Friday, September 6, 2013


Monday, May 28, 2012

344 and post-studio archive

strategies for finding your approximate location in real time

Strategies to find your [approximate] location, in real time.

Intro: Greater Metro Freeway Case Study 1. 

77 wasn't there, but 35E was.

Took 35E in a long loop that should have been in St. Paul and White Bear Lake, but pointed toward Duluth... I almost turned around, but kept going—due to this recent realization I've had about the geopraphy around here. Inconsistent. Which seemed to work. Met 494, took that west. 

35W (past Billiards).
Into downtown, 35W=2 lanes forward, 1 lane 94W, 1 lane 394, 1 lane 94W.
Took 94W.
Through the tunnel (which you miss when getting onto 94W from uptown/downtown). 
It seemed like Olson Memorial Highway was where Lyndale has been (went under it on 94W). 
so there are these lanes. 694E-R, 252N-R, 694W and 94W to the left. 
Continued on 94W; turned the compass in my head one direction and willed the steering wheel the other. 
Made it home without a wrong turn in a location that should have been more or less 360 from where I'd come from, give or take an addition of hauntings and loss of company.

In the Taylor and Francis journal Annals of the Association of American Geographers essay “Sovereignty, Territory, and the Mapping of Mobility: A View from the Outside,” Phillip E. Steinburg introduces mobility as being an especially important aspect of contemporary philosophical and cartographic maps--making and interpretation. 

Steinburg delineates the place that the ocean had—as a natural, social, political, and mythological entity—in 16th-20th century European and American maps. He emphasizes the impact that the idea of a sovereign nation had on the psychic and metaphorical designation of “other” or “outside” that the ocean necessarily absorbed. 

The 20th century is contrasted by a new priority of movement—of flows and of spatial experience; Steinburn references Deleuze and Guittarri, among others.  For him, mobility has to do with deterritorialization and renegotiation of exterior and interior spaces. Steinburg relates movement to memory—or rather of forgetting. 

Michel de Certeau on route maps (or rather, maps with step-by-step instructions): 
The trace left behind is substituted for the practice. It exhibits the (voracious) property that the geographical system has of being able to transform action into legibility, but in doing so it causes a way of being in the world to be forgotten. (de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, 1991, 97/Steinburg, Sovereignty, Territory...from the section Mapping Movement). 

For five years, clips and half-assed recollections of a few favorite essays provided more than enough fodder to underscore the equally ambiguous arc of dead-end jobs and chaotic love relationships at 344. Though my use of computers was more or less nil it was, nonetheless, impossible not to experience 2005-2010 through a digital lens. 

Delueze and Guittari's performative writing made sense as experienced in real time: in a time and space that brought the dimensions, directions, and demands attributed to time and space into question—and not once, in passing, but with every new moment and every new movement...The generative movement that we couldn't avoid is, I think, related to the movement that Steinburn describes in Sovereign, Territory.... as being a shift that the postmodern era has experienced on a global scale: one that has to do with me at the center of it, with a decreasing regard for anything beyond a modified version of a place, as mediated through the kind of visual-linguistic semiotic narrative structure absorbed from an array of directional and ambiant sources:
PDAs, iphones, & PC apps (Facebook, subscriptions, e-mail—all replete with indidivualized, target marketing); increase in post-secondary ed as the information economy replaces traditional industries—and an adjustment of what it means to be lumped into this overwhelming pool of aspiring success stories; college, public, and commercially-available career and life planning services utilizing person-centered planning models.. Insurance packages tailored to appeal to a wave of holistically-aspiring under-funded workers. 
And then, of course, the integration of the physical environment—the dominant visual culture, and its attenuating but no less manipulated non/corresponding acoustic environment. 


I feel really lucky to have been born on the tail-end of the Gen-X generation. The ease that Gen Y and younger have  with virtual technologies—ability to shift back and forth from virtual to built reality without much hardship—none of the psychological lack of coping abilities or ineptitude with adjusting to new media interfaces, etc... it freaks me out. I guess what should freak me out more is to have gotten caught in the dumb half of Gen X; the greater majority of my generation that is more or less useless. Gen X. I mean it's the genius slackers and the suicidal slackers, right. Is there anyone else—I mean, aside from the minority of oldschool perfectionist types that took over family businesses or adapted to the Gen Y overachiever overeducated status quo.

Slacker mode didn't get in the way of completing at least one Myspace quiz or Livejournal entry per day; I filled out absolutely everything possible—totally absorbed with this self-exploration that was so frequently related to -socially and in class (primarily, in cultural studies & contemporary art and art history seminars). 

Narrative art, body mapping, situationist mapping, personal topographies, and psychogeographical mapping were recurring predominant areas of focus. Initially liberating, the over-use of non-traditional mapping systems seemed to catch up to waves of art school grads with the same sort of totalizing boredom and dismissal that I felt. That's a major exaggeration, but I mean; correct me if I'm wrong, but I just don't really see as many mapping projects in galleries post-graduation. Alternative mapping projects can be found as a staple in any number of curricula. CITE

but are introduced in a way that pretty much kills any real investigative or imaginative work from happening. EVERYWHERE. This is my generalization. I'll qualify it and then bring the cool projects around, and maybe this has something to do with wanting to teach in a way that makes right the things that totally messed me up. You know. Cuz the same units of study could have lent themselves to going in an interesting direction with realistic and well-supported increments of individual more like thesis or grad level projects on a micro scale. Isn't that what should have happened? At least some sort of introduction to more contemporary applications of these like core areas of knowledge. And a fucking decent reading list for the road. Video list, at least. Hot pix for anthropology majors. 

Narrative and alternative mapping projects dumbed down pre-and post-virtually-integrated young people alike. I can't think of a single academic trend that I've suffered from more thoroughly.. and simultaneously, it has come to my attention all too slowly that I lack a fundamental understanding of how to accurately navigate the geographical, physical world without excessive reliance on unstable, ungrounded information systems...Googlemaps, verbal navigational assistance, directions delivered from a computer app or live party--even if returning to a familiar location. 

The San Francisco/Bay Area artist Jenny O'Dell is doing work around Googlemaps that blows any of my biases against map art out of the ever-too-close-too-far ocean salt water. Splash. Though deceptively simple re. Conceptual aim, the projects engage with the kind of detail of visual culture that can only be addressed by utilizing the language of visual culture... 
Of her several intensive series, I love her Everyone in Googlemaps (?) and the video work—Los Vegas Road Trip (or something like that).
O'dell's work is so flawless it's easy to buy into the fantasy of ease—pick out every single person in Google maps. Travel in real time to Los Vegas with fictional narrative that comes with her hand on the wheel—no worries about getting stuck trying to hit the right arrow to move forward, waiting for an image to load, or hitting a wall with inspiration to keep the story moving along. 

Have you ever ridden with someone that has either a GPS thing built into the dash, or mounted on the dash? 

I'd take O'Dell's car-free vacation over that—except that at the end of the day. Not only have you as the viewer gone nowhere. Neither has the artist. I mean I'm sure she has, but—can you imagine the labor involved with completing these epically scaled illustrations of what Googlemaps is—in every sense and as examined on a scale that encompasses the long view of contemporary society as a whole without losing sight of the artist's hand and personal influence on any part of the project. 

What do you think about relying on GIS and GPS technologies to find your way around? 

Did you ever learn map and compass skills and then at some point get lost in an area that made you realize you had no clue how to find yourself on your map if your teacher wasn't around to show you where the starting point was? 

What do you think of N-S-W-E as being a reliable set of reference points? 

I keep two compasses on my dresser, as a sort of tribute to Felix Gonzalez Torres.. A romantic gesture for all of my lost loves that lived alongside me in that way that was guided by total unwavering knowledge that we had found reality and truth in the space of our time as lovers. 

We survived ourselves, time and break-up again, and have had to settle for this kind of romantic gesture that sounds hollow to people that don't cycle through some dozen mis-matches by the time they stop to look at the ground beneath their feet 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

time zones and the new north

Above image: Gum Works by Jean Klimack, 2008.

Transient and locked into a space of joblessness between untenable options and career goals, I have had--if nothing else--the luxury of time. Hours and days have varied with the malleable organizational allotment of this resource--a consequence and/or reward that I have little or no control over. Diminishing returns necessitate a sort of scheduling ability on my part that seems to promise me plenty of opportunities to continue a post-studio practice built around an economy of dreams and materials that have more to do with residue than representation.

How does one move on, if dream is the destination?

The Canadian artist Jean Klimack is among my SFAI peers whose work continues to offer inspiration in a way that necessitates a kind of attachment to a time and place that I want to be farther from than loss of memory could ever reach.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


To The Current Transient/Resident (and/or other reader/recipient):

I am excited to introduce the pre-proposal of a new design studio project, DESERT+REBAR. Initially and conceptually on a larger scale, DESERT+REBAR will address housing, and living arrangements for the near-present post-capitalist economy...  Beyond what artist grants and/or nonprofit housing subsidies offer, I believe there is a real and growing need for a different kind of studio practice that encompasses a range of practices that remain suspended between unrealized dream and pragmatic application. 

At this time, I am seeking support to launch and sustain DESERT+REBAR--with commitment to support the project--fiscally and at this phase--as it exists as a concept firm...

Sincerely Yours,
Katrina Lamb

p.s. I long to see some of these projects actualized in the near future.. in a way that moves through the page; into an architecture inclusive of and beyond that of the collective unconscious...beyond the foundation of quasi-completed dreams. Does that make sense?

land grant proposal

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Psychic Healing: Chapter IX (overcoming emotional bankruptcy--quasi social reading intended for singular readership--that of the author herself).

1999 eclipses with a taxing 1099--the costly aftermath vis a vis morgan stanley jones standing in the headlights; s/he's stuck in that triangle of a antithetically frigid bikini boutique.. the kind of tourist destination that supplants ecotourism with something too surreal to capture in better language than credit card statements and the kind of bitterness that prevents the threat of premature return.
Eclipse=1099, and other evidence of success, or lack thereof.
Note: Eclipse # derived from following correlate poetic equation:

Primary source correlates:
----->Address--->tax form--->year---->

Method for generating your personal answer key=Associative memory exercise for use as chapter in the forthcoming book Psychic Healing For Artists, Radicals, Failures, And Others.


1. Alternating between looking at your material archive (photos, books, old journals, records of accomplishments, your creative and career affects) and inner processing--thinking through ideas and memories. poetic strategy for accessing parts of your past that are otherwise too difficult to think about.. Think about the difference in the way this kind of conspiratorial, mystery-type narrative presents your past to you v. the other kinds of narrative that hold your personal history together.. your story as you have re-told it to yourself over time and how that is formed.

2. Organize collection of file folders--Yours may or may not have anything in them; please handle this collection gently. Please note your choices as you re-organize and regret unintended loss.

3. Share the results of your work with a friend or something; consider the way that this exercise has impacted your level of comfort around communication. Reference material: disclaimer in LURE Communications subset of the Antannae Publications pamphlet and manuscript pre-publishing division..

4. Cancel therapy appointment to practice psychosomatic healing exercises--check local listings for low-income, sliding scale, or program covered by your insurance... Do not mention anything that you shouldn't. Which is to say--don't not mention this series. Make sure to bring a copy of your personally generated library.

5. Schedule podcast and PODS urban discharge unit for 1 year from the last time you did something without realizing that your therapist's advice might have resulted in something better than this if you followed it with more or less procrastination.

6. Try to remember where you put your day planner.

7. See Disclaimer, below.

DISCLAIMER: This exercise is in no way intended for consideration as having anything to do with therapy or professional use of any kind. That said, I do hope to challenge you as a reader to consider the benefits and reasons to seek help from a professional within the mental health medical model--however that looks in your life, or whatever. I wish to find a place within academia where I can work on projects like this--to find institutional support in a place where I will be surrounded by intellectuals that find me to be too stupid to bother with and are sort of casual about their myriad transgressions--pursuing work that crosses every boundary possible without ever even crossing the street. Needless to say, there will be some sort of hooker service & all night delivery for the inevitable stretches of attempted shift to something that might mean something to someone else and/or result in getting everything that you just realized wasn't just belated--but forclosed upon as of now and again.

P.S. Thanks to the roads, rhodes, and rhoades for the roses and their decay.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Drivers Riders Drifters and Dreamers

Drivers Riders Drifters and Dreamers: Notes on the Contemporary Creative Economy

Over the months back in MN, I have been able to get back to doing less and being broke--racing toward zero in an effort to reach a Homer or Turner- esque glimpse of the sublime... you know. that tiny irridescent bit of something transcendental that tears through monotonous expanse of no-where freeways, interchange highways, shuffling corridors of big-box stores, towns that become less to do with place than to do with a certain absence of a "here" that any expectant nostalgia can catch a hold of.. past zero, vehicle becomes that of a pedestrian- long walks--lines through space the length between moments of obligation, promise, or respite.

Within the pedestrian moment, here is the place where it's finally possible to backtrack into the archives of memory and its affects, stored in the unresolved--if not abandoned--room at my folks house.. The room where I can be found most days and nights, in a way that mirrors the kind of allocation of abandonment as something inof itself...something that has less to do with neglect than attention turned inward.. into the immutable language of dream... a language that is primary and requisite to the working economy that supported the kind of creative work at the core of my studio practice.

What is the place of the following concerns in a creative economy that relies upon upholding a sense of individualism whilst cultivating bodies of work over expanses of time and in patterns that reflect repetition that cannot be unique in any singular sense.

-intellectual ownership
-copyright protection
-collective or collaborative efforts
-an individual's or group--whether named post-facto by 3rd party writers or while in process--impermanence or longevity re. a historical narrative.
-patent process
-invention v. art
-appraisal of work within or after one's lifetime (monetary, social, educational, or other value).
-relevance of work to persons beyond one's immediate milieu.
-communication within and through the byways and exchanges of workers in an economic borderland without walls and signage.

conversation initiated from the passenger window=opacity, memory, liminal entrance points.

See images--from 2007 Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Exhibition Collective Foundation project Collective ICA--a software app and project exhibited and available for download.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

the longest night and the seven senses

What do you need in this world that I can give you? This is a love letter that hasn't happened yet. But maybe at least a beginning of an attempt to find a way to reach past the errors in communication from reliance on visual communication in its advances and short-cuts to entropies: drawing, fashion, gaming, lifestyle marketing...

In a recent attempt to date again, I fell for a person too fully to avoid the oftentimes avoidable experience re. falling through time, hearing the already too distant, lost in strange, divergent extenuating circumstances that can be summed up in terms of falsely universal truthes. Within the seven days, we passed what was the interval of a week as many times and traveled through questions with answers that should have been something that was exciting to discover--but then here I am alone again with more room than before carved out in the internal solitude. Impassable distance to ask how he's doing.

My options in life have never felt more or less limited than they will very shortly, given any number of possibilities unfolding in any number of rapid or backwards directions..

Drawing is one of few things that has been a reliable quieting remedy ... portable and salient through almost any conditions; when drawing failed to serve its purpose.. an activity that I can use to short-circuit my voice. Pages of my notebooks become a manageably scaled white vacuumed alcove--play room or office nook (expanding into the oversized dimensions of an adult dreamer's studio/library).

Within the pages of each book, play time began every time I turned a page; when too messy.. which went quickly in class or at home, with promise of next direction from attentive, sure-handed teachers-- and as slowly as possible when alone- drawings marked by the absence of courage; layers of erasure, extending paper through absence of trace and an economy of imagery. a few characters and themes repeated a thousand times over...become a thousand different stories, different directions with implied movement..Eventually, a page is turned--bringing with it none of the kind of cliched fresh start relief. At this time, what relief do we find in beginning yet again?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

fever dreams and wakeful sleep

Never mind houseplants and disposable income.. . along with other indispensables, maps are so passe, thanks to any number of bad art projects (see portfolio for starters).. never mind getting lost without a 2-way GPS system and the relation of text to geography. The poetry of memory has no place in a land grant summary of finding your way home and figuring that's probably enough til you can get organized enough to print maps en route to the next interview.. most likely missed that one too many times to re-apply... ever.

Passe or potential?
-narrative art+writing
-video art
-theories re. games & play
-craft in the contemporary world
-gender, race, and class
-critiques around academic pedagogy (anthropology, anyone).
-virtual reality
-the internet
-sci fi and fantasy; aesthetics of/supporting.
-liminal and "post-" rhetorical studies

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Colpa Press @ Wire and Nail

Please check out the Colpa Press Pop-Up Shop at Wire and Nail Gallery in San Francisco, this weekend: December 16-18, 2011.
"COLPA is a publishing company based out of San Francisco, CA that specializes in hand-made art books and collectible cards. These publications intend to challenge the relationship between printmaking and concept, creating objects in a reciprocal dialog with the way in which they are produced."

Saturday, December 3, 2011


While a 1+1 crying projects scenario would lead to nothing but increasingly neurotic, dark, emotionally disastrous projects that lost any formal edge, I long to find someone that is compatible as a collaborator as well as a first-sight-and-forever love.

I need a coatrack of a man (or maybe woman)--preferably one that will teach me Spanish and believe in a two-winged home, but turn out to find happiness as we grow to become irreconcilably codependent (and to not have a problem with this).

Please be unusually optimistic in attitude, even if the optimism is sort of an adoptive strategy and not one born from a long and easy life history.

Lying is low on my list of values; this is not to say that I am capable of lying, but I don't mind if you have to--as long as I can trust that you mean what you say at the time that you are saying it, because it comes out of a real deep-seated loyalty and love that permeates whatever chrysalis the words act as, until the real and always non-word and quickly departing thing emerges.

Please move this ring from right to left finger and hold what is right. Take it and run.

Now look up and see: did you take my hand or did you follow the directions and find yourself with an invisible key, surrounded by the psychic wheat field of your productive resolution to a life of solitude.

Maybe I'm projecting here, and should retract everything before things get even more complicated.

Serious inquiries only:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Real Love And Real Life

Of the things I lost in a stretch of computer mishaps was a winning e-mail collection: replies from Dan Savage and Dr. Phil. Correspondence with crushes, dates, lovers, and friends.

During a period in which my personal space shrunk to nil, I became self-conscious about having anything around that would reveal things that I felt quite private about--including e-mail exchanges with a talk show host and advice columnist, of course.

Reduced to the virtual world, that space was eliminated as well in November 2010 when my laptop self-destructed; Swung From The Gutter (Tortoise--TNT) provided a soundtrack stuck on repeat--this malfunction was one of many symptoms of more serious internal trouble. Nobody Belongs Here More Than You Do (the Miranda July book on tape) cover art strobed pink while my history went into the black hole quicksand portal of the trash.

A week later, my dad retrieved the contents of the trash--albeit in a scrambled series of lists...tracts of data plotted in rows of storage in a hard drive for future use.

Far from feeling discouraged or jaded, the loss of the computer and easy access to old work made it more or less impossible to ruminate in a the way that had become routine--I was deeply comforted by returning to the same photos and old poems and interviews, and embraced the melancholy and reminders of past loss and and failures. It didn't seem possible to overcome, but I quite unexpectedly lost my preference for the kind of premature sense of nostalgia that has so often gummed up my potential to make motions toward changes significant enough to threaten the already quickly evaporating present moment.

Needless to say, the attempt to slow the loss of the present was fruitless, but perhaps something will prove yet to come out of the care that protected against the kind of dramatic change that seemed to have the potential to cause a more violent form of erasure than the kind of erasure that comes more gently with time and the failure of memory.

If nothing else, this internal running back to the door to check the lock several times may illustrate the place that nostalgia has had in my life--less bittersweet than hysterical, and renewed by the self-perpetuating hyper awareness as I found myself locked out of both the present moment that is never there, for we have already always passed it, and whatever corridor that would suggest a more normal kind of forward momentum without so much indecision about whether to keep going at all.

What are these present places then, that are always behind us and never revealed. As experienced in the sense of present experience and memory, a present moment is a sum of a stunning array of phantasmagorical parts, moving past and through each other, catching enough light through these iridescent filters to cast a projection onto the wall that we call memory...this "memory" being limited in scope--I mean it's the part of memory that recognizes some familiar thing that a narrative can be quickly paired with, tossed together and onto the shelf with little more care than would be paid to items on an assembly line, paired without close examination, with one eye on the time clock, one hand reaching for a cell phone, and nodding to your co worker's never-ending gossip.

Finding an ability to engage with the possibility of change, I have decided to return to my original goal, which was and is now to become an architect.


My first building is in progress; the sketches have everything to do with something that will be built; this is not intended to be a self-effacing exercise in reaching for unattainable goals, with drawings as end product. I have no interest in planning to draw for the rest of my life, escaping into a fantasy world that remains fantasy.

P.S. On that note, if you want to marry me, I'm on the loose and don't have a shred of intuition left. And to clarify--I guess by marriage, I mean commitment of sorts--probably a formal romantic and collaborative partnership with someone that works best without having to try to interact in naturalized domestic ways or something, interested in performance in a gender studies way, and does better in life when there's someone in close proximity almost all the time.

Note: drawings in this post are 2009-11 architectural & spatial studies; please e-mail for information about current and forthcoming projects. I'm not sure how protective to be of my sketches for the architecture project. Any thoughts on this more than welcome. Thank you!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011