Production on Display



May 7–21


From May 7 until May 21, "live speakers" will accompany visitors while they observe the rehearsals and run-throughs of Geoffrey Farmer's sculpture-play  "Let's Make the Water Turn Black". Echoing a 1968 composition by Frank Zappa, from which it also borrows the title, Farmer’s "Let’s Make the Water Turn Black" — produced especially for the Migros Museum of Contemporary Art—presents an improvised chronology of the American musician. Choreographed sculptures on a stage coalesce into a multifaceted and atmospheric work that unfolds over the course of the day. During the opening hours the public is invited to learn more about the content and technical aspects of the emerging installation. The museum's interpreters will introduce and discuss the concepts of this kinetic sculpture, along with its compositional structures and computer-controlled systems. Touching on subjects that influenced Frank Zappa, like Edgar Varèse and Musique concrète, the speakers will reveal anecdotes and facts underlying his biography, and their role in shaping the work.



Events within the context of "Production on Display":


Tuesday, May 7, 7 pm
"Open Studio"
Talk with Geoffrey Farmer, Brady Marks and Heike Munder
(in English, free admission)
In a workshop conversation, artist Geoffrey Farmer and generative composer Brady Marks will meet with Heike Munder, Director of the Migros Museum of Contemporary Art, to talk about the process of producing the kinetic sculpture «Let's Make the Water Turn Black» for the museum.


Sunday, May 12, 3–6 pm

"Show Me the Wires": Interactive and Generative Approaches in Contemporary Art Making

with Malene Charles and Brady Marks
(in English, free admission)

This practical workshop focuses on the principles of performativity and interactive installations. The animation of sculptures through light, sound and kinetics will be discussed in the context of Geoffrey Farmer's work. Participants will learn about the software used and are guided to construct basic sensors for interactive art.


Friday, May 17, 6:30–8:30 pm

"The Question of I": Workshop for young people

with Malene Charles and Brigit Meier

(Age 14+, in German, free admission)

On the boundary between fiction and reality, the participants will experience the adventure of searching and constructing identities. As points of departure we will look at Geoffrey Farmer's work and famous personalities such as the literary punk icon Kathy Acker, Beat poet William Burroughs and "mother of Dada" Gertrude Stein.


Saturday, May 18, 2–4 pm

Workshop for kids

with Brigit Meier
(in German, free admission)

Uncle Meat, King Kong, and Suzy CreamcheeseFrank Zappa's songs are worlds full of fantastic characters. Children are led to playfully learn more about tales and fables, from their origins to the present and develop their own fabulous stories.



Please register at: kunstvermittlung [at]

Visitor address
Limmatstrasse 270
CH–8005 Zurich

Mailing address
Postfach 1766
CH–8031 Zurich
Tel +41 44 277 20 50
Fax +41 44 277 62 86

Opening hours
Tue/Wed/Fri 11 am–6 pm
Thu 11 am–8 pm
Sat/Sun 10 am–5 pm
Public Holidays

Adults: CHF 12
Reduced: CHF 8
Thu 5-8 pm: Free admission