SAN FRANCISCO--I'm standing behind Leo Villareal, watching the well-known artist calibrate settings in the software running on his screen. Each time he moves a slider, one of the world's largest art installations -- mounted on one of the world's most-famous landmarks -- changes in an instant.
It's a gorgeous evening on the Embarcadero, San Francisco's eastern waterfront, with the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge dominating the landscape in front of us, and a near-full moon doing its best to overcome the typical evening fog cover. Lights from the city, and from Oakland on the other side of the bay reflect brilliantly in the water. And with just the most subtle adjustments in his custom-designed software, Villareal makes thousands of LEDs strung out over the 1.8 mile-long western span of the bridge almost instantaneously change what they're doing, and how they're interacting with each other. … Read more