The Not A Cornfield Project Blog + Podcast

This is the official blog of the Not A Cornfield project, a living sculpture in the form of a field of corn. The project is located just North of downtown Los Angeles on a large stretch of land well known as “The Cornfield.”

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

Not A Cornfield Exhibition
George Eastman House, Rochester, NY
May 9-July 12, 2009

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






  • Plant Rochester blog

  • Newspaper article from Rochester

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

    Not A Cornfield (2005-2006)

    The project has concluded.

    Great thanks to everyone who participated!

    For information about Not A Cornfield, including questions, comments, concerns, media inquiries, book information, requests for presentations, exhibition information, or just to say hey, please don't hesitate to contact the project team:


    Lauren Bon and various members of the multi-disclipinary team she assembled during NAC continued to work together from 2006-2008 on Farmlab.

    Not A Cornfield and Farmlab were separate artworks.

    What is Farmlab?

    For a more complete answer, the team behind the Not A Cornfield project invites you to check back again with us in late winter / early spring 2007.

    In the meantime, please feel free to visit our bare-bones, temporary blog.

    Cornhenge, in bloom

    Cornhenge, the Not A Cornfield metabolic sculpture, was in full-bloom not long ago. For anyone who missed it in-person, at left is a shot of the flora -- and fauna -- that continues to populate the piece.

    Gerardo Vaquero Rosas -- agriculturalist, magician, maestro -- has worked wonders tending to the marigolds and other flowers and plants; even after recent rain, cold, and necessary trimmings, Cornhenge remains awash in orange-ish and yellowish hues.

    The metabolic sculpture is, as ever, located on the grounds of the Los Angeles State Historic Park, and is open to the general public during regular state park hours.

    Under Spring Is Site of Assemblymember's Swearing-In

    Large flags stood sentinel, balloons were festooned, belly dancers undulated, the buffet line and birthday cake beckoned, energetic speeches were offered, and various salutations and congratulations were exchanged last night at Under Spring.

    The reason for all the hub-bub? The nascent community space was utilized by the Honorable Kevin de Leon and his campaign staff and supporters as the venue of choice for de Leon's Los Angeles swearing-in as the newly elected California State Assemblymember of the 45h District.

    Quoting from the press release sent out from the assemblymember's office:

    "LOS ANGELES, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Los Angeles community organizations and area leaders are sponsoring an inauguration ceremony for newly elected Assemblymember Kevin de Leon representing the Forty-Fifth Assembly District.
    California Supreme Court Justice Moreno will administer the oath of office to Assemblymember Kevin de Leon. Following the inauguration ceremony, there will be entertainment featuring Mariachi Monumental de America, Elisa Chacon, Danza Teocatl, Lion Dancers and Armenian Dancers.

    "The event will take place at Under Spring, an outdoor community space created as a part of Not a Cornfield, an art project created by artist Lauren Bon and sponsored by the Annenberg Foundation. Not a Cornfield serves as a catalyst for a world-class park and advances the restoration of the Los Angeles River. The site is directly across from the Los Angeles Historic State Park."

    Not mentioned above: The fine master-of-ceremonies turn put in by Herbert Siguenza, of Culture Clash.

    NAC Team Members Attend Brownfields 2006 Conference

    BOSTON, MASS. -- Three members of the Not A Cornfield team have just concluded attending the Brownfields 2006 conference. The annual gathering was co-sponsored by the federal EPA and the International City / County Management Association (ICMA). The Not A Cornfield team was invited to attend by a representative of the latter organization; she'd visited the NAC project grounds last year, during the Blue Phase. The NAC team was given a booth in the trade show portion of the event; and team members introduced and exhibited a pair of NAC short films created by our colleagues from the Echo Park Film Center. Afterwards, audience members with questions came to the front of the screening (or, really, conference) room and fired away. One woman wanted to know where she could purchase the videos. Another man wanted to talk about a different film, entirely. And a third gentleman, a Manhattanite, approached the team and asked, you name it, what can I do to help?

    The NAC team attended Brownfields 2006 for the following three, among perhaps other, reasons:

    1. To connect with municaplities, institutions, and others doing like-minded ecological, philanthropical, sociocultural and political work;

    2. To Seek out other brownfields in the United States -- particularly in park-poor and underserved inner city areas -- in which to take on other large-scale, site-specific, imaginative brownfield-to-greenfield remediations and transformations; and

    3. To gather addresses and maps of brownfields nationwide.

    How'd all that go? What else did we see, and whom did we meet in Boston? And most importantly, what is the TerraSirch 300?

    Check back with this blog in the coming week.** Right now, we're off to take a nap. Conventioneering can take a lot out of a blog.

    **Update: We're awake now, but we're still absorbing some of what we saw, and learned. For more about what when on at the conference, the official web site should be useful.

    La Ofrenda 2006 Announced -- Art + Music + Ceremony -- Nov. 2-5 @ Under Spring

    THURSDAY, NOV 2 @ 5:45am
    The general public is invited to join in honoring the Tongva ancestors at Cornhenge, the Metabolic sculpture, in the area previously know as Not A Cornfield. The indigenous community of Los Angeles honors its ancestors through this sunrise ceremony 5:45 a.m. Please join us. Bring your songs, your drums, your dances and your heart. We will go in procession from Cornhenge to the Under Spring area, where a public Ofrenda will be accessible for the community to place their flowers, candles, photos, or any other remembrance in the name of their loved ones.

    This sunrise ceremony will commence the on-going activities at Under Spring for the next four days.

    FRIDAY, NOV 3 @ 7:30pm-12:00am

    Four distinct areas will offer a plethora of interactive events from, performance & visual artists, drumming circles, video/digital presentations, dances, live music, tamales, non-alcoholic beverages and more. Revolving around all this activity will be a Traditional Ofrenda for all who wish to remember their loved ones. You may place a picture, a momento, a candle or a flower to this collective community offering for the ancestors, to celebrate life.

    On the beautiful Living Ofrenda and in honor of all who have had a death experience and lived to tell of it, you can join in dance, drumming, singing or merely admire all the awe inspiring work from a collective group of artists. Or if you wish to sit and contemplate life through the lense of video and digital works accompanied by the Sovereign Nation Drum. Or still yet sit and join the Grandmother Talking Circles and learn about the Tongva ancestors, and many other traditions of this land our Mother Earth.The living Ofrenda is an evolving collage open to everyone. So please bring photo copies of living people or whatever you want to add to the wall....

    SATURDAY, NOV 4 @ 12-8pm

    The Ofrenda will be available for viewing from the hours of 12 noon – 8:00 pm
    Fire circles and ambient music will make your viewing experience unforgettable.

    SUNDAY, NOV. 5 @ 3:30pm-SUNSET

    Please do join us from 3:30 pm – sunset. The water drums, the dolphin dance and the serpentine dance will take you into realms that heretofore you have not experienced. This is an interactive ceremony. If you are present you will participate. Please bring your parents so you can know that they are celebrating life together with you.

    Los Angeles State Historic Park Opens

    The Los Angeles State Historic Park formally opened to the public on Saturday, September 23rd. Remarks by Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and State Parks Department officials, as well as live music and a faux train ride for children were among the festivities during the all-day opening.

    The Los Angeles State Park is the 18-acre IPU, or interim use park, that will be in place until the permanent state park is built sometime in the future. Currently, three design teams are vying to be selected as park designer.

    The Not A Cornfield project took place on the grounds of the Los Angeles State Park. Not A Cornfield occupied the entire acreage of the 32-acre site. Cornhendge, the Not A Cornfield metabolic monument, remains on the north end of the grounds, sprouting and verdant.

    National Seed Distribution Trip Report

    As spring turned to summer, not long ago, members of the Not A Cornfield project team left the NAC warehouse, heading east, on a national seed distribution trip. Team member Sarah McCabe files this travelogue:

    "On Monday, June 19th several members of the Not A Cornfield team set off on a journey to Rosebud, a Lakota Indian reservation in South Dakota. Our mission was to help complete a ceremony house being built for the Lakota community and their medicine man Roy Stone. The trip there and back we used as an opportunity to plant our corn seeds in places where healing was needed.

    "The first leg of the trip took us through the Mojave Desert where we visited the world’s first large scale thermoelectric power plant called Solar One. Finding it in disarray we decided to make it the site of our first symbolic corn planting.

    "We then traveled through Nevada and Utah. In Green River, UT we found a uranium tailings dump site, open and exposed, right next to the town’s water tower. Again, we planted seeds of healing on the nearby riverbank.

    "In Colorado we we’re warmly welcomed at the Naropa University in Boulder. After meeting with Anne Waldman and giving a talk to a group of poetry students we planted a corn garden on the campus grounds. Here we learned of yet another heavily uranium contaminated site near Boulder called Rocky Flats. We paid a visit, filmed and planted corn.

    "On the fifth day we arrived in Rosebud, South Dakota. The second poorest county in the United States, this reservation is home to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. This reservation and the adjacent Pine Ridge hold a rich history and promise for the future. This is the home of the descendants of famous Indian heroes such as Sitting Bull, Red Cloud and Crazy Horse. These leaders gave their lives to defend their families and Native American way of life. A lifestyle that seemed to have no value a century ago in the Industrial Revolution but now appears to have great value in a world facing grave environmental challenges.
    Only hours after we arrived we were ushered into a sweat lodge being held to help heal the medicine man, Roy Stone himself. This was and incredible experience for all of us and we got to enjoy many sweat lodges during our stay.

    "Over the next five days we worked beside the Volunteer Network International team in a race against time to finish the Ceremony House before our scheduled departure on June 30th. Learning about dry walling, electrical work, plastering and fake logs as we went, we put the finishing touches on a house that had been largely built the previous year. True to our roots, the NAC team also put their efforts towards building a fence with the colors of the medicine wheel around a spiral cornfield that had been planted with NAC corn months before.

    "On the final day there was a large celebration to honor those who had worked on the house. Music was made, gifts were shared… the wife of Roy Stone danced and sang like she hadn’t done in years. It was a sweet departure knowing that we had made friends among the Lakota and this would not be our last journey to these people and this land. -- Sarah McCabe, for the Not A Cornfield blog