Lauren Bon and Metabolic Studio practice at the intersection of art and philanthropy. The metabolic cycle that initiated the Metabolic Studio in 2007 began with Not A Cornfield (2005-2006), Ms. Bon’s artwork that grew a 32-acre cornfield in the historic core of downtown Los Angeles on a disused train yard.
Working with social brownfields – locations that for environmental, political or other reasons are unable to support life – Lauren Bon and the Metabolic Studio make metabolic sculptures that use creative endeavor to galvanize transition within complex bureaucracies.
Strawberry Flag (July 2009-October 2010) for example, was a revisionist vision of the American flag as an experimental aquaponic strawberry farm. The artwork was in the form of a veterans’ program. Strawberry Flag created significant veteran training and employment opportunities, brought out the potential for meaning and value inherent in underutilized and often undervalued resources, and simultaneously seeded the ground for future veteran-led projects to emerge.
The work of Ms. Bon and the Metabolic Studio work remaps our biosphere. Not A Cornfield and Strawberry Flag mark historically significant properties that are key in the development of the City of Los Angeles. The Studio’s work in the Owens Valley, which is now in its fifth year, focuses on the resources that were mined out of the Owens Valley: silver and water. The work is an act of consciousness aimed at November 8, 2013, the anniversary that will mark one hundred years since the water was removed from the valley.
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