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
In the sense the dictionary puts it, the occasion on which one is reminded of the state of things in the real world.

*** Landscape I
Landscape is a cultural phenomenon which evolved from painting, via photography, to the moving images of film and now largely animation. The representation of landscape has transformed from the specific and framed image in the 16th century, to an immersive rendering of landscape as 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?

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.

[no roots—just antennae]
Bay of Mars is a multimedia testing ground.  An experimental landscape garden in its origins with the name borrowed from an undisclosed location, BoM has become a platform for production, sojourns and solo projects, 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 looks at terrestrial manifestations and is focussed at advancements in visualization and how these change along with planetary uncertainties, happenings, and belief patterns.  Inviting a broad field of contributors, Bay of Mars links with Urban States for workshops and talks, and with  Correspondents and the relational product line XRX, for  outfitting.  

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. 

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.

During her period at UCLA, as faculty and project manager 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 coordinator.  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.




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