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This giant art installation appears on the Santa Monica Pier for just 3 hours a week

Written by
Brittany Martin

If you’ve made it out to any of this summer’s Twilight Concert Series events on the Santa Monica Pier, you have probably noticed the massive, glowing art installation that appears to be leaping around the boardwalk stage. What you may not have known is where it came from. Here is the answer for you: That art installation is the work of local collective FriendsWithYou.

Artists Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III were commissioned to create a piece that celebrates the annual music tradition, drawing inspiration from the meeting point of the California coast and LA’s urban culture. The result is a series of LED-lit segments, some of them 45 feet tall, that appear each Thursday night.

Borkson and Sandoval have been collaborating under the FriendsWithYou moniker since 2002, when they first decided to work together to explore what they call ‘experiential art’ across a variety of media. Since then, their vibrant, cheerful pieces have appeared around the world, presented with operations from Art Basel to MTV. 

The installation is on display from 7 to 10pm each week to accompany the music events. Tonight is a particularly special one, with soul legend Mavis Staples taking the stage along with the Suffers. The remaining nights of the series include Save Ferris, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and the Ohio Players, running between now and September 8.

These will be your final nights to catch the Light Wave installation, so pack up your picnic and blankets and make your way out to the beach to take in all the free sounds—and sights!

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