Coming back south on North Main from the UPS facility near the Brewery Arts Complex, I made a turn on Ann Street to get over to North Spring and what to my wondering eyes did appear: a big ass field of six-foot high corn waving in the breeze on what used to be an industrial wasteland north of downtown. Can you say incongruous, or perhaps …(wait for it) incorngruous? Sorry, couldn’t stop myself.
You’re probably less out of it than I am and know that this is the Not A Cornfield Project situated between Chinatown and Lincoln Heights. While I’d heard somewhere along the line that plans were to plant a temporary cornfield here, I had no idea it had gotten past the bickering stage until I sat staring across Spring Street yesterday morning at the fruit of artist Lauren Bon’s labor reclaiming the 32 acres of lost fertile ground and transforming it into such a fresh new urban public space.
From the Website, Bon writes:
“By bringing attention to this site throughout the Not A Cornfield process we will also bring forth many questions about the nature of urban public space, about historical parks in a city so young and yet so diverse. About the questions of whose history would a historical park in the city center actually describe, and about the politics of land use and it’s incumbent inequities. Indeed, “Not A Cornfield” is about these very questions, polemics, arguments and discoveries. It is about redemption and hope. It is about the fallibility of words to create productive change. Artists need to create on the same scale that society has the capacity to destroy.î
Also on the website is an events blog (drum circle Sundays!), a live panning webcam, an audio stream that’s actually a zentrip to tune into, and information about the plans for the site after the corn is harvested. Pretty cool ó dare I say: a-maize-ing? Sure I do.