SiteWorks: San Francisco performance 1969-85

The Golden Gate Bridge, Bay, and Fort Point

Peter Richards and Vince Grippi, Sky and Water, Fort Point (30th September 1979)



We completed a series of experimental light sculptures in the late ’70s that engaged the intersection between water and air. Our interest lay in the relationship between the dynamics of these two liquid forms. Tides, currents, and waves on one side and the movement of the winds and their invisible turbulence on the other. Using chemi-luminescent lights, floating on the surface of the water and/or held aloft by helium balloons, these beacons acted as movement tracers whose personalities reflected the conditions of the night.

The work at Fort Point was designed to respond to an eddy formed by the flow of the incoming tide. We had discovered that at this site, the water actually flowed out through the Golden Gate when the tide was rising and water was coming into the Bay. We used this phenomenon to create a work that was flowing with the water and wind at the beginning of the cycle and then spun around 180 degrees when the eddy formed. (SF MoMA 2012)