“We are all both a part of nature and apart from nature, and I walk that knife edge.” _Dan Corson Sensing Water was constructed to highlight the current water crisis in California, working from Corson’s signature blend of the natural and technological worlds. “I am moved to use or draw from nature in creating aspects of my art,” Corson explains. “This nature aspect is usually contrasted with technology in some fashion, providing sometimes a synthesis and sometimes a dynamic dissonance. We are all both a part of nature and apart from nature, and I walk that knife edge.” Corson made use of the sloped surface underneath the highway to paint flowing water. After sunset, the LED light fixtures illuminate the work, creating the illusion of water flowing underneath the highway. The color and movement of the light sensors react to changes in the weather as well, thanks to the artist’s partnership with Google Accuweather. The companion installation, Sensing You, comes into view as you exit the highway, right before reaching the SAP Center. With over a thousand painted circles and 81 illuminated “auras,” the piece was inspired by the ripples raindrops make on the surface of standing water. Whenever bicyclists or pedestrians pass underneath Sensing You, they trigger light sensors that highlight that specific area with color. “I was interested in making visible the idea that action can affect change,” Corson explained. “I especially enjoy when people make the connection that their movement causes the environment to change.” In fact, anyone with a smartphone can control the lighting sequences of Sensing Water and Sensing You by simply playing Ingress, an augmented reality game. And there’s more interactive art to come, says Kerry Adams Hapner, director of cultural affairs and deputy director of economic development for the City of San Jose. Later this year, the series will feature artist Jim Conti’s Show Your Stripes, which will be installed at the 88 building, at the intersection of Second and San Fernando. Conti’s piece will allow anyone in the community to make a quick phone call and change the LED light patterns to any color sequences they would like. With such intriguing exhibits of color and light, the experience of walking the streets of San Jose has indeed been enhanced.
.Dan Corson. .corsonart.com. .Office of Cultural Affairs. .sanjoseculture.org.