Pi in the Sky

Numbers as they appeared several minutes after being written in the sky.
External image
The sky above the San Francisco Bay Area showing some of the numbers.

Pi in the Sky was an experimental, aerial art display where airplanes spelled out pi to decimal 1,000 places in the sky over the San Francisco Bay Area. The display took place on September 12, 2012. It was then displayed again in Austin on March 13, 2014, during the SXSW festival, at which time it was said to be the largest art piece ever displayed in the state of Texas.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]


The numbers, each 0.4 kilometres (0.25 mi)[8] high, were created by a group of five[9] skywriting airplaines, and appeared as a dot matrix.[3] The string of numbers was produced in a large loop 161 kilometres (100 mi)[8] in circumference, at an altitude of approximately 10,000 feet (3,000 m).[5]

The aircraft used were 1979 Grumman AA-5B Tigers, small, single-engined planes provided by the company AirSign Aerial Advertising, based in Williston, FL. The numbers were produced by spraying natural, burnt-off canola oil,[10] which dissipated, causing no environmental damage.[11]

The exhibition began in the skies over San Jose, then continued over Fremont, Hayward, Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, San Bruno, San Mateo, Redwood City, Palo Alto, and Mountain View. The planes deliberately flew over the headquarters of NASA Ames, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Apple.[12]

The 2012 display was part of the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial, was conceived by artist ISHKY, and involved a company called Stamen Design.[9] ZERO1 is an art-technology network based in San Jose. The display was intended to draw attention to their biennial showcase for art and technology.[13]

The 2014 display was part of an ongoing project, directed by artist ISHKY (Ben Davis), and again involved AirSign Aerial Advertising. The 2014 display quickly gained publicity making it the number 2 top trending hashtag on Twitter during the display and within 24 hours it was shared and viewed a little over six million times.[14][15][16][17][18]


  1. http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericmack/2014/03/14/behold-actual-pi-in-the-sky-on-pi-day/
  2. Planes write out pi over the skies of San Francisco Bay Area | Crave - CNET
  3. 1 2 ISHKY | Berkeleyside
  4. Barometer: innovation - FT.com
  5. 1 2 ISHKY | 2012 ZERO1 Biennial
  6. Pi in the Sky: Skywriters draw first 1,000 digits of pi - thestar.com
  7. Pi in the Sky: Skywriting of the first thousand digits of Pi in SF | Digital Trends
  8. 1 2 Tracey Taylor (2012-09-12). "Those numbers flying high over Berkeley? Pi in the sky". Berkeleyside. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
  9. 1 2 "Pi in the Sky, Skywriters Fill the San Francisco Bay Area Skies With the First 1,000 Digits of Pi". Laughingsquid.com. 2012-09-12. Retrieved 2012-10-01.
  10. Solon, Olivia. "First 1,000 digits of pi written in the sky over San Francisco (Wired UK)". Wired.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-10-01.
  11. "Pi In The Sky". SF Station. 2012-09-16. Retrieved 2012-10-01.
  12. MacManus, Christopher (2012-09-13). "Planes write out pi over the skies of San Francisco Bay Area | Crave - CNET". News.cnet.com. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
  13. "'Pi' adorns Bay Area skies as Silicon Valley art-tech showcase kicks off - San Jose Mercury News". Mercurynews.com. Retrieved 2012-10-01.
  14. Pi Day celebrations kick off with a 'pi in the sky' - CNET
  15. Pi In The Sky - Skywriting by AirSign
  16. Pi in the Sky: Long String of Digits Written Over Austin
  17. Austin skies to be stuffed with pi this evening | www.statesman.com
  18. ‘Pi in the sky’ display had people running for their camera | KXAN.com

Further reading

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 4/14/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.