Mitchell Visiting Professor: Lauren Bon

October 26, 2021

Lauren Bon image of neon sign work that reads On the Same Scale That Society Has The Capacity to Destroy.

Lauren Bon has been at work "undeveloping" a Los Angeles River adjacent property, regenerating the soil to form a novel urban ecosystem. Four years into this work, her Metabolic Studio has created a self-generating and self-complicating urban haven best illustrated by the biological diversity that has re-emerged. They are looking to reinvigorate the endangered life web by creating urban island ecologies that can flourish. Her talk will explore the ways that she and her studio practice are pushing the ecological maturity of the sites they are working on and how this can be understood as a useful and necessary work of art.

Lauren Bon is an environmental artist from Los Angeles, CA. Her practice, 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, which transformed and revived an industrial brownfield in downtown Los Angeles into a thirty-two-acre cornfield for one agricultural cycle; 100 Mules Walking the Los Angeles Aqueduct, 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.

Lauren Bon image of a foggy skyline with castles crossing mountains in foreground.

Her studio’s current work, Bending the River Back into the City, aims to utilize Los Angeles’ 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.


Previous Mitchell Visiting Professors
Andrew Schachman (2020-2021)
Joshua G. Stein (2019-2020)
Matylda Krzykowski (2018-2019)
Ekene Ijeoma (Spring 2018)
Ben Hooker (Fall 2017)