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The world's largest ephemeral installation scheduled to appear between Sept. 12 and 16.

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. 

On Earth 

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. 

Pi Route
Pi Route

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. 

Funding 

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. 

Pi: Buy the numbers
Pi: Buy the numbers

FAQ

  • Rest assured we have considered, at length, the environmental impact of this the project. Most art efforts are energy intensive when one considers the building, moving, and exhibiting of works. The planes used for our project are not jets, they are small single-engine airplanes, 1979 Grumman AA-5B Tigers to be specific. Each gets about the same MPG as a large pickup truck. The pi numbers will be made of burnt-off all natural canola oil and will dissipate in the atmosphere causing no harm and leaving no remnants. People travel individually and in groups world-wide to visit museums and art exhibitions via jets, trains, cars, and buses. "Pi in In the Sky," has the ability to be viewed in real time by millions of people. Considering these comparisons, "Pi In The Sky," may very well be, one of the most environmentally friendly and greenest art pieces ever created in relation to the amount of people who will experience it simply by stepping out of doors and engaging with the environment around them.

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  • Pledge $3 or more
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    26 backers

    Bragging rights that you helped make "Pi In The Sky" happen. 24-hour advance email notification of the skywriting event. Email notification when free "Pi Gazer" App launches. A personal and heartfelt "Pi Five" if and when you and ISHKY cross paths.

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  • Pledge $31 or more
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    16 backers

    10 times the bragging rights, dammit, and our infinite appreciation, plus all the perks of the $3 level. Additionally, you will be listed as a donor on the "Pi" page of the artist's website www.ISHKY.com.

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  • Pledge $99 or more
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    12 backers Limited (714 left of 726)

    Go big with your favorite number! For $99 be rewarded with a specific one-quarter of a mile tall sky-written numeral of "Pi in the Sky." ISHKY will provide you with a signed certificate. Additionally you will receive all the perks of the $3 & $31 levels.

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  • Pledge $314 or more
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    6 backers Limited (70 left of 76)

    A perfect pair. Within the first thousand digits of pi there are only 85 pairings of identical numbers. For a donation of $314 or more, you will be rewarded with one set of two identical side by side one-quarter of a mile tall sky-written numerals of "Pi in the Sky." Yes, you can choose which pair! ISHKY will provide you with a signed certificate. Additionally you will receive all the perks of the $3 & $31 levels.

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  • Pledge $999 or more
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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    Triples! Even more rare than doubles, there are only five sets of triples within the first thousand numerals of pi. Be rewarded with three in a row, identical one-quarter of a mile tall sky-written numerals of "Pi in the Sky." Of course you may choose which triplet! ISHKY will provide you with a signed certificate. Additionally you will receive all the perks of the $3 & $31 levels.

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  • Pledge $3,141 or more
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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    Go beyond big. Own one million miles of Pi's satellite sequence. Guaranteed to look great over your couch. Additionally you will receive all the perks of the $3 & $31 levels. ISHKY will provide you with a signed certificate.

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  • Pledge $8,888 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Auspicious eights. Many people understand that numbers have special influence in our lives. Eight is such a number. For your pledge you will be rewarded with 100 of the 101 eights that appear in Pi's first 1,000 digits. (We're holding onto one ourselves for good luck.) Imagine your good fortune at having one hundred eights, each one quarter of a mile tall. Your cost per eight: $88.88! Includes all nine sets of double eights. ISHKY will provide you with a signed certificate. Additionally you will receive all the perks of the $3 & $31 levels.

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  • Pledge $9,999 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Are you a fan of the fabulous Richard Feynman? Your reward is the one and ONLY Feynman Point, the sequence of six 9’s that begins at the 762nd decimal place. ISHKY will provide you with a signed certificate. Additionally you will receive all the perks of the $3 & $31 levels.

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  • Pledge $10,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    Witness "Pi in the Sky" from above! Two high-flyers have the opportunity to secure a bird's-eye view. Grab a seat in a private chartered plane and accompany ISHKY for a one hour flight. You must be standing by September 12th through the 16th in the San Francisco Bay Area in order to take advantage of this outstanding reward.

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Funding period

- (23 days)