Programming the Sublime: A Conversation with Leo Villareal
by Jan Garden Castro
Leo Villareal’s work demonstrates that sublime experiences cannot be measured using words, images, or a single point of view. Describing the creation of The Bay Lights (2012–13), a monumental (and temporary) tour de force of interactive lighting along 1.8 miles of the San Francisco Bay Bridge, he evokes an intuitive palette that somehow reflects parting clouds, light-filled skies, and oscillating, reflective waters. The poetry of the instant is impossible to describe, but it is visible in his work—light sculpture that is almost natural in its ability to integrate many different kinds of input into its output and never repeat itself. His recent works include Buckyball (2012), an LED sculpture of two nested geodesic spheres commissioned by the Mad. Sq. Art program...see the entire article in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.
Multiverse, 2008. White LEDs, custom software, electrical hardware, 200 ft. long.