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Intelligent Systems: An Opera For the Modern World

“I started in 1980,” says Dr. Carson Kievman, composer and founder of SoBe Institute of the Arts, “I got an NEA fellowship back when they actually had those for individual artists and I was inspired. There was a publication, a new publication by Stephen Hawking on the ‘Big Bang Theory’ and I didn’t read the publication itself but they did a big article on it, pics and pages of it in LIFE Magazine back then, and that got me thinking about what is now ‘Intelligent Systems’ and what got me interested was the transformative nature of the universe and how it is constantly changing.”

What does that mean exactly? Well, let’s look at art and sciences as a symbiotic, somewhat gestalt entity – all the way back to the halcyon days when Dr. Kievman was taken aback by the suggestive, mathematical powers of a Stephen Hawking’s essay. The transitional moment between the ‘70s and the ‘80s was not as forgiving as the mind might be prone to recall – these were tough times for thinking creatures and while his work might suggest something beyond the realm of cemented-ground conceptuality, his vision into a futuristic version of our modern times started crying the lot of global warming and beach erosion decades before current state governance went on record as ignant bastards denying unequivocal scientific facts.

“Related to your question about how it evolved over the years and how changing technologies influenced it, well, that was a major issue when I was working on it. I didn’t start on it like a regular opera libretto or opera music or script but rather to do it as a storyboard with text,” explains Kievman. “We actually drew it out and did a little storyboard with pictures.”

SOBE ARTS PRESENTS (PREVIEW) V.4 from Carson Kievman on Vimeo.

Kievman’s project, a long-gestating infant is the product of a long-germinating idea. Kievman waited patiently in the trenches, always working, but always waiting, to bring this fully immersive and visionary tale of cyclical and natural destruction perpetuated by a parallel of humanity.

Kievman’s Intelligent Systems aims to show exactly how unintelligent any system of man’s devising can truly be. How effective this project will be, only time will tell. It honestly sounds like it needs to live beyond its current means, maybe not. It lends itself to a “dimensions variable” ideology but it could also benefit from grand scale, fully-funded excess. Let’s see. Kievman is no stranger to budgetary constraints and he has proven a man on a mission; anyone who waits this long to fully realize a vision, is someone to be taken seriously.

He might just be the most serious artist working in South Florida today.

Intelligent Systems at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 5 at the Little Stage Theater at SoBe Arts, 2100 Washington Ave, Miami Beach. Tickets cost $15 – 60. Call 305-674-9220 or visit

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Abel Folgar