Goats, visiting and working now through March 9, 2009, inside the Anabolic Monument, located on the northern side of the Los Angeles State Historic Park.

New: More goat photos.

iPhone Photo copyright and courtesy Julie Pittman 2009

*This post was originally titled, "Baaaah!" -- This blog apologies for that onomatopoeic error.

Labels: ,



Mas Chivas

From top:

A less-cropped view of a goats inside the Anabolic Monument photo; then, goats with the gold line, and the city skyline, respectively, behind them.

Top: iPhone photo copyright and courtesy Julie Pittman 2009. Bottom: iPhone photos for Metabolic Studio by kate Balug

Labels: ,



Wildflowers In Bloom**

Pictured above: Another couple of shots of the wildflowers in bloom** on the northern side of the Los Angeles State Historic Park. The flowers are part of the ongoing legacy of the Not A Cornfield project. They were planted and, as needed, are tended to by Lauren Bon's Metabolic Studio team.

Have a shot you'd like to share with this blog's readers? Send it our way to info at farmlab dot org.

**updated information and an apology -- please see the comments section.

iPhone photos copyright and courtesy Julie Pittman 2009

Labels: ,



Public Forum: Climate Change and Water
Friday, February 27, 2009 @ 5-9pm

(Forum from 5-7pm; Reception from 7-9pm)

Co-Sponsored by the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation, the Environmental Leadership Program and the Farmlab Public Salon Series. The panel presentation will be followed by a joint reception with Switzer Foundation and Environmental Leadership Program Fellows.

About the Public Forum

Examining the scale of the problem and environmental leadership solutions at global, national and local scales. Co-Sponsored by the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation, the Environmental Leadership Program and the Farmlab Public Salon Series. The panel presentation will be followed by a joint reception with Switzer Foundation and Environmental Leadership Program Fellows.

Come join this lively discussion with four Switzer Fellows and ELP Fellows who are working to address the varying scales of impact of climate change on water resources. These environmental leaders will offer a global perspective on the impacts of climate change on water resources, the avenues of research on key scientific issues and mitigation responses at regional scales, the ways in which communities are adapting to shifts in freshwater systems and watersheds and finally, how one California water district is working to achieve multiple benefits by conserving its forest land and water resources.

The Fellows are:

  • Amy Luers, Environment Program Manager, Google.Org, San Francisco, CA (Switzer Fellow 2000)

  • Brenda Rashleigh, Research Ecologist, US EPA Office of Research and Development, Athens, GA (ELP Senior Fellow)

  • Charles Hernick, Associate, The Cadmus Group, Watertown, MA (ELP Senior Fellow)

  • Betsy Herbert, Environmental Analyst, San Lorenzo Valley Water District, Santa Cruz County, CA (Switzer Fellow 2001)

  • About The Public Forum Speakers

    Betsy Herbert, Environmental Analyst
    San Lorenzo Valley Water District
    Boulder Creek, CA

    Betsy Herbert earned her doctorate in environmental studies in 2004 from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research interests include forest management for water quality protection and carbon sequestration, and issues of civil engagement in natural resource management. Her research has been published in the Journal of the American Water Works Association. In 2006, Betsy Herbert was awarded a Robert and Patricia Switzer Leadership Grant to facilitate the San Lorenzo Valley Water District’s public acquisition of the Felton water system from California-American Water, on behalf of the community of Felton. The District successfully completed this acquisition in 2008. This grassroots effort to municipalize a private water system received national attention, and serves as a model for other communities throughout the nation who are trying to buy back their water systems from multi-national corporations. She is now employed as the environmental analyst for the San Lorenzo Valley Water District, where she administers an education grant program, manages the District’s forested watershed lands, and inventories the District’s greenhouse gas emissions for the California Climate Action Registry. Since 2001, she has served on the Board of Directors of Sempervirens Fund--the oldest land trust in California--preserving redwood forest land in the Santa Cruz Mountains since 1900. Since 2007, she has served on the Santa Cruz County Commission on the Environment, which advises the County Board of Supervisors on issues of climate change and reduction of greenhouse gases.

    Charles Hernick, Associate
    The Cadmus Group
    Watertown, MA

    Charles Hernick is an Associate at The Cadmus Group, Inc. He works primarily for government and non-governmental organizations on issues related to making drinking water more sustainable. His research focuses on economic and environmental issues, including climate change mitigation and adaptation, and ecosystem services. Mr. Hernick also works on best management practices for drinking water systems. He received his master’s in International Relations and Environmental Policy from Boston University, and his bachelor’s degree in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior from the University of Minnesota.

    Amy Luers, Environment Program Manager
    San Francisco, CA

    Amy Luers is the environment program manager for Prior to joining Google.Org, Amy managed the Climate Program for the Union of Concerned Scientists California\'s office and spent 10 years working on water resources management in Latin America and California. Amy is co-founder and former executive director of a small NGO dedicated to supporting rural water supply in Latin America. Her research and publications have focused on issues of vulnerability and adaptive capacity to global environmental changes and on climate policy. She holds a Ph.D. in environmental science and an M.A. in international policy studies, both from Stanford University, and a M.S. and B.S. in environmental resources engineering from Humboldt State University.

    Brenda Rashleigh, Research Ecologist
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Athens, GA

    Brenda Rashleigh works as a Research Ecologist for the U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development, using statistics and modeling to understand the relationship between environmental stressors and the health of aquatic ecosystems. She has served as a Board President for the Georgia River Network and currently serves as President of the Upper Oconee Watershed Network and Regional Coordinator for Georgia's Adopt-a-Stream program. She recently spent two months as an Embassy Science Fellow in Pretoria, South Africa, working on issues of freshwater conservation. She has published articles in peer-reviewed journals including Ecological Modeling, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, and Ecography.

    Labels: ,



    Photo Taken Just North of Anabolic Monument

    This image was sent in to info at farmlab dot org by Catherine Cummings.

    The shot was taken, we think, from just north of the Anabolic Monument, located in the Los Angeles State Historic Park. Great thanks to Catherine for sending our way.

    Photo copyright and courtesy Catherine Cummings.

    Labels: ,



    Farmlab & The South Central Farm -- Revisiting and NAC Stories

    Last year,'s "Web Stories" series included Farmlab in a multi-media piece called, "Sustaining L.A." Writer Bill Kelley Jr.'s essay accompanied a slide show and a filmed interview with Lauren Bon.

    With Kelley coming to participate in an (unrelated, about Tijuana) Public Salon at Farmlab on March 6, 2009, this seemed like a good time to revisit the KCET work.

    As Kelley wrote: "[Farmlab's] genesis should be situated within the very public battle for the preservation of the South Central Farm and the Not-A-Cornfield art project…"

    He also wrote that Bon, among others, was a "key player, although unsuccessful in the end, in trying to save the community organized South Central Farm from commercial development."

    And that: "Farmlab grew out of these two experiences and has been a year-long attempt to catalyze the different organizations and specialists in the field of environmental sustainability, urban planning, and community activism."

    On a related note, author and Occidental professor, Robert Gottlieb, reported in Next American City magazine about at least one small part of the behind-the-scenes organizing and negotiating work that Bon and her teams at Farmlab and the Annenberg Foundation -- where she is a trustee -- were doing:

    "A group including the Trust for Public Land and the Annenberg Foundation came up with $16 million to repurchase the property, saying they intended to keep the farm going and create soccer fields.

    "Though that amount was triple what Horowitz had been paid three years earlier, Horowitz refused."

    See the full work here.

    Read more here about Farmlab's work to create a monument at the Huntington to the trees, of the trees, and by the trees of the South Central Farm.

    And here's a bit about Ag Bin Ramblas, another Farmlab project with direct SCF origins.

    Farmlab photo by James Goodnight

    Labels: ,



    African Daisies, Bright Yellow on a Rainy Gray Day

    The African daisies, located inside the Ananbolic Monument, across the street from Farmlab, on the northern end of the Los Angeles State Historic Park.

    Today's rain showers are anticipated to bring, yup, many more such flowers.

    Photo by Sarah McCabe

    Labels: ,



    Aerial View of Anabolic Monument

    Taken on the day of the most recent harvest, here's a look from above at the anabolic monument, by Lauren Bon, located on the site of the Los Angeles State Historic Park.

    Photo by Joshua White

    Labels: ,



    Time Banks USA Founder To Speak At Metabolic Studio

    Dr. Edgar S. Cahn is scheduled to appear Wednesday, March 11, 2009 @ 7-9pm.

    This program is not presented nor sponsored by Farmlab, but by The Echo Park Time Bank.

    For more information, visit the EPTB website.

    Farmlab greetings, by the way, go out to former colleague Autumn Rooney, an EPTB founder.

    Labels: ,



    Farmlab Public Salon
    Edgar Arceneaux
    Friday, February 20, 2009 @ Noon
    Free Admission

    About the Salon

    Watts House Project (WHP) is an on-going collaborative artwork in the shape of a neighborhood redevelopment.

    Located on E. 107th St. across from the historic Watts Towers, the WHP enhances community through an artist-in-residence program, exhibition spaces, educational and social programming, and residential housing.

    Directed by artist Edgar Arceneaux, WHP engages art and architecture as a catalyst for expanding and enhancing community. The neighborhood surrounding the Watts Towers presents a stark contrast to the well-maintained aesthetics of this national monument, and currently the residents have limited means to capitalize socially or economically on this cultural currency. WHP operates with the understanding that social and economic challenges are tied to basic ecological problems and aims to develop an incremental, nuanced and sustainable model that marries ecological concerns and practice with social and cultural remedies. By creating a physical and social infrastructure for creativity, WHP will catalyze artistic production and community pride of place, forming partnerships that can lead to real solutions, hope, and change.

    The initial phase of the Watts House Project is being completed as a part of the Hammer Museum's Artist Residency Program. The Hammer Museum's Artist Residency Program was initiated with funding from the Nimoy Foundation and is supported through a significant grant from the James Irvine Foundation.

    The initial phase of Watts House Project is an LAXART Public Art Initiative.

    About the Salon Presenter

    Edgar Arceneaux is an American artist living and working in Los Angeles. His multivalent practice includes drawings, collaborative installations, community-based social sculpture initiatives and large-scale film projects. His recent solo shows include The Agitation of Expansion at the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia (2008), Snake River at the REDCAT Gallery in Los Angeles, CA (2006), and The Alchemy of Comedy…Stupid at ArtPace in San Antonio, Texas and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects (2006). He's participated in various group exhibitions at the Studio Museum in New York, the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, MOCA in Los Angeles, CA, and completed a residency at Project Row Houses in Houston, TX. Arceneaux was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial, and the 2008 California Biennial. He received his MFA from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA in 2001, his BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in 1996, and also studied at Skowhegan School in Maine and the Fachholchschule Aachen, in Aachen, Germany. Arceneaux was awarded the USA Broad Fellowship for 2007 by United States Artists.

    Photo copyright and courtesy Edgar Arceneaux, 2000.

    Labels: ,



    Farmlab Public Salon
    Nasrin Tabatabai and Babak Afrassiabi
    Friday, June 19, 2009 @ Noon
    Free Admission

    Practice of Eventuality

    About the Salon

    Join Nasrin Tabatabai and Babak Afrassiabi for a discussion about their collaborative project, Pages. Started since 2004, Pages consist of different activities, such as the publication of a bilingual Farsi/English magazine, video and installation works and editorial re-articulations.

    With Pages they try to pursue possibilities of reflection between various localities and conditions of artistic and theoretical discourses. With maintaining always a link to the contextual and historical realities of the issues addressed in each project and editions of the magazine, they generate spaces and instances of criticality and negotiation regarding the aesthetics and politics defining current artistic and theoretical practice and production.

    About the Salon Presenters

    Nasrin Tabatabai and Babak Afrassiabi live in Rotterdam, with an art practice they pursue both in Iran and the Netherlands. Their work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in Latin America, the United States and throughout Europe. In 2004, they initiated a long-term collaborative project called Pages. (

    Images credit: Desire & Change, Pages magazine issue 3, 2004

    Labels: ,



    four: music and dance improvisation
    Monday, February 16 & Tuesday, 17 2009 8:00pm

    Featuring: Tatsuya Nakatani (Percussion); Michel Doneda (Saxophone); Kaoru Watanabe (Flute) and Oguri (Dance).

    Location: Ignite, at the Metabolic Studio.

    More information: Click here

    Labels: ,



    No Optimists' Breakfast on Friday, March 13, 2009

    Please don't take this as a sign of pessimism.

    Due to an out-of-town project happening that same date and requiring the participation of many members of the Metabolic Studio team, there will be no Optimists' Breakfast on Friday, March 13, 2009.

    There will be a regularly scheduled noontime Pubic Salon that same date.

    The next Optimists' Breakfast is scheduled to place Friday, November 13, 2009. More information will be posted once the theme and speakers are confirmed.

    Photo: Participants in the 2/13/09 Optimists' Breakfast.
    Farmlab photo by Kate Balug, 2009

    Labels: ,



    New Postcard Features Glass Orchestra Rehearsal at PPG, in Owens Valley

    The new Public Salon Series postcard -- available for free at the Studio warehouse -- features an overhead view of a recent rehearsal of the Owens Valley Dry Lake Glass & Water Citizens Orchestra.

    The photo was taken at the Pittsburgh Plate Glass factory, in Bartlett.

    Photo by Joshua White, 2009.

    Labels: ,



    African Daisies, Bright Yellow on a Rainy Gray Day

    The African daisies located inside the Ananbolic Monument are already in bloom.

    Photos coming soon. In the meanwhile, please come see and enjoy for yourself at the Monument, which is located on the northern end of the Los Angeles State Historic Park, across from the Farmlab warehouse.

    Labels: ,



    Friday, February 13, 2009
    @ Metabolic Studio (Farmlab+Chora+AMI)

    The following will occur -- or in one case, not occur -- 2/13/09 at the Studio:

  • 8am: The Chora Prints 2008 raffle takes place. To be eligible to win, prints must be purchased prior to the drawing. More info.

  • 8am: Optimists' Breakfast happens. More info.

  • Noon: There is no Public Salon today. More info.

  • 5pm: The Chora Prints 2008 exhibition concludes. More info.

    (All times are PST.)

    Labels: ,



    About the Anabolic Monument

    Read the PDF here:


    Labels: ,



    Chora Prints 2008 Exhibition Closes Friday

    This is Final Week to Enter Raffle to Win Box Suite of Prints

    Metabolic Studio's exhibition of the Chora Prints 2008 project concludes this coming Friday, February 13, 2009.

    Also concluding this week: the chance to win a complete handmade box suite of all 22 prints in the project.

    The drawing of the winning raffle ticket for the suite will be held Friday morning, February 13, 2009 @ 8am during the Optimists' Breakfast.

    Purchase one or more prints prior to that date and time, and you'll be entered in the raffle.

    Prints can be purchased this week at the Metabolic Studio (Farmlab + Chora + AMI), located here, or online, by visiting the Chora Prints 2008 website's "purchase" page and following the links.

    The raffle winner need not be present Friday morning, as long as the Chora team has your contact information on file to let you know you've won.

    Labels: ,



    'What Patriotism Means to Me'
    Optimists' Breakfast
    Friday, February 13, 2009 @ 8am

    Please RSVP to info at farmlab dot org. Put "2/13/09 RSVP" in subject line

    Labels: ,



    Farmlab Public Salon
    Chris Carlsson
    Friday, February 6, 2009 @ Noon
    Free Admission

    Nowtopia: How Pirate Programmers, Outlaw Bicyclists, and Vacant-lot Gardeners are Inventing the Future Today

    About the Salon

    Outlaw bicycling, urban permaculture, biofuels, free software, even the Burning Man festival, are windows into a scarcely visible social transformation that challenges politics as we know it. As capitalism continues its inexorable push to corral every square inch of the globe into its logic of money and markets, new practices are emerging that are redefining politics. In myriad ways, people are taking back their time and technological know-how from the market and in small under-the-radar ways, are making life better right now. In doing so, they also set the foundation—technically AND socially—for a genuine movement of liberation from market life. The social networks thus created, and the practical experience of cooperating outside of economic regulation, become a breeding ground for new strategies and tactics to confront the everyday commodification to which capitalism reduces us all.

    Nowtopia uncovers resistance and rebellion amidst fractions of a slowly recomposing working class in America. Rarely self-identifying as mere 'workers,' people from all walks of life are doing incredible amounts of work in their "free" "non-work" time. This unpaid work is creating immediate practical improvements in daily life. More interesting still, these myriad initiatives constitute a more thorough-going refusal of politics and economics as usual.

    Building on the investigative methodology developed by autonomist Marxists in Europe and the U.S.A., Carlsson recontextualizes the so-called "middle class" as an example of working class recomposition. The practical rebellions outlined in this book embody a deeper challenge to the basic epistemological underpinnings of modern life, as a new ecologically-driven politics emerges from below to reshape our assumptions about science, technology and human behavior.

    The semi-conscious war between these life-affirming, self-emancipating behaviors and the coercive domination of money, property, and survival amidst contrived scarcity is the core investigation of this book.

    Chris Carlsson is a San Francisco author, Nowtopian, outlaw bicyclist and wannabe vacant-lot gardener. He has edited four collections of political and historical essays. His most recent book is After The Deluge, a utopian novel of post-economic San Francisco. He was one of the original founders and long-time editor of Processed World magazine. He also helped to start the Critical Mass bicycling movement in San Francisco (and the world!!! Bwahahahaha!).

    About the Salon Presenter

    Chris Carlsson, executive director of the multimedia history project Shaping San Francisco, is a writer, publisher, editor, and community organizer. For the last twenty-five years his activities have focused on the underlying themes of horizontal communications, organic communities and public space. He was one of the founders, editors and frequent contributors to the ground-breaking San Francisco magazine Processed World. He also helped launch the monthly bike-ins known as Critical Mass that have spread to five continents and over 300 cities. He has edited four books, "Bad Attitude: The Processed World Anthology" (Verso: 1990), "Reclaiming San Francisco: History, Politics, Culture" (City Lights: 1998, co-edited with James Brook and Nancy J. Peters), "Critical Mass: Bicycling's Defiant Celebration" (AK Press: 2002), "The Political Edge" (City Lights Foundation: 2004). He published his first novel, "After The Deluge," in 2004, a story of post-economic San Francisco in the year 2157 (Full Enjoyment Books: 2004).

    Carlsson makes his living as a book designer, editor, and typesetter. He is a member of Media Workers Union Local 100 in San Francisco. He is past board president of CounterPULSE, a San Francisco-based arts organization, where he has been producing a series of public Talks since January 2006, and conducting award-winning bicycle history tours. Check his website for updates on this and links to his blog and other activities:, or email him directly at [email protected].

    Labels: ,



    Mujeres de Maiz / La Sagrada
    Sunday, March 8, 2009 6-10pm

    Labels: ,



    Farmlab Public Salon
    Sandow Birk
    Friday, April 3, 2009 @ Noon
    Free Admission

    Screening of the film, "Dante's Inferno" -- With a discussion with artist, art director, writer, and producer Sandow Birk

    About the Salon

    The Salon Series today screens the film, "Dante's Inferno."

    From the film's website: Melding the seemingly disparate traditions of apocalyptic live-action graphic novel and charming Victoria-era toy theater, Dante’s Inferno is a subversive, darkly satirical update of the original 14th century literary classic. Retold with the use of intricately hand-drawn paper puppets and miniature sets, and without the use of CGI effects, this unusual travelogue takes viewers on a tour of hell. And what we find there, looks a lot like the modern world.

    Sporting a hoodie and a hang-over from the previous night’s debauchery, Dante (voiced by Dermot Mulroney) wakes to find he is lost — physically and metaphorically — in a strange part of town. He asks the first guy he sees for some help: The ancient Roman poet Virgil (voiced by James Cromwell), wearing a mullet and what looks like a brown bathrobe. Having no one else to turn to, Dante’s quickly convinced that his only means for survival is to follow Virgil voyage down, down through the depths of Hell.

    The pair cross into the underworld and there Virgil shows Dante the underbelly of the Inferno, which closely resembles the decayed landscape of modern urban life. Dante and Virgil’s chronicles are set against a familiar backdrop of used car lots, strip malls, gated communities, airport security checks, and the U.S. Capitol. Here, hot tubs simmer with sinners, and the river Styx is engorged with sewage swimmers.

    Also familiar is the contemporary cast of presidents, politicians, popes and pop-culture icons sentenced to eternal suffering of the most cruel and unusual kind: Heads sewn on backwards, bodies wrenched in half, never-ending blowjobs, dancing to techno for eternity, and last, but certainly not least, an inside look at Lucifer himself, from the point of view of a fondue-dunked human appetizer. Each creatively horrific penance suits the crime, and the soul who perpetrated it.

    As Dante spirals through the nine circles of hell, he comes to understand the underworld’s merciless machinery of punishment, emerging a new man destined to change the course of his life. But not, of course, the brand of his beer.

    About the Salon Presenter

    Sandow Birk:
    Art Director, Writer, Producer
    Raised on the beaches of Southern California and currently living and working in Los Angeles, Sandow Birk is a product of California culture. With an emphasis on social issues, frequent themes of his past work have included daily life in L.A.’s barrios, inner city violence, graffiti, various political issues, surfing, and skateboarding. His work has been shown extensively throughout the U.S. He was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1996, and a Fulbright Fellow to Rio de Janeiro for 1997. In 1999 he was awarded a Getty Fellowship for painting. Birk’s epic, pseudo-historical series of the “The Great War of the Californias”, in which Los Angeles and San Francisco wage all out war for control of the Golden State, was featured at the Laguna Art Museum in 2000. His latest project, a rewriting (with co-author Marcus Sanders) and illustrating of Dante’s The Divine Comedy set in contemporary urban America has culminated in three books, currently out from Chronicle Books: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. An exhibition of the project was organized by the San Jose Museum of Art in 2005.

    Sean Meredith: Director, Writer, Producer, Editor
    Born and raised in New Jersey, Sean Meredith studied film at Emerson College in Boston. His senior film won the school’s Evvy Award for Best 16mm Film. After toiling away the years as a vintage dishware expert, he has finished directing his first feature film, “Dante’s Inferno.” He directed and produced the 2003 film “In Smog and Thunder: The Great War of the Californias.” After premiering at Slamdance in 2003, the California Civil War mockumentary went on to play at twenty film festivals. It was released on DVD in 2004 and had it’s broadcast premiere in 2005.

    Image courtesy Sandow Birk

    Labels: ,