K  A  R  E  N  L  O  H  R  M  A  N  N   [born in Hamburg, based in Los Angeles, Berlin, and Naples] combines her background in art and architecture with writing, teaching, editorial and curatorial projects.   She is cofounder of SdMKLm, editor and producer at  the art edition Correspondents, and initiator of the multimedia testing ground BAY of MARS.  Current faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, SCI-Arc, she is also the program coordinator at the NOW Institute.  

Central to her multidimensional practice is the focus on editorial processes as critical and projective tools in the narration of landscape.   She studies territorial and time-based conditions to understand when trends turn into movements, and how immediate environments transition into visual culture.  This has grown from a long involvement with the exterior — EXT.* — as a specific setting, the condition for ambience and vision, the immanent whole of what we have come to differentiate into natural and artificial.  The air and atmosphere out there. The reality check.**

The many notions of landscape*** intrigue her.

Another fascination is the idea of plot.****






















* EXT.
In a script or screenplay, EXT. appears as a scene heading and stands for ‘exterior.’ It means something takes place outside.



** Reality check
The occasion on which one is reminded of the state of things in the real world.



*** Landscape I
Landscape as the cultural phenomenon, the mutation of the specific and framed image of the 16th century, to an immersive rendering of landscape, into an all encompassing ambience.

Landscape II
“All the visible features of an area or land often considered in terms of their aesthetic appeal.” [Oxford Dictionary]; or “An expanse of scenery that can be seen in a single view.” [Free Dictionary]; etc.

Landscape III
“Landscape is the image of the whole—the world and what happens in it.” [B. Verschaffel]

....


**** Plot
How did this happen, to apply the same term to an intrigue, a storyline, a piece of ground, and a relational graph?




PRACTICE
In 2001, Karen Lohrmann initiated SdMKLm together with Stefano de Martino. They address spaces in transformation, cultural manifestations and resultant landscapes.  Their work is exhibited and published internationally.  They have released three monographs and jointly run the platform Urban States, the edition Correspondents and the testing ground Bay of Mars.  Their work spans studio practice, open air installations, film, photography, interiors, set design, building restorations, and  productive landscapes.  Their ongoing cycle of works, Waiting Land, was one of the conceptual segments of the FRAC’s 2019-20 Biennale d’Architecture d’Orleans, Years of Solitude.


BAY of MARS
[no roots—just antennae]
Bay of Mars is a multimedia testing ground.  An experimental landscape garden in its origins with its name borrowed from an undisclosed location, it became a platform for production,  for being in the open, experimenting with it.   Today, Bay of Mars migrates to likewise  and otherwise friendly environments: online, and in the form of exhibitions, periodicals,  time-based work, unique items, and occasional events. Bay of Mars is about visual and spatial manifestations and how these change along with planetary uncertainties, happenings, and belief patterns. Together with a broad group of contributors, Bay of Mars set up Urban States for events and talks, Correspondents for all printed matter, and most recently,  the relational product line XRX, for testing, production, and  outfitting.


PUBLICATIONS
Karen Lohrmann is the editor of Midsize America [2012], and the edition Correspondents [2009—ongoing], coeditor of the essay collection Clear Skies with Patches of Grey [2003], and coauthor of How We Spent It [2009], Update: All Possible Worlds [2008], and Waiting Land [2017]. She occasionally also authors or edits zines, posters and other unlimited printed matter. Some essays and other writings can be found here.


EDUCATION
She trained in architecture, art history, and scenic design at Aachen University, ETH Zurich, Zurich University of the Arts, and TU Berlin.  Combining these fields in her classes, she currently teaches in the postgraduate program at the Southern California Institute of Architecture [SCI-Arc], continuing her longstanding dedication to education with prior faculty positions  at TU Berlin, UCLA AUD, Harvard GSD, and the University of Innsbruck.


The NOW
During her period at UCLA, as faculty and project coordinator for the US-wide study Culture Now, she began working with the NOW Institute, the urban research wing at Morphosis.  She returned to the NOW in early 2020 currently serving as the institute’s program manager.  Most recently, the NOW participated in the Seoul Biennale 2021 and developed proposals for city-owned surplus land in South Los Angeles, together with SCI-Arc R*Search. The NOW is dedicated to understanding and improving urban environments and works with cities, communities, and institutions around the world including New Orleans, Port-au-Prince, Madrid, and Los Angeles.



NEXT

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SMLAET





IMGS
Pompei After Lunch [moving image, 2018]
What Was Left   [detail, 2019]



mail[at]karenlohrmann.net