The Voice Project is grateful to receive generous support from Metabolic Studio led by artist Lauren Bon.
In 2005, Lauren Bon founded Metabolic Studio on Los Angeles’s pre-colonial floodplain within the city’s present day Alameda Corridor. Metabolic Studio’s long-term actions are focused on creating living systems in blighted areas, and working with partners who have little access to soil, seeds, and water. From an aquaponic strawberry field engineered by military veterans at a VA hospital, to soil and growing projects that have led to a vibrant food co-op culture in the Owens Valley, to a cornfield (notacornfield) that transformed an abandoned rail yard, Metabolic Studio’s work has been purposely calling for a return to sustainable and human-scaled systems.
In 2018, Bon will break ground on Bending the River Back Into the City – her permanent marker of her belief that, “Artists need to create on the same scale that society has the capacity to destroy.” This civic action is a culmination of her creative output, research and experiences over the past twelve years, and will divert water from the Los Angeles River through a wetland and cleaning facility and into Metabolic Studio on North Spring Street. The cleaned river water will be distributed via an engineered network to properties that once would have been the floodplain of the unbridled river. Once it meets regulatory requirements for cleanliness, the water will be distributed through subterranean irrigation to Los Angeles State Historic Park, and the future Albion River Park. Bending the River Back Into the City is made possible by the securing more than sixty interconnected permits and approvals from twenty-three federal, state, regional, county, and city agencies. The linchpin agreement is the Water Right that was awarded to Bon as a private individual by the State Water Resources Board in March 2014. Bon interprets her Water Right as a water responsibility that is shared with the public and with which she demonstrates the tenet of this right as a public service. Bon suggests that “I think it’s really critical for us to take a pause and think about our definition of the city. My position is that it’s time to look at the next hundred years.”
The Voice Project is proud to join the group of community, environmental, education, arts, and justice organizations who are Metabolic Studio grantees.
We are excited to be able to continue and to expand our work in support of imprisoned artists, the right to protest, and other issues involving freedom of expression in the U.S. and around the world with this support from Metabolic Studio.