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Benson Auditorium
Pitzer College
1050 N. Mills Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711

4:15 PM

Lauren Bon will present The Metabolic Studio’s ongoing infrastructural artwork, Bending the River, which re-imagines the relationship between Los Angeles and the river that brought it into existence. Lauren Bon and The Metabolic Studio: Bending the River is curated by Pitzer College Art Galleries and Fulcrum Arts and was initially presented as part of the 2022 Fulcrum Festival: Deep Ocean/Deep Space.

Located on Tongva land, Bending the River is evolving through conversation with artists, native communities, activists, local community and the many governmental agencies needed in order to realize this work. The Los Angeles River in its current form is a concretized flood control measure that moves waste water from the city directly out to sea. Utilizing principles of adaptive re-use, the project moves a portion of the LA River water and lifts it to The Metabolic Studio, where it is moved through a native wetland treatment. It will then be distributed to the Los Angeles State Historic Park for irrigation and to build a new spreading ground. This work culminates a transformation that began in 2005 with Not A Cornfield. 

Lauren Bon is an environmental artist from Los Angeles, California. Her practice, The Metabolic Studio, explores self-sustaining and self-diversifying systems of exchange that feed emergent properties that regenerate the life web. Some of her works include: Not A Cornfield (2005–2006), which transformed and revived an industrial brownfield in downtown Los Angeles into a 32-acre cornfield for one agricultural cycle; 100 Mules Walking the Los Angeles Aqueduct (2013), a 240-mile performative action that aimed to reconnect the city of Los Angeles with the source of its water for the centenary of the opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Her studio’s current work, Bending the River, aims to utilize Los Angeles’s first private water right to deliver 106-acre feet of water annually from the LA River to over 50 acres of land in the historic core of downtown LA. This model can be replicated to regenerate the 52-mile LA River, reconnect it to its floodplain, and form a citizens’ utility. 

The Murray Pepper and Vicki Reynolds Pepper Distinguished Visiting Artist and Scholar Lecture with Lauren Bon is the culminating event for the exhibition Lauren Bon and The Metabolic Studio: Bending the River