Word was that actors Ed Norton and Naomi Watts were filming down the hall, but the few dozen artists and onlookers in Studio 2 were more interested in the mule in their midst. Hollywood was no match for the six farmers who were trying to get their animal to lie down in the Beijing Film Studio. There is probably an idiom about how mules do not lie down, but it seemed clear that death was the only situation in which this one might. The mule was needed to complete an accident scene art installation that also included a half-overturned army jeep and a mule cart resting atop a vintage Plymouth. The scene would be complete once the mule lay down and 12 models wearing qipao dresses splayed themselves across the wreckage. Accidents draw crowds, and at this one, it became obvious that many were mistaking the farmers' efforts for a part of the artists' installation. As the hooded beast was coaxed, hog-tied and sedated with a mixture of snacks and injections, the crowd watched with a combination of art-critic-seriousness - the nausea that comes from watching an animal mistreated in such an overt manner - and sheer confusion. This was Beijing's fertile arts scene in action, and it was only the second hour of the Complete Art Experience Project's 24-hour exhibition. The mule was threatening to overshadow the other installations and had already prevented the more raucous live and recorded versions of Hotel California from being performed at an installation dedicated to killing the song through repetition. According to those who claimed to have an insight into the mule's state of mind, the music excited him, preventing him from passing out. The idea that perhaps the song repeated ad infinitum might cause the mule to pass out was not voiced. The suggestion that the mule was distracted by two cars honking their horns and driving around the studio was ignored. Ditto for the idea that the noise of nearby construction might be even more distracting than the music. Overhead, more than 30 bird cages swung back and forth. Elsewhere, someone was painting over a projected video image with a six-foot brush. In a corner, tai chi exercisers holding torches spun out patterns of light that were captured by an open camera lens and projected onto a wall. It would be two full hours before the mule lay down: a few adjustments were made, photographs were taken, a chalk outline drawn, and the mule sent on its way. Twenty-two hours later, the studio was empty. Looking back, it's a wonder the group from Hollywood didn't come to look at the goings-on in Studio 2.