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Show Your Stripes

(Private Percent for Art)

Artist: Jim Conti (2008)

Show Your Stripes follows the artist’s interest in the use of patterns. The phrase “show your stripes” has long been used to indicate social or political position; show what you’re made of, which side are you on. At one point in history, stripes were relegated to the margins of society: jugglers, courtesans, and in Medieval paintings the devil is often shown wearing stripes. Over time, stripes have taken on a more positive connotation: freedom, playfulness, or with banker’s pinstripes – taste and status.

The artwork is not simply a light show. For the changes to be activated, it takes viewer participation, as the activation phone number above indicates. A quiet reflector of the changing sky during the day, at night the piece transforms into San Jose’s shared secret – the phone number a pass code to control the changing patterns.

In 2015, launching the first of a series of light-based artworks that will appear throughout downtown San José as part of the “Illuminating Downtown Project,” the artist was invited to develop a new series of interactive programs based on community input. After completing a simple and fun survey, the Mr. Conti choreographed a sequence of unique stripes based on participants’ answers. Some number sequences relate to a community member’s favorite song or color, others are simply employed for their dynamism or beauty. A menu of over 300 codes is available in the document section above.

Artwork Activation

  • Call (408) 287-0128
  • After The Tone, Enter any 3 digit combination from 1 - 9
  • Press “0” (Zero), Then Hang Up
  • Note: Not all combinations are programmed – yet.

District:  3

Report a Concern: (408) 793-04330 or



  • (Public Art) Consulting
  • (Public Art) Permanent Artworks

Public Art - Show Your Stripes - 2

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