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Karolina Urbaniak
is the co-owner of Infinity Land Press along with Martin Bladh, multimedia artist and musician (IRM, Skin Area). I first encountered Karolina Urbaniak last summer when she was on tour with IRM. Her unique sense of fashion burned the memory into my mind. A very dark yet elegant look. This dark elegance seems to dominate many aspects of her existence. Karolina works within a variety of different media formats. From photography, to moving art, to book publications, Karolina imbibes her unique style into every aspect of these works.

Teaming up with Martin Bladh certainly seems like a smart decision. Both of these artists share in that dichotomy between elegance and darkness. Though we often see Martin take his works to more personal extremes. As Infinity Land Press, the duo have already accomplished a great deal. Starting up a press, which publishes books with extremely unique and niche content could seem like a gamble, but Karolina and Martin have already shown a great deal of impressive work within this arena and the fans have been showing their support for it.

Up to this point, Karolina has probably been recognized the most for her extensive photo reportage work within power electronics and noise scene (a large selection of this work is only available on her personal Facebook page here), the already collectable book Alter Balance - a Tribute to Coil released in 2014 together with award-winning poet and novelist, Jeremy Reed and dedicated to John Balance, and finally for her work on various album cover art. She has collaborated with Jarl on no less than four of his recent album covers, which can be seen on her website here. My first encounter with her work was IRM Closure. Closure featured an extremely simplistic cover, yet their was a strength and inner energy to the way this image came together. The cover is all black and white, with a hand protruding from what appears to be cut-out waves, like you would see in an old play or early film. Listening to Closure while viewing this cover art, it's not hard to imagine the different elements that are coming into play within this simplistic piece. But this is where Karolina seems to particularly shine. Bringing together photography and other media formats, which seem on the surface to be quite static, once one studies the work a bit, its impossible to ignore the attention to detail, the allegories, the precision with which Karolina harnesses her ideas and brings them to life.

Now that Infinity Land Press has had time to gather some momentum. We are seeing some really unique and interesting material being published. Take The Void Ratio as an example. Karolina and Martin have taken their relationship with Shane Levene one step further. They became familiar with each other during the creation of the DES project back in 2013. DES was focused on the serial killer Dennis Nilsen. Shane happens to be the son of Nilsen's 14th victim. In The Void Ratio, Karolina has compiled a collection of meditative macro photographs of heroin paraphernalia which are matched up with the various writings of Shane Levene. One major aspect of this book is Shane's battle with heroin addiction. A biographical introduction conducted by Martin Bladh starts the whole thing off. Throughout the book, Karolina's photographs capture the harsh realities of addiction while simultaneously shining a brilliantly nuanced and artistic light on her subjects. Meanwhile, on the opposing page, Shane takes us deep into his psyche. Shane has a knack for digging deep into the emotional wreckage of his past and presenting it in an entertaining yet still horrific manner. The collective brilliance of this project was quite mind-blowing as a reader. The subjects touched upon in The Void Ratio are taboo to say the least. The book his highly entertaining and thought provoking.

Two years back, Karolina teamed up with Jeremy Reed, to work on the book Altered Balance - a Tribute To Coil. Within the pages of this book Jeremy Reed, a long time friend of John Balance, shares his memories of Balance through poetry as well as prose and written correspondences. For Karolina's part, she covers the visual aspects. Through monochrome photography she captures images of places which were near and dear to John Balance, which also help to illuminate whichever topic Jeremy Reed is touching on the opposite page. The combination of Karolina's highly emphatic images along with Jeremy's heartfelt, and sometimes heart-wrenching, insights into the life of John Balance make for a magnificent tribute to a man who has so profoundly influenced the underground electronic music scene.

We, here at Terra Relicta, also had the pleasure of working with Karolina Urbaniak this year. When we started thinking about cover art, Karolina was the first artist to be contacted. Knowing her previous work and her general style, we were positive Karolina could bring something really great to the table, something that would catch the eye of potential fans while simultaneously capturing the idea of a dark ambient compilation. We were absolutely stunned here by her contribution to the compilation. You can have a look at that compilation here.

Much of Karolina's photographic work is on display at her website here, as well as a selection of moving art and video projects which can be found here. I would highly recommend readers to go have a look through her works. Also, you will find plenty of interesting information and previews of her publications over at the Infinity Land Press website which you can access here.

Karolina's work is bound to capture the hearts of many of our dark readers. Her work is surely more beautiful to the tortured soul than the average joe, and I think many of us here in the dark music community can agree, dark tortured souls are quite prevalent among our numbers. Terra Relicta thanks her for her contribution to our compilation and are looking out for new projects as they arise. As a final thought, Infinity Land Press has just released their latest publication: Alien Existence by Philip Best of Consumer Electronics fame. I would highly recommend looking into this latest treasure which you can find here.

Links: Facebook, Karolina's website, Infinity Land Press website