By Owen Driggs

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Location: Hiking Trails

(Back to Art on the Grounds)

With engineering by Johnny Chen and Art Okada

Did you know that grizzly bears used to live in Montlavo’s woods? Have you ever wondered which trees are indigenous to the forest and which are transplants from other places?

With Mapping Biointimacy Lucas Artists Fellows, Owen Driggs (Los Angeles, California) invite visitors to explore the historical, medicinal, culinary and cultural significance of plant, tree and animal species at Montalvo. Through workshops, conversations, a mobile app and a guided walk the artists provide experiences that underline the interdependence of the natural world, and shed light on the intimate relationship between the health of our environment and individual wellbeing.

To participate in the guided walk:

The guided walk is 1.5 miles long and will take you approximately 1 hour. It is suitable for all ages. Some of the terrain is a little steep so be sure to wear walking shoes. Follow the metal plaques along the way, which identify specific points of interest. There are 26 in total.

If you have an Android smartphone:

  1. Download the Mapping Biointimacy app at Or search “biointimacy” on the Google Play store.
  2. Follow the metal plaques that lead you along the route of the guided walk.
  3. At each of the plaques open the app to get even more content and better experience each point of interest.

If you have an iPhone:

1. We do not currently have a iPhone version of the app.  You can access the content of the app by using your phone to scan the QR codes on each plaque marking points of interest along your guided walk.

To view/download the map as a JPG image, click here.

“Owen Driggs” is the collective identity of Matthew Driggs and Janet Owen. Individually experienced artists, educators, and curators, Janet and Matthew began their professional collaboration in 2007, after the spectacular success of their first major work, their son Theo. Together, as Owen Driggs, their practice focuses on the production of space and the impact of spatiality on action and discourse. Initial works included a series of large-scale, hand drawn maps that elucidate aspects of Los Angeles history and Big Blue’s Dirt Park, a mobile opportunity to dig in the earth while learning more about local land use. Since 2009 Owen Driggs have operated a multi-faceted initiative titled Performing Public Space, which explores and supports the diverse ways in which citizen artists activate public spaces.

For well over four hundred years Western thought has striven to separate human beings from the natural world. Set apart by the Scientific Revolution, we came to experience the rest of nature as an ultimate “other,” to be tamed and used. Rather as a tongue may worry away at a loose tooth, little by little, until it falls out, so we seek to undermine that separation by fostering the condition of “biointimacy.”Artist Lauren Bon coined the portmanteau “biointimacy” in 2012. Combining “biological” and “intimacy” the word suggests both the physical interdependence of all life on Earth and a condition of relational awareness. Our project Mapping Biointimacy supports experiences of the natural world as a network of intimate relationships. Informed by proximity, feeling, and knowledge, encounter by encounter, intimacy can grow.  -Owen Driggs

Mapping Biointimacy is presented as part of COME HEALING, Montalvo Art Center’s 2013 Art on the Grounds exhibition. It is organized in association with Flourish: Artists Explore Wellbeing, a multi-disciplinary program about health and happiness initiated by the Lucas Artists Program at Montalvo Arts Center.