August 16, 2007
Adobe does Pynchon, one letter at a time
One year ago, Adobe & digital artist unveiled the San Jose Semaphore–24,000 LEDs that form "a multi-sensory kinetic artwork that illuminates the San Jose skyline with the transmission of a coded message."
Now the code has been cracked and is revealed to be spelling out an entire novel, Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49. "The Pynchon book, written in the mid-1960s, is set in a fictional California city filled with high-tech campuses. It follows a woman’s discovery of latent symbols and codes embedded in the landscape and local culture, [Semaphore creator Ben] Rubin said."
Evidently the code does not, as second-generation Photoshop team member David Parent suggested, consist of "Be… sure… to… drink… your… Ovaltine. Son of a bitch!"