New Cuyama CA | Installation
peepSHOW is a large-scale interactive sculpture—an immersive viewing station that focuses the gaze and thoughts of visitors onto obscure or unexpected scenes. By creating moments for users to contemplate their surroundings, peepSHOW generates shared experiences and spurs conversation.
This dimensional installation takes the form of a 10-by-20-foot undulating tunnel. Custom fabricated from high-polish stainless steel, the object is effectively mirrored inside and out, refracting both exterior and interior views. Strategically angled panels present unexpected reflections and calculated portals frame vistas, both serving to alter the relationship of viewers with the environment, with themselves, and with each other.
Blue Sky Center
In the Spring 2023, the DBA_Lab team traveled to the desert to New Cuyama in Santa Barbara County to install peepSHOW 2.0 in a permanent home at the Blue Sky Center—a place-based organization that celebrates the abundance of the Cuyama Valley—where it can be enjoyed by the public.
Although originally conceptualized as an urban viewing station, the peepSHOW experience works equally well in the expansive Central California landscape, creating a dialog between visitors and the rural setting. On its high-desert site, peepSHOW provides shelter and instigates a constant evolution of perspective within a series of still frames while the rest of the world continues to move around it, making a kaleidoscope of unexpected views from the spectacular open setting.
peepSHOW began as an urban experiment, an entry in the first Market Street Prototyping Festival in 2015, which sought to activate San Francisco's major transit corridor.
Fashioned from wood and mirrored tiles, the first iteration of this structure was fabricated and then assembled overnight on site by the DBA_Lab team. For the duration of its residency, peepSHOW was interacted with by hundreds of festival-goers and Market Street pedestrians, sparking curiosity and delight, orientation and disorientation, and cooperation and conversation.
As a result, it was one of 10 projects selected for a prototype incubator program, with the goal of further developing the concept for semi-permanent installation—up to two years—on Market Street. After the festival, this version was temporarily deployed for an interior assembly as part of the Chrome Canyon installation inside StoreFrontLab, an art and culture gallery in San Francisco’s Mission District that explores the notion of the storefront as a community space.
A second iteration transitioned the structure to a steel panel system crafted from 110 unique parametric box panels held together with stainless steel screws. peepSHOW 2.0 re-appeared on Market Street in its new guise in 2016, picking up the festival’s People’s Choice Award.
In its final form, peepSHOW2.0 is now taking on a nature setting. Whatever its site, it welcomes you in and sends you away with a new way of looking at things. Each visitor has their own experience: While a group or pair can enter together, they will share a moment in time only—each person’s experience inside and outside is perfectly unique and cannot be recreated or conveyed. Stop by Blue Sky Center outside of Bakersfield, California, and see for yourself.
Blue Sky Center
1000 Perkins Road
New Cuyama, CA