Thursday, November 17, 2005

Not a Cornfield

Last week Larry and I visited the NOT A CORNFIELD art site in downtown L.A. It's extremely surreal to be in the middle of a rural-like cornfield and see the downtown skyline at the edge of the field. Artist, Lauren Bon, created the piece. Here's an excerpt from the website:
"The 32-acre plot that comprises the project site has enjoyed a vital, varied, and of late, contentious history. Tongva villages existed in this area for more than two millennia when outside explorers arrived in 1769. Located half a mile from the original city center and 150 feet from the Los Angeles River, the site was also home to the Zanja Madre, or “Mother Ditch” – a key section of Los Angeles' initial water system. Later, the Southern Pacific railroad company used the land as a railyard. The sole trains today are the MTA Gold Line cars that zip by a few feet to the west of the site. MTA construction in April, 2005 led further to the re-discovery of the Zanja Madre.
The Not A Cornfield art project name is a play on "The Cornfield," the moniker that the land has long since been known by. The latter name came about – depending on the source – either because corn seeds used to spill off the rail cars and flourish in the area, or because corn used to migrate from the nearby mill just south of the site, or perhaps because of the substance crops that rail-riding hobos grew in the immediately adjacent hillside. Other theories exist as well.
In 2001, the land was designated a state park. A coalition of community, environmental, and political activists – to name a few – worked to make that happen. Today, the acreage is formally known as the Los Angeles State Historic Park.
Soon after the completion of the Not A Cornfield art project harvest, artist Lauren Bon and her team are scheduled to vacate the property."
There have been many public events in the Cornfield.....readings, drum concerts, dances, even a purported Porn in the Corn video shoot! The people in charge did not carve a maze into the corn, but there is a circle in the center of the field where people can gather.
We took some close-up photos of the corn and it looks kinda' rangey...not the type you would want to eat, more of the decorative sort. Hopefully, when the corn is harvested the State will construct a useable park. We do not have enough parks in this town! So, if you want to have a rural experience in the middle of downtown, get over to the Cornfield.
P.S. This counts as a knit/crochet entry because I'm wearing a scarf that I recently crocheted out of LionBrand self-striping sock those stripes!



At 12:09 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know exactly where that is.....I go past it to avoid a jammed freeway.

I wondered why it changed into a cornfield.....and to think I've driven past that area for 13 years now.

Thanks for the L.A. tour.



At 10:23 AM PST, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Hi Knitnpurldiva!
It's always been a cornfield or a field that used to have corn. This is an art project that will hopefully turn into a park soon for the entire community to enjoy!


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