Photograph by Lovis Dengler Ostenrik, 2012.
In affiliation with the Creative Time Summit, The Gopher Plan is a twenty-five minute-long puppet show musical for all-ages about ending veteran homelessness. A formerly homeless veteran will perform the show from a VW van—his residence—while he prepares to travel to Washington D.C. to present a solution to veteran homelessness to the President. Like an old style traveling marionette show, this musical production will unfold in Times Square for all audiences and conclude with a Q&A with the performers. Presented in affiliation with the Creative Time Summit, this production brings a challenging subject to international audiences packaged as engaging artwork. The Gopher Plan will be presented on October 12-13th from 12pm-1:30pm, 3pm-4pm and 6pm-8pm each day, on Broadway Plaza between 46th and 47th Streets.
Just in time for Veterans Day, The Gopher Plan asserts that we must uphold the promises made to our veterans. The project's coast-to-coast hosts and partners include: Combat Paper, Warrior Writers, The Telling Project, The Soldiers Project, Veterans for Peace, Dryhootch, Vietnam Veterans of American and Disabled American Veterans. All performances conclude with a dialogue about veteran homelessness with local members of our partner groups, moderated by a licensed mental health professional from The Soldiers Project.
About Lauren Bon and the Metabolic Studio
Lauren Bon and Metabolic Studio practice at the intersection of art and philanthropy. The metabolic cycle that initiated the Metabolic Studio in 2007 began with Not A Cornfield (2005-2006), Ms.Bon’s artwork that grew a 32-acre cornfield in the historic core of downtown Los Angeles on a disused train yard.
Working with social brownfields – locations that for environmental, political or other reasons are unable to support life – Lauren Bon and the Metabolic Studio make metabolic sculptures that use creative endeavor to galvanize transition within complex bureaucracies.
Strawberry Flag (July 2009-October 2010) for example, was a revisionist vision of the American flag as an experimental aquaponic strawberry farm. The artwork was in the form of a veterans’ program. Strawberry Flag created significant veteran training and employment opportunities, brought out the potential for meaning and value inherent in underutilized and often undervalued resources, and simultaneously seeded the ground for future veteran-led projects to emerge.
The work of Ms. Bon and the Metabolic Studio work remaps our biosphere. Not A Cornfield and Strawberry Flag mark historically significant properties that are key in the development of the City of Los Angeles. The Studio’s work in the Owens Valley, which is now in its fifth year, focuses on the resources that were mined out of the Owens Valley: silver and water. The work is an act of consciousness aimed at November 8, 2013, the anniversary that will mark one hundred years since the water was removed from the valley. Lauren holds a Masters of Architecture degree from MIT and a BA from Princeton.
About The Creative Time Summit
In a moment when social movements are erupting around the world, artists are raising their voices to speak truth to power. Creative Time believes that artists are change agents— that they have the ability to affect society, for the better.
Every year at the Creative Time Summit, the most innovative artists, activists, critics, writers, and curators come together in New York to engage with one another, and a global audience, about how they are attempting to change our world in unprecedented ways. Participants range from art world luminaries and rural community organizers to international activists—from Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn and hip-hop DJs-turned-prison reform advocates in Appalachia to the notorious custodians of women’s reproductive rights, Women on Waves.
Called “visionary” by the New York Times, the Creative Time Summit is the only conference of its kind, devoted to exploring the intersection of art-making and social justice. It is a forum for the expanding global network of people who believe in the power of artists to make real social change. Since its inception in 2009, the Summit has engaged 4,000 live audience members and a remote Livestream audience of over 30,000.