Sensing WATER - CODAworx

Sensing WATER

Submitted by Dan Corson

Client: City of San Jose CA

Location: San Jose, CA, United States

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $250,000

Project Team


Dan Corson

Corson Studios LLC


City of San Jose CA

City of San Jose


Sensing WATER utilizes paint and projected lighting resembling flowing water and the Aurora Borealis. This piece is influenced by real-time changes in weather and wind that effect the Guadalupe River, which flows under the highway at this junction. Real time data effect the ceiling patterning at night, and in the daytime, an echo of the ceiling is painted on the massive highway sloped support. This project also can be briefly “taken over” or “hacked” by players of the mobile game Ingress- making manifest aspects of the game.


Integration of the site and infrastructure to the project was of great importance. Safety (perceived and actual) and maintenance for a "deeply unloved space" helped focus many decisions.


Collaboration with the design team was critical, but even more important was the interface between the multiple public and private agencies that came together to support these 2 projects. While a project like this requires many hands for its success, a solitary vision and helpful project management drove this project through a deep quagmire of agency bureaucracy, legal , turf control and ownership issues.

Additional Information

This project is a sister gateway project to Sensing YOU. The inspiration for this piece began with the ever-present awareness of water issues in California. San Jose once was know as the Valley of Hearts Delight- before becoming the Heart of Silicon Valley. Known for its orchards and fragrance of ripening fruit, San Jose was supported by rich soil and abundant access to water. I was curious to link both the awareness of water issues to the new focus of the high tech industry through the use of dynamic illumination.