March 14 Installation Postponed
pi, π, (3.14159265...)

Merging art and technology, Ben Davis brought together a team of artists, programmers and scientists giving life to a compelling vision that a community of millions directly experienced. 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:

At 10,000 feet altitude a team of five synchronized AirSign aircraft equipped with dot-matrix technology will follow a flight pattern that forms the infinity symbol and write the first 314 characters of pi’s infinite sequence around the San Francisco Bay Area. Each number will measure more than a quarter-mile in height.

The hour-long mass intervention is a central feature of the Exploratorium’s Pi Day. The installation will follow a flight path crafted by ISHKY that begins and ends above the Bay Bridge and includes a pantheon of educational and mathematics institutions: UC Berkeley, San Francisco’s Financial District, Twitter, University of San Francisco and Autodesk, among many others.

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 in late-April by a Bay Area start-up satellite firm, the numbers of pi and its GPS coordinates will be broadcast from the satellite and circle Earth every 90 minutes, covering more than 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.

Pi in the Sky will again prompt spontaneous awe, curiosity and wonder among those who witness it in real time. Thousands of Bay Area inhabitants witnessed the unprecedented visual anomaly when it appeared in 2012. Witnesses took hundreds of photos and videos. The crowd-sourced documentation immortalized the ephemeral installation online. By virtue of the crowd documentation, Pi in the Sky took on new form as a sensational shared experience worthy of permanent memorialization, and a second act.

For more information or to donate to the project directly contact gregory@illuminatethearts.org or visit the Illuminate the Arts website below. See the crowd-sourced documentation on Instagram by searching #piinthesky.

Presented by Illuminate the Arts and AirSign USA.


March 14 Installation Postponed
Flight Path

Project flight path
Start / Finish

September 12, 2012
Flight Path and Crowd-Sourced Documentation Via Instagram

Flight Times

  • Fremont 11:54 AM
  • Hayward  11:59 AM
  • Oakland 12:06 PM
  • Berkeley 12:08 PM
  • San Francisco 12:13 PM
  • San Bruno 12:23 PM
  • San Mateo 12:27 PM
  • Redwood City 12:31 PM
  • Palo Alto 12:34 PM
  • Mountain View 12:36 PM
  • San Jose 12:43 PM
  • Wrap Around Completion 12:56 PM
Project flight path
Start / Finish