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You, The Empire Builder

January 17, 2008

They say Rome wasn't built in a day, but Machine Project in Echo Park will soon try to do just that with the 24-Hour Rome Reconstruction Project, spanning from Romulus' humble beginnings to the city's Visigoth dismantling. Using recycled construction materials, participants will re-create and re-destroy a millennium of architectural history in a gallery, including a good sacking courtesy of the performance troupe My Barbarian and a professorial tour of the ruins. The idea is in keeping with the gallery's blend of spectacle and education (learn to operate those power tools safely!), but it's also as layered as the Eternal City's blueprint. "There's been so much political usage of the phrase [about Rome not being built in a day], in reference to Iraq and New Orleans," says organizer Liz Glynn (pictured, working on an earlier version of Rome). "The project is an attempt to get a lot of people together and see what can be accomplished." Starts midnight Fri., free. (213) 483-8761, www.machineproject.com

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