Art House Foundation, Thursday 19th January 2012, 4am.

During Art House Foundation’s first year at Laburnum St 2011-12, Katrina Palmer was offered desk space in the office to work on her practice.

In January 2012 she was invited to read from of her texts live via Skype to an audience in San Francisco at City Lights book shop.

*HOW strange – to read aloud to an audience in San Francisco only to be instantly cast back into forlorn isolation by a single-click dismissal from a Skype connection! Once the resonance of my voice dissipates, I stand and consider the unnatural hour and the eeriness of my solitude.

The melancholy leaning disposition of the ladder in the far corner of the room, haunts me. Even now, when the light that issues from the laptop shows the ladder’s gait to be in fact not passive but erect and waiting to facilitate an ascent towards the attic. The computer switches to sleep mode just as I place my foot on the first rung. I reach up for the support of the step above my head, but instead of an aluminium band, my fingers encounter the soft matter of an indiscernible object that can best be described as foot-like in its proportions. The shock of its presence leaves me floundering – my hand slips and knocks the damned object from the ladder, sending it tumbling down the steps and towards the ground. A slipper perhaps, from the foot of the last person who scaled this structure in pursuit of a place to sleep? I instantly suspect these steps have been placed here by some morbid host, luring me towards the more remote room. The ladder remains perfectly still, its powerful vertical struts bare my consternation as I detect the low but irrefutable sonority of human breathing – the deep rhythmic sound of sleep. Now it stops.

The floor lies dark beneath me. To my sides an uncertain collection of furniture and a tangle of ambiguity. Ahead, through the gloom, the ladder’s legs must extend, inviting me to ascend still further. There is only one way to go, and moreover, in complete silence.”

Katrina Palmer