San Diego History Center Junípero Serra Museum Welcome Center: River “Oculus Well”

The often heard San Diegan inquiry—And where is the River?—is answered through the Oculus Well, a digital installation at the center of the Junípero Serra Museum Welcome Center. This video projection follows the San Diego River from headwater past the historic Mission Dam to the Pacific, grounding each location to an overview diagram of the complex local watershed. The life-size, high definition video appears on an oculus reminiscent of wells or fountains: a contextual metaphor inside this 1929 Spanish Revival landmark museum. The media piece and accompanying exhibitsexplore the city’s long and complicated relationship with fresh water, particularly the San Diego River.Vital to the founding of the City in the 17th century, the River was reshaped and channeled during San Diego’s unparalleled expansion in the second half of the 21st century. The exhibit and video was funded by the San Diego River Conservancy and California Water Action Plan.

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