2016 Review


Over the course of time, this phrase has galvanized and supported me.  Its illuminating presence as a neon sign at Metabolic Studio helps me to be steadfast in my commitment to generating actions—from the modest and un-dramatic seeding of shared hopes and aims, to the rendering of wild imaginings into social objects of wonder. 

2016 has proved to be a harsh environmental and political context for the very idea of the role of artists in creating encounters with a better and more hopeful future for us all. And while self-doubt is a natural and necessary part of the creative process, I fear, like many, the penetrating destruction that comes in the wake of unmitigated oppression, hatred, and lies.  I think back to the conception of Metabolic Studio, in the traumatic aftermath of 9/11, and the beginning of my endeavors transparently aimed as counterarguments and alternatives to the anticipated death rattle of Neoliberalism. My work is fundamentally a constellation of acts of restitution—of soil and water, of rightful responsibilities to our environment, and the re-unification of the human spirit with its material survival.

As I write, I think about the people whose words and actions create the space into which we can step with purpose. I think about Helen and Newton Harrison’s powerful vision of our environmental future; of Gloria Steinem’s capacity to shift imaginings into possibilities and plans; of Grace Lee Boggs’ embodiment of survival being only possible through taking care of one another; of Charles Eisenstein’s confirmation that the harm done to our planet and our fellow human beings is also done to us; of Arundhati Roy’s cutting through the moral failures of our world to ask, ‘what shall we love?’; and of Jonas Mekas’ belief in poets over politicians for the sustainment of civilization.

Within my studio practice—dedicated to metabolic action and survival through movement together—working at a scale that can match the destruction inflicted upon us, and our environmental resources, is an ever-evolving process. It ranges from simple and immediate gestures of inviting other human beings to spend time in my studio, to the timescale required for the reparation of land and water, and the journey from conceptualizing to realizing the signature actions of this active studio. More than ever, I see Metabolic Studio as a safe port for those of us still rowing together in this social storm, attempting to swerve the downgrading of our desire to work together to rectify and sustain what we share, and move beyond crisis into a better world. If I have one resolution to take forward into next year, it is to continue to orchestrate a scalable relationality between us, and with the environment that we depend on, and to know that it is better to proceed without full solutions than it is to be defeated. 

  • Metabolic Studio is pleased to announce we are producing a film from Suzanne Lacy's project De tu Puño y Letra. For more information click here.

  • The next Reimagine Everything Print workshop will be Thursday September 21 from 5-9 pm for anyone who would like to come silkscreen a shirt or paint a poster or protest image. Please RSVP to info@metabolicstudio.org. Our kitchen will be open for potluck sharing. Suggested donations appreciated in the form of used clothing for people to print on—and or some healthy food to share with whomever shows up to print that night.

  • Upcoming Exhibition at Mana Contemporary (A collaborative community bringing together art, dance and music under one roof), Jersey City, New Jersey. Artists Need To Create on the Same Scale that Society has the capacity to destory, on view October 2017–January 2018. For additional information, click here

  • The Optics Division will have two works included in a group show at Fresno Art Museum. The show is called California Nature, curated by Jay Belloli. The prints will be on view starting January 27 through June 10, 2018.

  • Two Optics Division prints [Hoosick: The Beyone Place 1 and Hoosick: The Beyond Place 2] have been commissioned by MASS MoCA and will be unveiled at their newly renovated building opening May 28, 2017. These images will be on view until 2019. For more information, click here

  • Register Now for the 2017 Art + Environment Conference Thursday, October 19 through Saturday, October 21, 2017. Join Lauren and other artists at the symposium as they discuss the Greater West. 

  • Lauren Bon and the Metabolic Studio will be participating in a panel titled Saving the Greater West as a part of the Knowledge/Culture/Ecologies International conference in Santiago, Chile November 15-18, 2017. For more information click here.

  • Friday Happy Hours at the Gertrude Stein Salon—now open for visitors on Main Street in Lone Pine on Fridays with tea from 6:00-8:00 pm. The Salon is open for groups, meetings, visits by appointment by calling 800-571-0745.

  • Upcoming Summer of 2018A Portable Wetland exhibition at Various Small Fires. Stay tuned for more details.


  • For a limited time, watch the One Hundred Mules Walking the Los Angeles Aqueduct (Artist Cut, 2015) at this link.
    Review our News Archive to see where this film has screened in the last year as well as the awards it has received.


  • View the Optics Division Collection Here.