An inspiration to us all.

“New York-based artist and sculptor Jason Middlebrook will dismantle a building by hand from Dec. 4 through 16, in a performance piece called ‘Live Building.’

He will tear into the Wurms Janitorial Building, in preparation for the opening of the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts on the downtown mall. And as a result, he will be reusing parts of the building as furniture or other useful objects, under the theory that architecture is a living part of a community. The title of the project, “Live Building,” will be cut into the side wall, which faces a parking lot, making the project and the ideas behind it visible to passers-by and the Riverside community.

Middlebrook will talk about his vision for the project at 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7 in ARTS 335. A grand finale is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, on the ARTSblock, an event that will include the use of a bulldozer.

The Wurms Building anchored the Riverside block on Main Street for many years and was part of the landscape. Through this event, and the unique and functional pieces created from this landmark, the building lives on.

“This is a great way to kick off the Culver Center and I congratulate UC Riverside and artist Jason Middlebrook on the sustainable and artistic nature of the project,” said Dom Betro, a Riverside City Council member. “I look forward to the completion of the Culver Center and the exhibits, performances and classes that the UCR ARTSblock will bring to the city.”

The UCR/California Museum of Photography, the Sweeney Art Gallery, and the planned Culver Center of the Arts are now part of UCR ARTSblock, an integrated complex located on a single block which will bring exciting art exhibitions, live performances, and special events to Riverside and the Inland Empire communities. The Culver Center is expected to be finished by November, 2008.

Jason Middlebrook completed his masters of fine arts at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1994. His work has been exhibited at Palazzo Delle Papesse Centro Arte Contemporanea, Siena, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, The Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, The Whitney Museum at Altria, The Wellcome Trust, London, and the Public Art Fund, New York, among other institutions. Middlebrook’s work is housed in renowned private and institutional collections around the world. He currently has a new commission in China.”

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About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.