The cinematic quality of Los Angeles's iconic public artwork Urban Lightis undisputed. Chris Burden's forest of streetlamps, positioned in front of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is so often photographed that LACMA turned user-submitted photos into a book and exhibition. Access to the lights is never restricted, and at all hours of the day you'll see people using the warm, soft light as a backdrop for wedding photos, music videos, headshots (this is L.A.), and student films. In fact, when I was there the other day, I saw this scene playing out just as the lights flicked on for the evening. How cool that the museum lets this kind of filming go on, I thought. It's like a little public theater on Wilshire Boulevard.
The artist Chris Burden might be better known for putting his body through hell than for building complex interconnected systems, but his mechanical sculpture work has quite a history. His new work, Metropolis II, is an elaborate interconnected system of tracks for some 1,200 Hot Wheels cars. The noise is impressive.