The Gamble House Re-Imagined

Sep 14, 2014

Machine Project LAIt’s being called a 17-day artist intervention. In actuality, it’s the Gamble House collaborating with the Pasadena Arts Council and Machine Project of Los Angeles to re-imagine the “quintessential Pasadena landmark” during the two-weeks of AxS Festival, which this year has the theme “curiosity.”

Machine Project founder and artistic director Mark Allen has organized—or let loose—a “diverse group of Los Angeles artists to create new works exploring, celebrating, and dramatizing the curious architectural icon.”

Inflatable sculptures. A psychic reading of the Gamble House. Participatory “nap concerts.” (Nap concerts?)

Carmina Escobar will have a “motion-activated bird choir” that sings to visitors as they walk down the 2nd floor hallway. Occasionally, an artist may offer a vocal accompaniment.

Matthew Au created half-scale replicas of the Gamble House’s roof. They will be upside down sculptures “allowing for a close-up inspection of the roof’s complex construction out of beams, joists, and shingles,” and also double as lawn furniture.

Patrick Ballard’s 2-story puppet head with blonde hair can be found sleeping on the front “sleeping” porch. Puppeteers will “activate” the sculpture as a closing ritual on the evenings of September 27th, October 2nd, and October 5th.

Take a workshop with David Casey and make a solar sun chime, or learn how to preserve plants and make perfumes, or learn techniques for template design and paper cutting. There are self-guided tours and tours with names like the “Materiality and Signification Tour” and the “Tone and Cadence Tour.”

Also on the program are nighttime “lighting” shows, poets in closets, musicians in beds, and a secret restaurant (a conveyor belt is the key).


The Machine Project Field Guide to the Gamble House
Friday, Sept. 19th-Sunday, Oct. 5th; times vary
Gamble House, 4 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena 91103
For details, visit Gamble House or

PS: A man called Nick Duran will embody a waterfall.



GambleHouse-2005 edit1” by en: User: Mr. Exuberance Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons





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