Headed for the Hills

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Why are new media artists so cool? Because they get to play with toys like spectroheliostats. What's a spectroheliostat? Google won't say, but it's probably some color spectrum device related to the heliostat, which uses a giant mirror to track the motion of the sun. Talk about painting with light... On July 5th, this device will be used in Solar Hills, a collaborative installation by British artist Liliane Lijn and Berkeley-based astrophysicist John Vallerga. Stationing themselves in the Marin Headlands' Hawk Peak, they'll follow the sun and create a light show viewable from San Francisco's Crissy Field, initiating a sunkissed marriage between earth works and lambent performance. And what better place to carry out this experiment than in California's Bay Area, an historic epicenter for digital media, environmental research, and beach activities like this one. The project is supported by the DMAX new media program at the Berkeley Art Museum/ Pacific Film Archive. More information, including up-to-the-minute weather-related updates, can be found on the program's blog. - Marisa Olson

Image: Solar Hills, Liliane Lijn in collaboration with John Vallerga, Jason McPhate and Patrick Jelinksy. Photo credit: Liliane Lijn, Richard Wilding