F.L.A.G. Planted At Homegirl Cafe

Anna, Homegirl Cafe grower and Master Gardener trainee, picks up seedlings at the Metabolic Studio for the F.L.A.G. ag bins newly located behind Homegirl Cafe at the Homeboy Industries building.

Cell phone photo for Farmlab by Meredith Hackleman, 2009

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New Play Features Rainwater Collected At Metabolic Studio

Touch The Water, indeed.

Touch The Water: A River Play, the new work from L.A.'s legendary Cornerstone Theater Company has various connections to the Metabolic Studio -- not the least of which is the production's inclusion of rain water collected at the Studio.

TTW opens Saturday, June 6. It was written By Julie Hébert and directed by Juliette Carrillo. Visit the company's website for more info.

Farmlab Photo, 2009

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Behind the Scenes at the Not A Cornfield Exhibition

Prior to the opening of the continuing Not A Cornfield exhibition at the George Eastman House, in Rochester, New York, Lauren Bon (center) and Janet Owen Driggs (typing, left) work on the project's installation.

Metabolic Studio photo by Steve Rowell, 2009

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Farmlab Public Salon
Riccarlo Porter
Friday, June 5, 2009 @ Noon
Free Admission

How-To For Economic Dilemnas

About the Salon

Focus: Insightful solutions and ideas for troubling economic times get a step-by-step once-over by Riccarlo Porter, ACS (Toastmaster). He give green initiatives for new development and alternative speak for collective development.

The Main conclusion: To give participants new hope in dealing with a troubled system.

Q&A to follow.

About the Salon Participant

Riccarlo Porter
developed a perspective on Public Relations through theater, media experience and social activism. Recently, working on four plays; two of which, he is the director. At Aware 1 Magazine, he wrote contracts, advised on production, placed magazines, and set up locations for photo shoots. He also writes scripts and articles for newspapers and magazines. He has developed a knack for networking from working as a Co-host on Go Gospel Radio and ad consultant for Fix My PC Please, I Will Recycling Service, and other companies.

Image courtesy Riccarlo Porter

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More From The Eagle Rock Exhbition

Lauren Bon and the Metabolic Studio have a work, titled PSQ.2, in this exhibition.

The text in the image above reads:

"Lauren Bon and The Metabolic Studio
PSQ.2 / Eagle Rock Arts Center 2009
material: corn fodder, hydro seed, water
Dimensions: 8 feet, 4 feet, 4 feet
edition of 100

This object is in a process of decay. The remainder of one process -- the growing of corn -- is the material for this structural form. That form once bundled and shaped is impregnated with seeds, brought to the site and connected to reclaimed water. This sculptural object's very form will change as a process of growing another life on it. Catabolism is the term that refers to the breakdown of metabolic form. It is the process by which ground is made which allows new things to emerge. The connection to pregnancy and mothering is there; as is the idea of generations. Once the flowers are mature, they will blow to neighboring ground where more flowers will emerge."

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Farmlab Public Salon
Victoria Yust and Ian McIlvaine
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ Noon
Free Admission

Old Ideas that should be new again...and other dreams for L.A.

About the Salon

Monorail? Solar hot water on every roof? Courtyard housing? Shared green spaces? Natural hot spring community bathhouse?

Architects Ian McIlvaine and Victoria Yust, of Tierra Sol y Mar, will present a few projects, still in their very early stages, that incorporate these old, yet still forward-thinking, ideas. Small steps that could make Los Angeles not only a more sustainable place to live, but a more pleasant one. We lost the red car system; would a monorail be the 21st century solution? We used to have unlimited space and room for everyone to have a freestanding house and a garden; would a "small lot subdivision" with a shared central park be the solution for a denser city? Los Angeles has long been called a collection of neighborhoods in search of a city, but these neighborhoods need to maintain their sense of community; is a mixed-use building at the old Bimini Baths, on an LAUSD-owned site, a way to do that?

About the Salon Participants

Ian McIlvaine, AIA, LEED AP, and Victoria Yust, AIA, formed Tierra Sol y Mar in 1994 to provide environmentally conscious design through a close collaboration with builders, artists, and most importantly, their clients. Their first project was the design and construction of a straw bale pavilion for the 1994 Yuba-Sutter County Fair, using rice straw, a local waste material. Projects completed since then range from single family residences, including a house in Venice which was the first permitted SCIP (Structural Concrete Insulated Panel) building in Los Angeles, to commercial projects including a three story commercial building in downtown Santa Monica where they collaborated with three different artists. In their own 4-unit building in Venice, they had the opportunity to test their mettle as "green developers". 90% of their current clients have come to them asking for sustainable design – a noticeable change since 1994.

Image: The Schwebebahn (monorail), in Wuppertal, Germany, built in 1900 and still in operation.(LIFE Images)

from: http://www.californiasolarcenter.org/history_solarthermal.html via Victoria Yust

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Farmlab Public Salon
Kim Stringfellow and Chris Carraher
Friday, May 22, 2009 @ Noon
Free Admission


About the Salon

Join Kim Stringfellow along with Wonder Valley artist, Chris Carraher, for a presentation of and discussion about the JACKRABBIT HOMESTEAD audio tour project.

Stringfellow and Carraher will discuss the history and contemporary landscapes of jackrabbit homesteading, specifically how the cabins resulting from the Small Tract Act have helped to foster the thriving creative community located throughout the Morongo Basin region where Joshua Tree National Park is located. Several tracks from the freely downloadable car audio tour available at www.jackrabbithomestead.com will be presented.

JACKRABBIT HOMESTEAD is a forthcoming book and web-based multimedia presentation featuring a downloadable car audio tour exploring the cultural legacy of the Small Tract Act in Southern California's Morongo Basin region near Joshua Tree National Park. Stories from this underrepresented regional history are told through the voices of local residents, historians, and area artists—many of whom reside in reclaimed historic cabins and use the structures as inspiration for their creative work. Funding for this project was made possible, in part, by a grant from the California Council for the Humanities as part of the Council's statewide California Stories Initiative.

About the Salon Participants

Kim Stringfellow
is an artist/educator residing in Los Angeles. Her work and research interests address ecological, historical, and activist issues related to land use and the built environment through hybrid documentary forms incorporating writing, digital media, photography, audio, video, installation, and locative media. She teaches in the Multimedia area as an Associate Professor in School of Art, Design, and Art History at San Diego State University.

Her projects been commissioned and funded by leading organizations including the San Francisco-based Creative Work Fund, the Seattle Arts Commission, and the California Council for the Humanities. Her photographs and projects have been exhibited at the International Center for Photography (ICP), John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), the Rachel Carson Institute, 18th Arts Center in Santa Monica, and San Francisco Camerawork. International exhibits include Paisajes Toxicos at the José Martí National Library in Havana, Cuba and the Tallinn City Art Gallery in Estonia.

Her first book, Greetings from the Salton Sea: Folly and Intervention in the Southern California Landscape, 1905–2005 was published by the Center for American Places (CAP) in 2005 and was partially funded by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. She is currently working on her second book with CAP, Jackrabbit Homestead: Tracing the Small Tract Act in the Southern California Landscape, 1938—2008, available in fall 2009.

Chris Carraher is a Wonder Valley, CA artist who uses a historic jackrabbit homesteading cabin as her studio. Her recent body of work, "The Plan: Claims of Territory in the High Desert," uses the cabins and the landscape they inhabit as subject.

She is actively involved in organizing cultural events incorporating the homesteading cabins as the event’s core theme. Carraher with two other Wonder Valley artists, Scott Monteith and Andy Woods, co-directed the Wonder Valley Homestead Cabin Festival in 2008 to showcase the work of area artists and performers whose work is inspired by the abandoned shacks. For more info: http://www.jackadandy.net/dandyhome4.htm.

Image courtesy Kim Stringfellow

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Farmlab To Be Polling Place For Upcoming Election

On Tuesday, May 19, 2009, Farmlab will continue its recent role as a neighborhood polling station.

That's the date of the California Statewide Special Election, which features various propositions. More information on the election is here.

This will mark the third consecutive election for which Farmlab has served as a center for voting. Previous occasions were November, 2008 and March, 2009.

For information about how to find Farmlab, including map, street address, please visit here. (Note: Hours listed on that page are not applicable on voting day -- State-mandated voting hours will apply.)

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Goats Coming Back Wednesday;
An Anabolic Monument Update

Goats are coming back to the Anabolic Monument -- on Wednesday, May 13, 2009.

Recently** this blog asked Farmlab team member Olivia Chumacero for an update about all things Anabolic Monument. Here was her reply:

"Goats! Wonderful spotted goats, returning to the Anabolic Monument . Plus, please check out the chicken mobile, it will be traveling throughout the park.

"Why? Because these animals produce a valuable garden necessity: Manure. They do this everyday and we will use this to fertilize the land in an organic manner. Which means that when you walk, run, stroll, bike, or sit on the ground, in the Anabolic Monument, you will not be bombarded with any harmful chemicals.

"Please do give us a call at our office building 323.226.1158 x 5108 if you are interested in volunteering."

Olivia Chumacero and friends, March 2009, inside the Anabolic Monument. Photo by Abel Salas

**=Note: This post has been updated twice the past two weeks as goat dates have changed.

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Farmlab Public Salon
Jim Heimann
Friday, May 15, 2009 @ Noon
Free Admission

Tijuana - A Secret History, 1915-1960

About the Salon

Mexico’s most notorious border town has a complex tale tied to Hollywood, mobsters, moguls, sportsmen, and millions of tourists who have flocked to this moral free zone a mere 90 miles south of Los Angeles to play, pay, and pray. Jim Heimann will guide you through the surprising city where Rita Hayworth was discovered, Seabiscuit trod, and the Caesar salad was born.

About the Salon Presenter

Jim Heimann is the executive editor of Taschen America and came to that position after 30 years of freelancing in the design and illustration world. He has written copious numbers of books many focusing on regional architecture. Being a second generation Angeleno, his favorite subject is Los Angeles. He also is an instructor at Art Center College of Design. Last year, Heimann presented at Farmlab, the Salon, Main Street Erased.

Images courtesy Jim Heimann



Photos From The Not A CornfieldExhibition in Rochester, NY

The Not A Cornfield exhibition at the Eastman House Museum in Rochester, NY opened Saturday, May 9. Here's a link to a Flickr photo set of the show.

Photo by Flickr user Museumphotographer

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Neighbors & Seedlings

Recent Farmlab and Under Spring visitors Edgar, Linda, and Willy pose with the tomato, pepper, jalapeno, basil and ruda seedlings offered to them by F.L.A.G. team member Meredith Hackleman.

Farmlab photo by Meredith Hackleman, 2009

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Farmlab Public Salon
Jeremy Pal
Friday, May 8, 2009 @ Noon
Free Admission

Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources, Agriculture, and Extreme Events

About the Salon

Temperature and precipitation are virtually certain to substantially change over the next century in response to anthropogenically enhanced greenhouse forcing. Such changes will impact a wide variety of natural and human systems resulting in dramatic ecological, economic, and sociological consequences. This presentation focuses on the impacts of climate change on water resources, agriculture, and extreme events based on high-resolution climate model projections over North America.

About the Salon Participant

Jeremy Pal, assistant professor of civil engineering and environmental science at Loyola Marymount University, is among the contributing authors on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes (IPCC), an international collaboration of scientists that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. Prior to joining the LMU faculty, Pal worked for the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, an agency that operates under two United Nations Agencies in Trieste, Italy with the mission to foster the growth of research in developing nations. Pal has authored numerous internationally recognized articles on the impacts of climate change.

Photo illustration for Farmlab by Kate Balug. Graph courtesy Jeremy Pal, copyright IPCC 2007. Photos for Farmlab by Kate Balug.

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Not A Cornfield Exhibition
To Open May 9, 2009 in Rochester, NY

On Saturday May 9th the Not A Cornfield exhibition is scheduled to open at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, in Rochester, NY. The exhibition is scheduled to continue through Sunday, July 12, 2009.

This is the first exhibition about Lauren Bon’s metabolic sculpture Not A Cornfield, which transformed an abandoned Los Angeles train yard from a brownfield into a green field in one agricultural cycle.

The exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to explore some of the sights, sounds, ideas, and legacies of Not A Cornfield, including Farmlab and the Metabolic Studio, and the local initiative PLANT Rochester.


Inspired by Not A Cornfield, PLANT Rochester is a citywide cultural initiative of the George Eastman House in partnership with Rochester Contemporary Art Center, which functions as a hub for citizens to share actions and ideas related to nurturing life in the urban environment.

About the Exhibition

More information coming soon...

Exhibition Dates

Saturday, May 9, 2009 - Sunday, July 12, 2009

Exhibition Location

George Eastman House
900 East Avenue
NY 14607
585 271 3361

Related URLs


Images -- Top: Lauren Bon, Not A Cornfield concept sketch, November, 2004.
Bottom: Photo by Steve Rowell, 2005.
Copyright and courtesy Not A Cornfield.

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Baker Street F.L.A.G. Moving Under Spring;
Winter Crops To Be Harvested; Summer Seeds Planted

During the month of May, F.L.A.G. (the Farmlab Agbin Garden) on Baker Street will be moving Under Spring. That same month will bring a harvest of the winter crops that have gone to seed, and a replanting with seedlings for the summer season.

Please check back for volunteer opportunities to help with the seed harvest and give-a-way. Pictured above are some lettuce, spinach and arugula going to seed.

Farmlab photo by Meredith Hackleman, 2009

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Digi of the Week

May 3 - 9, 2009

In January, 2009, LA Weekly's LA People 2009 Autumn Rooney and Lisa Gerstein of the Echo Park Time Bank organized a lecture by Edgar Cahn, creator of time dollars, at the Metabolic Studio.

Farmlab photo by Kate Balug

April 22 - 28, 2009

Earth Day special -- From the Anabolic Monument, at an earlier stage in its metabolism.

Farmlab Photo

April 15 - 21, 2009

The April 17 salon was a performance by Frank van de Ven and Victoria Looseleaf

Farmlab photo by Kate Balug

April 8 - 14, 2009

From 2008, but couldn't resist revisiting: Cluster (!) performing Under Spring.

Farmlab Photo

March 2 - 8, 2009

Goats bring permaculture students out to the Anabolic Monument at sunset

Farmlab photo by Kate Balug

February 23 - March 1, 2009

One of Farmlab's water harvesting storage tanks, with new vinyl sticker featuring roadrunner logo. Each tank -- Farmlab has four -- holds 5,000 gallons.

Farmlab photo by Kate Balug

February 9 - 15, 2009

Patriots doing the hokey pokey at the Metabolic Studio's third Optimists' Breakfast, themed "What Patriotism Means to Me"

Farmlab photo by Kate Balug

January 26 - February 1, 2009

Helen Mayer and Newton Harrison presented Farmlab's 100th Public Salon to a full house on Friday.

Farmlab photo by Kate Balug

December 8 - 14, 2008

The Metabolic Studio hosted The Moth Main Stage on December 11th.
The theme was "It Takes Two to Tango."

Farmlab photos by Kate Balug

November 24 - 30, 2008

The Metabolic Studio hosted its first glass orchestra rehearsal in the Owens Valley on November 24.

Farmlab photo by Kate Balug

November 10 - 16, 2008

Some salons are messier than others.

Farmlab photo by Kate Balug

November 3 - 9, 2008

Oguri + Body Weather Laboratory enchanted audiences at the Metabolic Studio on November 7 and 8.

Farmlab photo by Kate Balug

October 27 - November 2, 2008

La Ofrenda ceremony offering at the Anabolic Monument at the Los Angeles State Historic Park. The ceremony took place from midnight on Saturday, Nov. 1, until sunrise the next day. La Ofrenda remains on view until November 7 during park hours.

Farmlab photo by Sarah McCabe

Click here for prior Digis of the Week.

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