Ghost town Amboy on route 66 turns into a site for art, research, and experimentation.

Event Details


Matza Amboy
Matza, California United States


June 16, 2016 - July 07, 2016


Free and open to public.

Matza Amboy is an artist residency, research, and experimentation program that takes place once a year for four weeks in Amboy, California. Amboy is on historic Route 66 in the heart of the Mojave Desert.

Matza Amboy brings together a selection not just of artists but also of social science researchers, engineers and architects, who share their experiences and produce experimental and innovative works.

UNDERGROUNDS 2016 Matza Amboy is the second edition dedicated the question of water and its distribution. This blue gold has long been the most coveted resource in California, and concern over it is at the heart of debates and controversies.

Beyond the ecological and human questions it raises, it is also the element that symbolically links Amboy to Switzerland, specifically the Valais, where Matza was born. While the Swiss Alps today still have an abundant water supply, representing the largest hydraulic basin in Europe, California embodies with all its complexity the reverse — the scarcity of water, concerns over it, its collection, and the inequalities in its distribution.

UNDERGROUNDS shines a spotlight on water, on that which is hidden under the surface of the earth, and more generally on the invisible part of land. Meaning everything that lies beneath our feet, but also whatever the landscape does not reveal directly, including economic, social or political questions that often govern land rights and resource distribution.

By bringing together artists and specialists in a global discussion of land, ecology and democracy, Matza strives acts as a window for the issues currently facing humanity.

The residency culminates in a yearlong exhibition, which opens July 5, 2016.The public is welcome to visit Amboy. Visitors can walk around and see the artists in action as well as the view the exhibition after July 5th. Amboy has one restaurant/motel and is otherwise a ghost town along Route 66.



Photo: Myleen Hollero