Pi, π, 3.14159265…
Pi in the Sky will be the largest ephemeral art installation in the world, taking place in the San Francisco Bay area as well as outer space. It is scheduled to appear in the sky above the Bay Area between Sept. 12 and 16.
Merging art and technology, ISHKY has brought together a team of artists, programmers and scientists to give life to a compelling vision that a community of millions will directly experience. The conceptual work, Pi In The Sky, explores the boundaries of scale, public space, impermanence, and the relationship between Earth and the physical universe.
Pi In The Sky has two unique interpretations: one within Earth's atmosphere and one well beyond it. A team of synchronized aircraft will skywrite the first 1,000 numbers of pi's infinite sequence in a 100+ mile loop around the San Francisco Bay Area. The second interpretation, in outer space, will include a constant string of pi emitted from a satellite.
At 10,000 feet altitude working with our technical partner AirSign, a team of five synchronized aircraft equipped with dot-matrix technology will skywrite the first 1,000 numbers of pi's infinite sequence in a 100-plus-mile loop around the San Francisco Bay Area. Each number will measure over a quarter-mile in height. A sixth AirSign plane will fly above the writing team, documenting the entire process. The two-hour mass intervention is a central feature of the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial. The work will begin above the ZERO1 Garage in San Jose and will follow a flight path determined by ISHKY to include a pantheon of educational and mathematics institutions: Stanford, NASA Ames, Livermore Labs, UC Berkeley, San Francisco's financial district, Twitter, Google, Facebook, and Apple, among many others.
Within moments of execution (3.14159265...), the specific meaning of the numbers in the sky will be lost. The piece will dissolve into an unprecedented visual anomaly that prompts curiosity, providing rich opportunity for social interaction as well as basic math education. The Bay Area’s seven million inhabitants will be able to witness the arc of the event in real-time, from its creation to its gradual disappearance.
In order to increase opportunities for civic engagement, ISHKY has enlisted the technical expertise of Stamen Design, a world-class creative firm specializing in data-visualization. Stamen, working with data from OpenStreetMap under CC BY SA license, will develop a platform for the public to document and share experiences of the event.
In Outer Space
In outer space, miles above our atmosphere, a second interpretation of Pi In The Sky will include a constant string of pi emitted from a satellite. Slated to launch later in the fall by a Bay Area start-up satellite firm, the numbers of pi and its GPS coordinate will broadcast from the satellite and circle the Earth every 90 minutes, covering more than a half-a-million kilometers per day. Receiving stations on the ground will pick up these signals and relay the information over the web. ISHKY Studios is developing a smartphone app that will enable users anywhere in the world to locate the satellite overhead and track pi’s travel as it wraps our Earth like a ball of string.
Our Kickstarter goal of $31,415 will help defray hard costs of over $100,000. This includes everything from aircraft landing fees, fuel, lodging for pilots and documentarians, programming costs and more. You can help us reach our funding target and push us well beyond.
Together, we will provide a free and uplifting experience for millions of people and create a historic moment for conceptual art, redefining notions of scale and site specificity. Set this momentous and historic undertaking in motion.
About the Artist
ISHKY is a California-born artist with a Bachelor of Science degree from UC Berkeley. As a professional communicator and designer, the agency he founded has helped name and create visual identities for infrastructure projects totaling more than $15 billion in civic investment. His work has focused on public space, health, safety, utilities and transit. As Board Chairman of Illuminate The Arts, he is the visionary behind the public art project "The Bay Lights," a stunning fine arts experience that will live for two years on the Bay Bridge West Span starting in 2013. Designed by artist Leo Villareal, "The Bay Lights" is a production of the nonprofit organization Illuminate The Arts which is dedicated to the creation and presentation of community-activating public art.
Everything is impossible until we prove it is not. Make Pi In The Sky a reality and donate now.
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