Checking up on 'AMAZE,'
Farmlab's installation in Beverly Hills

"AMAZE" has changed.

The Farmlab-conceived and constructed (and then destructed, and then reconstructed) portion of the joint Farmlab-George Herms exhibition that carries the greater exhibition title of "Opera Workshop" no longer resembles the serpentine mixed-media bramble that it was barely one week ago.

That metamorphosis is in keeping with the original intent of "AMAZE," which was described in Farmlab's original announcement as a "an experimental labyrinth," and "a zone of play, flexibility, and collaboration."

Farmlab team members Kate Balug and Rich Neilsen provide the following commentaries regarding "AMAZE."

First, from Balug:

"Amaze is a work in progress.

"Initially a steel framework with a skin dependent on the participation of outside forces, it responds to its surroundings. It ebbs and flows, and in preparation for an opera performance, participation in it comes to mean a present and listening audience.

"To this extent, the maze shrinks back, leaving behind a constellation of silver and brass where previously steel rods dotted the ground, as well as a highly polished floor, doubling the audience in its reflection.

"The destruction took two hours, where the month-long consideration of placement was negated by speed. The maze was literally uprooted and uncoiled, left in piles in the window fronts. The [exercise] bike remains to quench the thirst of new participants. ValleyCrest orchestrated the removal of the debris, and the serenade for George continued."

And now, from Neilson:

"Beverly Hills serenade.

"The inverted cleansing of the improbable space as a theater that will swell with the sounds and sights of sweet opera. The polished floor will reflect a presence of form and humanity. Stars will sparkle and serenade the players from bellow as if the whole world has been flipped for the benefit of one sound.

"The serenade, a poetic conclusion to the acts of hope and construction through the violent actions of quick destruction becomes the trumpeting of spirit and love, welcoming the symphony.

"Farmlab releases the perfect inverted cube to BH and George for his opera.

"The archeological remains a gift to the people."

Photo captions:
Top of page - "AMAZE" as it looked prior to George Herms' August 25 performance.

Middle of page - "AMAZE" when it was at its visual busiest; included in the shot is a dangling tires construction spearheaded by Farmlab team member Rich Neilsen.

Bottom of page - George Herms (far left), costumed-up and posing with fellow "Free Jazz Workshop" musicians.

Farmlab photos by Kate Balug.

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