Jim Campbell's 11,000 LED light installation dazzles atop Salesforce Tower
(Courtesy of Bryce Wolkowitz)

Jim Campbell's 11,000 LED light installation dazzles atop Salesforce Tower


Leave it to San Francisco fog to rain on a parade.

On Tuesday evening, the much-anticipated launch of artist Jim Campbell's zillion-LED-light spectacle atop Salesforce Tower was, shall we say, rather dampened by the hanging around of Karl the Fog.

At more than 1,000 feet above the city atop Salesforce Tower, Day for Night, composed of 11,000 tiny twinkling lights, is meant to be seen from a 20 mile radius—all the way to Sonoma County—and is even supposed to be visible from airplanes, satellites and spaceships, according to Campbell. But this week, it's dramatic plug-in was barely seen by onlookers in SF due to uncooperative weather.

Displayed nightly, the lights play moving images—in a concept similar to that of the Bay Lights—reflecting daily life in San Francisco.

Campbell, whose electronic artwork you may have seen in permanent collections at the MoMa, Smithsonian American Art Museum, or SFMOMA, holds almost 20 patents in video image processing. Commissioned by Boston Properties and Hines, the developers of the Salesforce Tower, he debuted two sepia-toned dancers on the tower's top six floors last April in the initial test of the installation.

Now, his creation—one of the most visible art projects in the world—takes up the top nine floors with images from Ocean Beach, Golden Gate Park, along the Embarcadero and more. Projections shown each evening will be that of the day's visuals. Think of it as a video dairy. Taking up roughly two-thirds of the top, he surely crowned San Francisco's tallest building. We're still waiting for the fog to subside, but in the meantime, here are some clear shots.

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