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Artist Uses San Francisco’s Bay Bridge as Canvas for Digital Display

Leo Villareal, a New York-based artist well known for his computer-based LED art installations, is putting the final touches on The Bay Lights, an art project that will use 25,000 individually addressable, white LED lights to illuminate the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge’s western span. Villareal recently tested the lights, which the California Department of Transportation installed on the north-facing side of the suspension bridge. Villareal is using algorithms installed on a laptop wirelessly connected to the bridge to control the lights. “This has never been done before, literally debugging software 500 feet in the air in front of a million people,” stated Ben Davis, the project’s director, who said installation and testing is almost complete. The algorithms, according to The Bay Lights, are being based on patterns related to weather, water, traffic of cars ans ships, as well as area wildlife. The patterns will not repeat. Donations to the project—slated to debut on 5 March 2013—now total $5.8 million with an additional $2.2 million required for full funding through 2015. (SlashDot)(Xconomy)(The Bay Lights)

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