A mystery is unraveling on the outside walls of the Los Angeles Center Studios, a complex of new sound stages in downtown Los Angeles.

The studio, which was required to dedicate 1 percent of its construction budget to public art, commissioned Oakland artist Mark Stock to paint a series of huge panels to hang on the side of the complex.

Stock decided to do a three- or four-part series depicting a mystery that viewers could interpret in many ways.

The first mural, consisting of two 61-by-35-foot panels, went up a year ago. Called "Enrapture: Scene 1," the mural's first panel showed a woman holding a glass up to a wall as she tried to listen to what was going on in the room next door. The second panel showed a vase of flowers falling to the floor. The panels are photo enlargements of paintings, emblazoned onto banner-like material.

The first mural was removed last month and replaced with the second chapter in the series, another enormous two-panel mural that for the next year will be seen from miles away. The first panel of the new installation shows the woman putting down her glass and drilling a hole into the wall. The next panel shows a white-gloved hand in the room next door raising the window to exit.

"It's a slow telling of a story, which is odd for L.A. because in L.A. everything happens so fast," explained Stock, noting that downtown denizens have a year to contemplate each chapter. He is already working on the third installment, which is slated to go up some time next spring or summer.

So what will be the next chapter in the mystery? "We're not telling," he said with a laugh. "We're dishing it out very slowly."

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