Lauren Bon @ CELA

Blogging live 3_25

9:01 AM Central Time

Incite Change|Change Insight is the theme for this year’s Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture [] conference being hosted at K-State in Manhattan KS (aka the little apple). Metabolic Studio‘s Lauren Bon is our keynote speaker and closely related to Aqueduct Futures and After the Aqueduct…

Katie Kincaide invokes Jospeh Beuys as she introduces Lauren, interesting. very interesting. I’d have gone for Chris Burden.

The Intermountain West and Beyond
A ten year project in reconnecting Los Angeles with the water
that feeds began with Not a Cornfield, 2005-2006 and culminates
with her current work, Bending the River Back into the City. Ms. Bon’s
practice looks at the Inter Mountain West—the vast landscape
whose peaks and valleys include the Great Basin and three major
rivers the Columbia, Colorado and Rio Grande River. Her talk will
include both a description of her realized works and the context
that her studio works within to create a sustainable, prophetic
landscape in the Inter Mountain West.
Sonic Division playing live from the LA River, filtered through the resonance chamber of the PPG silo next to Owens Lake. Turning off the Sonic Division and just listening to the resonance of the silo. [ links to the live stream]

Lauren said, We need to change our thinking to change our behavior, perhaps reinventing the landscape is to ask permission from the landscape for the changes we want to make.
The high pitch of the aeolian harp indicates a morning spring breeze. ‘If we don’t get a better snow pack this year, the shit’s gonna hit the fan’ Mark Hanna – water engineer. Lauren is staying out on a research station on the plains, invoking the sonic experience of buffalo herds.
Personal homage to Linda Duke, a special person she met in silo hundreds of miles from anywhere. Invoking the spirits, an acupuncture needle on this special place. Measure time in the Owens Valley by the military jet flights.
Water is the largest conductor of sound, trying to transmit sound to Keeler where the Bessie Brady used to dock. Boring down deep to the water table under Owens Lake.  Now bending back the sound into LA 245 miles to the city.
Shifting to slideshow. LA’s Aqueduct Shed.imprint of the Bonnevile and Lohanton lakes. Map of uranium mines. rapid sequence of Spiral jetty, intermountain west water, sage brush, deer, lingering on the Rose Coaltion of Watersheds map series. Relooking at the Powell Maps of the Western Watersheds.
Video of the LAA’s cascades, now video of 100 mules walking.
Recording of performance Reno NV Art museum, Declaration of a new country based on UN resolution, invoking available water to justify a new nation: Rose Republic.
100 mules walking the LA Aqueduct. the labor force the built the contemporary city, the nation, the soil.
Question: why the name Rose?
As an artist, language is significant. Connecting strawberries as part of the Rose Family, everybody has a positive memory of strawberries and roses. Who wouldn’t want to be part of a country called ‘Rose’?
Q: What about the mules?
As proposal for the centennial of LAA’s opening, made possible by Roosevelt’s Water Reclamation Act in 1903. LADPW thought proposal was celebratory, but it was intended to be a witness and observation, neither critical or celebratory. Film making is part of the legacy of LA, so showing Lauren’s use of film as a media and means to connect to a place. two ovoid scars of the industrial era (Owens Lake and South Central/Not A Corn Fields). Using film to resurrect dormant communities.
Q: what was the path that the mules walked?
The path was the Los Angeles Aqueduct itself, over a month.
How did I get permission? It was ju-ju, good vibes. Been working for 7 years bringing LADWP into the dialog with the Owens Valley Communty, so looking at the inherited system that is failing and meeting the people that are doing the best they can do with the circumstances. Reciprocity to re-engage both sides.
Not A Cornfield was not such a happy story, but concludes  The Bending a River Back into the City.
When it comes to land, there are two types of ownership:
by legal deed
and by memory, cultural claims and need

1 million corn kernels planted – half machine planted/half hand planted, 90 miles of irrigation, 32 acres of detoxified soil. Year long event. Green phase of growing, the gold phase in the autumn as the stalks dry and corn is harvested.

Blue phase – thoughtful repose in december 3rd – matrix of lights reflecting the stars above at the solstice, weather.

Flying monkeys into the LA River at midnight, up and down the burial grounds of the Tongva.

Anabolic Rebound from the radioactive waters, rebounds up to the high desert plains and the peaks of the sierras and rocky mountains. teeming with large animals.

growing again in PPG a greenhouse, where tomatoes will never fruit because it was too hot. the wicked which of the west lives, a musician, wishing to melt to become free. Using the silo as a resonances chamber, Mary Austin. Dr. McCabe inventor of the heart pump, now keeper of the silo. 200 people came the day they filmed the ritual, to witness the transformation of the lake bed.

10:00 Flying monkeys on rollerskates seen in the movie of the PPG happening. Somewhere over the Rainbow played on tuned glasses filled with water is permeating the ballroom at CELA.

Requiem for Water 2012. They murmur… they talk about their lives, down, down, 900 feet into a cerro gordo silver mine. The silver mine is a monument to the city. silver that made into film stock back east, then shipped back to CA to film westerns, for photographers like Ansel Adams. Metabolic Studio preseved and restored  the mine shaft. Valley Crest – the secret weapon of Metabolic Studio, fixing the hoist house and erosion prevention mats.

Pulse of the mine, one drop of water falling onto a speaker and microphone from the bottom of the shaft.

Optics Division taking indexical image of the entire material chain used in making photos using celluloid from cattle(? think she means gelatin) to silver from Cerro Gordo. Mule Cam inspired the Liminal Camera built into a shipping container.

Q: what is the structure of Metabolic Studio?

By project to project, it is Lauren’s projects. Not collaborative, but communal. She is designer, but implemented by the staff and consultants. Metabolic Studio is 15 full-time people.

Bending the River Back 2012-

Dam, water wheel, distribution system. Water wheel will cut the metabolic building in half. First private water right in the city of LA, as delta for Owens River. Banks of the river are graffiti covered, our rocks. Inflatable dam creating a pond. the Wheel bends the water back. Pit for the wheel is pollinator habitat, piercing the LA river jacket next fall. The wheel is first permanent piece of Metabolic Studio, everything before were ephemeral.



Lauren will be part of the CELA Fellows Keynote Panel this afternoon with Alan, Richard Forman, Wes Jackson, and Kristina Hill.



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