Not a Cornfield transformed an abandoned rail yard in Downtown Los Angeles into a 32-acre cornfield for one agricultural cycle. The work, Bon’s first metabolic sculpture, began almost a decade of remediation of this iconic yet neglected site, the last remaining undeveloped land of the native Tongva and Gabrieleno people and the site of the Zanja Madre, or mother ditch, that linked the LA River to the first Spanish settlement in Los Angeles.
Involving 90 miles of irrigation stripping, 1,500 truckloads of clean soil, 30,000 lbs of corn seed and 42 bails of corn fodder, the work signaled the beginning of a decade of experimentation on reconnecting land with water, engaging and collaborating with agencies and communities in the city, questioning and probing the edges of the permissible. Other work grew from it, a series of actions that have unfolded across the hundreds of miles that make up the watershed of Los Angeles.
When the year ended, a monument was formed from 31 corn fodder bales. Entitled Anabolic Monument, it held the space for community and ritual activity, providing a focus for further civic engagement for the seven years that the bales remained on the land destined to become Los Angeles State Historic Park.