Tonight is midwinter, Yule, the solstice – the longest night. During winter's dark depths, San Franciscans with an urge to seek the light will find a wealth of illuminated art pieces blinking and blazing around town. Some, like Caruso’s Dream, are permanent installations. Others, like Blumen Lumen and a selection of illuminated works at the Exploratorium through Jan. 4, will be gone in a flash. Many, such as the Flaming Lotus Girls' SOMA, on Pier 14, come out of the Burning Man movement. All feel appropriate to this season, when we celebrate the sun's return with fire.
If you're interested in visiting the city's illuminated installations, the SF Travel Association has compiled a map and a list of tours and other events. (KQED critic Christian Frock rates the 16 works listed on the map as ranging “from meh to spectacular" -- read her commentary. ) A free light art bike tour this Saturday will give cyclists a chance to shine. Meanwhile, enjoy Peter Ruocco's video exploration of these dazzling works.