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MPAC’s First Large-Scale Public Event
Inaugurates MPAC Plaza for the Arts during Art Basel

MIAMI, November 8, 2005 — Just after dusk on Friday, December 2, Miami Performing Arts Center will present Cars & Fish - a massive outdoor digital art installation that will project giant images onto the 150-foot walls of the Center and transmit sound beams out from a flock of “hypersonic” performers roaming the Plaza for the Arts. A celebration of Miami’s vibrant culture, Cars & Fish was commissioned by the Center and created by video artist Charles Recher and composer Gustavo Matamoros to inaugurate the Plaza during Art Basel. Marking the first large-scale public event at Miami Performing Arts Center, the evening will also feature a colorful parade produced by MPAC Physical Theater Artist-in-Residence David Clarkson. The street theater performance will be comprised of youthful stilt walkers, giant animatronic fish, and a 35-foot “Alligator Schmalligator” gliding through the crowd expected to converge at the Plaza for the Arts between N.E. 13th and N.E. 14th Street on Biscayne Boulevard.

Cars & Fish is one of what will be many interdisciplinary MPAC programs created to enhance and involve a wide spectrum of Miami’s cultural community,” said Justin Macdonnell, MPAC artistic director. “The event offers an opportunity for local visual artists, performers, dancers and even young children to celebrate their own city by jointly creating a spectacular work of art.”

The evening of free entertainment will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a parade of stilt walkers from “Walking Tall,” MPAC’s community outreach program of free after-school training sessions designed to develop physical theater skills, encourage creativity, and boost self-confidence in children. Dressed as “Creatures of the Swamp,” the children will lead through the Plaza for the Arts a giant 35-foot “Alligator Schmalligator” created by Wendy Wischer together with students from New World School of the Arts.

Following the parade, Recher and Matamoros will present their spectacular video-and-sound installation to be presented one time only at Miami Performing Arts Center. The facades of the theaters will be transformed into a dazzling canvas celebrating Miami’s vibrant culture, and the public watching the show will become part of Recher’s moving light sculpture. Matamoros’ synchronized interactive soundscape will be beamed throughout the Plaza via the “Hypersonic Flock,” a group of performers from Miami Contemporary Dance Company who will roam the plaza wearing high-tech sound gear that transforms them into human amplifiers. The Cars & Fish show will also include super-sized mechanical fish that “swim” through the Plaza by remote control, a 15-foot fisherman in search of an equally tall “catch,” and a roving robotic television that interacts with the crowd.

Cars & Fish is a free visual art and street performance event, suitable for all ages, produced by Miami Performing Arts Center and funded in part by the City of Miami Community Redevelopment Agency and the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs.

For more information on the event, the public may contact Miami Performing Arts Center at (305) 372-7611 or visit

Photo Editors, please note: hi-res jpgs are available at

Press Contacts:
Suzette Espinosa (305) 579-7638;
Luis Palomares (305) 579-7614;

About Charles Recher
An expert in multimedia installations, Charles Recher has created more than 100 films and videos, beginning in the early 1970s with his first public work Pushing, a looped film installation of life-sized people pushing one another. Throughout his career, Recher has been the recipient of various fellowships, including multiple recognitions by the Florida Cultural Consortium and the National Endowment for the Arts. His ground-breaking work was featured in the “Masters of the Avant-Garde” program at Harvard University’s Carpenter Center for the Arts. Recher founded the “Experimental Film-video” program at Miami-Dade College, which he taught for 15 years, and regularly lectures at universities including the University of Havana and Harvard University. Recher’s most recent work is Kwagh-hir, a documentary about the theater tradition of the Tiv people of Nigeria.

About Gustavo Matamoros
With a music career that spans more than 20 years, Gustavo Matamoros is a master sound artist and an ardent supporter of experimental music in Florida. As director of the South Florida Composers Alliance, Matamoros put Miami on the international experimental music map with the creation of the Subtropics Experimental Music Festival in 1989, which has presented the most relevant avant-garde musicians and sound artists since its inception. Among the many accolades he has received from the arts world are the Visual and Media Arts Fellowship award from the Florida Consortium, two consecutive State of Florida Fellowship awards, and two of Venezuela’s national composition awards.

About David Clarkson
A native of New Zealand, David Clarkson has performed extensively throughout Europe, Australia, Asia and the Americas. He has had training in mask, mime, Butoh, acrobatics, various aerial techniques as well as acting and improvisation. Clarkson has elevated the art of stilt performance to new levels and is renowned worldwide for his skills. In 1985, he formed Stalker Theatre Company ( in New Zealand, reforming the company in Australia in 1988, where it has become one of Australia's top national and international touring theater companies under his co-leadership. Over the last several years, Clarkson has studied release-based movement techniques both in Australia and overseas as well as choreographic theater in France. In 2000, Clarkson worked extensively as stilt trainer, choreographer and performer for the Sydney Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies. He has recently been teaching and directing in Europe, the U.S. and Australia and was named Miami Performing Arts Center physical theater artist-in-residence in 2005.

About Miami Performing Arts Center (MPAC)
Currently under construction in downtown Miami, Miami Performing Arts Center is Miami-Dade County’s largest ever public/private-sector partnership, comprised of an $85 million private capital campaign and public funding drawn primarily from the County’s Convention Development Tax revenues, as well as the Omni Tax Increment District. Greatly enhancing the artistic and educational opportunities in South Florida, Miami Performing Arts Center also will have significant and long-term economic benefits for the city and the region.
     MPAC, designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, will include the 2,400-seat Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House, the 2,200-seat Carnival Concert Hall, a 200-seat black box Studio Theater, the Peacock Education Center, a restored Art Deco Tower, and a Plaza for the Arts that will unite the Center buildings across Biscayne Boulevard, providing a magnificent setting for outdoor entertainment and informal gatherings. The design team includes acoustician Russell Johnson of ARTEC, Inc. and theater planning and lighting consultants Jules Fisher and Joshua Dachs of Fisher Dachs & Associates.
     Opening in the fall of 2006, MPAC will be a Miami venue not only for its four resident companies (Concert Association of Florida, Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet, and New World Symphony), but also for many smaller South Florida arts organizations that will perform in its theaters on a regular basis, as well as for the finest popular and classical performances from around the world. With state-of-the-art performance facilities in Miami for the first time, MPAC will offer to South Florida audiences the best and most diverse theater, music, and danceŚwith a dedication to entertain, challenge, and educate all segments of the community.