences of inflation and deflation create the impression of lively movements. Forms appear from the plastic bag matrix and disappear back into the surface. In this way shapes and the boundaries of the installation itself start to dissolve.

Ninety Six installation © Nils Voelker Watch a video of Ninety Six…

SESI-SP digital art gallery

SESI-SP digital art gallery © Verve Cultural The facade of the SESI-SP digital art gallery was inaugurated in 2012, as a result of a pioneer initiative of Verve Cultural in São Paulo. The “Luís Eulálio de Bueno Vidigal Filho” building, was erected in 1979 at the cultural epicenter of the city. With its particular pyramidal form, the building has been an icon of the urban life in São Paulo, and now plays an important role in the landscape of the city. Recently its facade was turned into the first open air gallery of Latin America. With an electric consumption of 4,5 kVA, the same as a normal residential house, the electronic infrastructure has 26 thousands LED clusters. The system allows the display of 4,3 millions of colors.

In its opening, with the SP Digital Urban Festival, the platform was mainly used for the display of visual works. The aim was to create a new channel for cultural dissemination as part of the city, promoting the integration of art in urban space through the visualization of magnetic waves, flows of information and the visual expression of São Paulo’s pulse and rhythm. Later some interfaces have been implemented for direct interaction with the public, for example during the Play! exhibition, which was inspired by the universe of video games and highlighted the cultural value of Game Art.

SESI-SP digital art gallery © Verve Cultural Watch a video of the SESI-SP digital art gallery…

Submergence – Immersive LED installation

Submergence installation © Squidsoup Submergence is an installation by the international art group Squidsoup. It is the result of a year-long exploration that started back in 2008 when they created two LED cubes in collaboration with the ETH-Zurich. Later, they continued their exploration and created an installation larger enough to fill a room but too delicate to let the visitors walk through. With submergence the squidsoup team finally achieved the dream of an immersive light and sound experience.

Submergence is made of nearly 400 LED strings hanged from the ceiling. The whole installation has around 8,000 color lights that can be addressed individually. When the visitors walk through the installation it reacts in different ways. It might follow the movements of the persons, avoid them or eventually it will create a dazzling audio-visual experience.

Submergence installation © Squidsoup Watch a video of submergence…

MegaFaces – 3D selfies

3D Selfies © Asif Khan MegaFaces MegaFaces is a giant mechanical sculpture that creates 3D representations of faces i.e. 3D selfies. The installation was shown during the Socchi winter games and it was produced by a local mobile company and the london based architect Asif Khan.

The giant screen comprised more than 10,000 actuators that could simulate the shapes of a 3D scanned face. To create the 3D models photo boots were placed in different stores across Russia. Each person was photographed from 5 different angles and then processed to create a 3D model. The computations to generate a 3D-selfie took about one minute.

Watch a video of MegaFaces