About the Work


Karen Lofgren was raised on the utopian archipelago of the Toronto Islands and at a Tibetan Dharma Center, among many urban and rural locations including Tinley Park, Illinois, and Salmon Arm, British Columbia, by esoteric parentage and within experimental social structures. Deeply influenced by the diverse countercultural environments in which she came of age, her process and research-centered work taps into personal, social, and cultural anxieties regarding mortality and time, value, gender, power, privilege, and infrastructure. Through videos, sound works, as well as sculptures, installations, and artist books, the work incorporates a reverence for ritual, material, and process, while participating in a greater dialogue of the Americas in the decolonial world from a feminist standpoint. Fundamentally centered around belief structures and systems, her experiential, research-based, and philosophical influences on the work are consistently expanding. 

The work has been described by critics as tapping into our collective unconscious; and bringing up questions of secrecy and power by way of PT Barnum showmanship. It uses a dose of the fantastic with potent ambiguity, and a subtle sleight of institutional critique revealing deep and troubling complexities below the surface. (IE Weekly, 2009; LA Times, 2005; artforum.com, 2009).

Liquid Love Letter video still

Liquid Love Letter, video still, 2012

It was just a colour out of space — a frightful messenger from unformed realms of infinity beyond all Nature as we know it; from realms whose mere existence stuns the brain and numbs us with the black extra-cosmic gulfs it throws open before our frenzied eyes.  -H.P. Lovecraft