SOURCE: City of San Jose, California, USA

August 13, 2007 22:05 ET

San Jose Semaphore Code to Be Revealed

Public Art Project Atop Adobe Global Headquarters Marks First Anniversary

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - August 13, 2007) -


For the past year, four revolving circles atop the Adobe Almaden Tower in Downtown San Jose have intrigued and mystified residents and visitors alike. Visible from many streets, freeways and local buildings and now a significant feature of the San Jose skyline, the San Jose Semaphore, a work of public art created by Ben Rubin and commissioned by Adobe and the San Jose Public Arts Program, has been broadcasting a coded message. Today, that code will be revealed. Join the Silicon Valley code crackers, Mayor Chuck Reed, and Councilmember Sam Liccardo as they reveal the hidden secret in the semaphore.


Bob Mayo and Mark Snesrud, San Jose Semaphore Code Crackers
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed
Councilmember Sam Liccardo, City of San Jose
Ben Rubin (via phone)


Tuesday, August 14, 2007
1 p.m.


San Jose City Hall
17th Floor
200 East Santa Clara Street


Located within the top floors of Adobe's Almaden Tower global headquarters, San Jose Semaphore consists of four ten-foot wide illuminated disks composed of 24,000 Luxeon® LEDs donated by Philips Lumileds in San Jose. The disks continually shift and turn, engaging viewers on a visual and kinetic level while providing a steady, glowing, and purposefully moving presence on the San Jose skyline. The giant illuminated disks rotate to a new position every eight seconds and pulse out a message using a visual coding system that is intended to be deciphered. An online audio broadcast has provided a soundtrack of spoken and sung letters, numbers and musical tones to help decode the message. Intended as a meditation on the coded nature of communication, San Jose Semaphore's illuminated disks can each assume four distinct positions: vertical, horizontal, and left and right-leaning diagonal. San Jose Semaphore, one of the largest new media public art project in the U.S., was created by noted new media artist Ben Rubin, whose exhibitions have appeared at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the MIT List Visual Arts Center and the Skirball Center in Los Angeles. Rubin teaches at the Yale School of Art and is represented in New York by the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery. For more information, please visit,

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    City of San Jose
    Steven Brewster
    (408) 535-8168
    (415) 577-8851 (cell)
    Email Contact