As you walk into the main gallery at the Oakland Museum of California you might hear a faint flicking noise—it’s the sound of tiny pieces of dried alphabet-shaped macaroni flying through the air and hitting the ground. Periodically spewing out of a delicate wooden structure that looks like an old train bridge mounted on the wall, these dried noodles are beginning to pile up. In a few months, 500 pounds of macaroni will be heaped onto the floor.

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