Show Your Stripes – San Jose, California - Atlas Obscura

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Show Your Stripes

Anyone can control this glittery light installation with just a phone call. 


Usually, looking at public art is a fairly passive experience. Often, viewers are completely forbidden from directly interacting with art, much less changing how it looks entirely.

But Show Your Stripes by Jim Conti, a glittery piece of public art above a vacant San Jose storefront, is different. It’s pretty enough to look at as-is, when night falls and it’s fully visible. Bars of light flicker across two sides of the building, in shifting designs and hues. But what few locals know is that anyone with a phone can control Show Your Stripes.

Simply call (408) 287-0128, punch in a three-digit number from 111 to 999 followed by zero, then hang up. Almost instantly, Show Your Stripes will morph into a new pattern. But the codes are not random.

Artist Conti appealed to the community for help coming up with themed designs for the installation, and every code is named on this PDF. Punching in 1730 will kick off Pride Madness, a glorious rainbow pattern, 1610 will display the swampy green Shrek’s Path, and 7570 is SJSU, a blue-and-gold tribute to the nearby university. 

Know Before You Go

Show Your Stripes is at the corner of Second and San Fernando streets.

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January 12, 2021

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