Arts & Culture

Metabolic Studio

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The Metabolic Studio is led by Lauren Bon, artist and a Director of the Foundation.


Lauren Bon

Vice President and Director

  • Metabolic Studio at Owens Valley

Derived from the Greek word for change, “metabolism” is the process that maintains life. In continuous cycles of creation and destruction, metabolism transforms nutrients into energy and matter. Lauren Bon’s studio practice includes a team of individuals that work together across a range of investigative platforms, transforming resources into energy, actions and outcomes.

Ms. Bon is trained as an architect and is a practicing visual artist. Her Metabolic Studio creates “devices of wonder” that are specific to sites; interrogating land and water use and positing new modalities in thinking and behavior. The Inter-Mountain West, stretching from the Rockies to the Sierra Nevada, is a terrain formed by the forces of water and fire over glacial time. It is our shared watershed that is the focus of the geographic scope of the Metabolic Studio’s work.

The Optics Division of the Metabolic Studio returns photography to its simplest technology, building its own tools and sourcing its own chemistry. The imagery stands apart from other contemporary photographs and evokes the expeditionary survey masterpieces of the American West made in the 1860’s and 1870’s at the time of the gold and silver rush, which is a subject of the Metabolic Studio’s inquiry.

The Sonic Division of the Metabolic Studio uses sound as energy to remediate brownfields, turning a silo on the edge of the Owens Dry Lake Bed into a musical instrument that plays itself — and reconnecting this industrial ruin with the city of Los Angeles, 240 miles away, through sound. The Sonic Division plays, like sirens to shipwrecked sailors, weekly and filters that sound through the silos that sit on the lake 240 miles away.