Off the Screen: Impossible Light

With Director Jeremy Ambers in Person

Thursday, September 25, 2014 • 7:30 p.m.

Exploratorium, Pier 15, Bay Observatory Terrace

Included with museum admission.

Note: Seating is limited to 200. Museum admission does not guarantee a seat. Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly.

Our location at Pier 15 affords us with close connections to maritime culture and an ever-changing waterfront—as well as an incredible view. From the vantage of the Bay Observatory Gallery, visitors can enjoy the surrounding natural and built landscapes, including views of the Bay Bridge with the elegant display of The Bay Lights adorning its cables.

With this backdrop in mind, Cinema Arts takes the screen outdoors: Join us for a site-specific showing of Impossible Light, a documentary by Jeremy Ambers following The Bay Lights project from inception to illumination, detailing the seemingly insurmountable obstacles encountered along the way. Gather on the Bay Observatory Terrace to hear Ambers present his film in person, peruse photographs of the project by Lucas Saugen, and celebrate this inspiring film with libations and conversation.


Impossible Light (2014, 71 min., video) by Jeremy Ambers

“In 2010, Ben Davis looked out over the water and was struck by a seemingly impossible idea to transform San Francisco’s Bay Bridge’s western span into a light sculpture and one of the world’s largest art installations. Met with skepticism and resistance at every turn, he dedicated the next two-and-a-half years of his life to convincing the people of San Francisco and the art world that not only was his proposal physically and financially possible, but also that it was a project in which they would all want to take part. Director Jeremy Ambers follows Davis, world-renowned artist Leo Villareal and their team of designers, along with entrepreneurs, philanthropists, art enthusiasts, and Bay Area optimists as they embark on turning Davis’ fantastic dream into a reality. It is an endeavor involving 25,000 LED lights, miles of cables, millions of privately donated dollars, and thousands of hours of work that transforms the bridge’s suspension cables into the dancing sculpture known as The Bay Lights.”  —Jason Berger