Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Spelunking in the City 

Wednesday, Oct 31 2012
Much is made about our city's storied history in subversive art, with iconic groups like the Billboard Liberation Front, Survival Research Laboratories, the Cacophony Society, and the Suicide Club. A group in Paris, however, gives all of it a run for its money, if not a shellacking. Meet the secretive Paris Urban eXperiment, aka the UX. It came into being in 1981, when the group came across (stole) plans detailing Paris' numerous underground passages, catacombs, and tunnels, and went exploring. Then UX started throwing events down below: staging plays, throwing up a movie theater and a bar, serving guests at a restaurant. The group also -- and here UX becomes part of the holy underground -- began restoring stuff. Fixing things. Often stuff the French government would have liked to fix but didn't have the money for, like the Wagner clock at the Panthéon, which one morning, after 40 years, simply started to chime. That's lovely. The group is supposedly behind 15 such covert restorations, most of which we know little about -- the French police have a unit dedicated to UX, after all. The group is intensely secretive, but tonight you can get a peek under the curtain at the talk “Preservation without Permission: The Paris Urban eXperiment," in which UX's spokesman, Lazar Kunstmann (probably not his real name, because it means "art man" in German), appears tonight with Wired's Jon Lackman, who wrote about UX for the magazine.
Tue., Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m., 2012

About The Author

Michael Leaverton

Related Locations


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"