Artbound Special Episode 'AgH2O' | KCET
Artbound Special Episode 'AgH2O'
On November 5, 1913, the Los Angeles Aqueduct began bringing water to the city. 100 years later, KCET is looking at what has happened, what it means, and more across its website. See more stories here.
Artbound's one-hour special looks at Lauren Bon and the Metabolic Studio's "AgH2O" project which connects the elements mined from the Owens Valley, silver and water, to the emergence of the film industry. Silver mined from the Owens Valley was shipped to Rochester, New York, where it was used to make film. That film was then shipped back to Hollywood where films where made -- often shot on locations where the silver itself was from.
In this episode, Artbound focuses on the Optics Division of the Metabolic Studio. The Optics Division is on a quest for the perfect indexical image, an image not just of the valley but made from the valley. The team has been working on all aspects of production including the camera(s), the film stock, the developers and fixatives, all sourced from the dry lake bed.
Bon and The Optics Division's tools include the "Liminal Camera," a portable camera and darkroom housed in a shipping container. The team can produce large black and white images matching the size of the container itself in a few hours.
The special explores other tools that have been developed by the Optics Division including the "Silo Camera" located in a one hundred foot silo on the edge of the Owens Dry Lake Bed and Mine Camera. The rig is being used to see the mine shaft, unused for nearly 100 years, that provided the silver for the pioneering film industry.
More about the "AgH2O" project and the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles Aqueduct:
AgH2O: Silver, Water, and Pinhole Camera in a Silo
Lauren Bon's "Liminal Camera," comprised of a repurposed shipping container mounted on the back of a truck, captures the dessicated Owens Lake in large-scale photographs.
Liminal Elements: A Shipping Container Becomes a Camera Obscura
The "Liminal Camera," housed in a traveling shipping container, is both a one-of-a-kind camera and serves as its own photo processing center and storage facility.
De-silvering the Mirror: Mining for Film in the Owens Valley
It is a little-known fact that some of the silver and chemicals to produce the films that made Hollywood the global center of the movie industry were extracted from the Owens Valley.
One Hundred Mules: Tracing L.A. Aqueduct with Lauren Bon
Lone Pine film historian Christopher Langley discusses working with Lauren Bon and the Metabolic Studio on the project AgH20.
Water, Pipeline, and 100 Mules
Lauren Bon and the Metabolic Studio will perform "One Hundred Mules Walking the Los Angeles Aqueduct," a commemorative artist action to connect Los Angeles to its water supply.
There It Is. Take It: 100 Years of the Los Angeles Aqueduct
William Mulholland gave L.A. water and a motto to live by. David Ulin ruminates on the lifeblood of California.
AgH20 is a 240-mile work that aims at reconnecting Los Angeles with the elements that made it viable historically: silver and water, both mined from the mountains of the Owens Valley.
All around the United States is a 100-mile border zone where one can be searched and one's things seized. Policies way beyond what the constitution allows is regularly implemented. Artists drew on select sites. Here's what they realized.
Created by policymakers in the 1940s, the border zone extends 100 miles inland from the nation’s land and sea boundaries and houses nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population. It's also where the 4th amendment rights of the people have been subverted.
We have forgotten how to be medicine to the land, and to ourselves. The members of Syuxtun Collective are revisiting lost indigenous wisdom of learning and listening, of harvesting and preparing plant medicine in participation with nature.
What is nature? Evan Meyer of UCLA’s Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden; Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, disability justice and culture expert; and Rebeca Méndez, a designer and artist whose work addresses climate change, tackle this complex topic.
Frank Lloyd Wright accelerated the search for L.A.'s authentic architecture. This episode explores the provocative theory that his early homes in L.A. were also a means of artistic catharsis for Wright.
The vast, strange, sometimes contradictory world of the urban desert and its people are explored in 11 public art exhibits and their respective locations scattered throughout Coachella Valley.
For more than 20 years, Doug Aitken has shifted the perception and location of images and narratives. His diverse works demonstrate the nature and structure of our ever-mobile, ever-changing, image-based contemporary condition.
This look at Los Angeles’ Olvera Street is part-history lesson and part-immersion in stereotype of the birthplace of Los Angeles.
In East L.A. during the 1960s and 1970s, a group of young activists used creative tools like writing and photography as a means for community organizing, providing a platform for the Chicano Movement.