Claremont, Calif. (November 21, 2022)—Environmental artist Lauren Bon will discuss how her artwork, Bending the River, reimagines and redirects the Los Angeles River as part of Pitzer College’s Murray Pepper and Vicki Reynolds Pepper Distinguished Visiting Artist and Scholar Lecture Series. Her talk will be held on Tuesday, December 6, in the College’s Benson Auditorium at 4:15 p.m.
The Pepper Lecture is the culminating event for an exhibition by Lauren Bon and The Metabolic Studio about Bending the River. This exhibition, open at Pitzer’s Lenzner Family Art Gallery until December 16, is curated by Pitzer College Art Galleries and Fulcrum Arts and is part of the 2022 Fulcrum Festival: Deep Ocean/Deep Space.
Located on Tongva land, Bending the River has been described by the Metabolic Studio as “an infrastructure artwork” and 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 water from the L.A. River and diverts it to The Metabolic Studio, where it is moved through a native wetland treatment. The water is then distributed to the Los Angeles State Historic Park for irrigation and to build a new spreading ground. This work culminates in a transformation that began in 2005 with Not A Cornﬁeld.
Bon’s 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, which transformed and revived an industrial brownfield in downtown L.A. into a 32-acre cornfield for one agricultural cycle, and 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.
Bending the River aims to utilize Los Angeles’ first private water right to deliver 106 acre-feet of water annually from the L.A. River to over 50 acres of land in the historic core of downtown L.A. This model can be replicated to regenerate the 52-mile L.A. River, reconnect it to its floodplain, and form a citizens’ utility.
The annual Pepper Distinguished Visiting Artist Lecture is made possible by the Murray Pepper and Vicki Reynolds Pepper Distinguished Visiting Artists and Scholars Endowed Fund at Pitzer College. Established in 2007, the fund helps bring critically acclaimed artists and scholars to campus to hold seminars, workshops, public talks, and one-on-one conversations with students. The fund is named after Trustee Emeritus Murray Pepper and Vicki Reynolds Pepper, long-term supporters of the College and the grandparents of David Pepper ’17 and Morgan Pepper ’12.
For more information, email [email protected] or visit the Pitzer College Art Galleries events page.