Premiering in the Darkroom space at Turku Art Museum, Tuomas Aleksander Laitinen’s video Dossier of Tentacular (2018) is a knotty and tragicomic organism that explores the techniques behind information production and dissemination, as well as ecological change and issues related to neoliberal language. The visual form of the work is reminiscent of a notebook whose pages become filled with pictures, diagrams and notes. The texts explore different ways to use language: one mode is like an expository lecture, while the other consists of poetic expressions created by an artificial intelligence that was whose source material is the collected works of Samuel Beckett. Based on keywords and triggers associated with the theme of the video, the algorithm generates absurd and laborious poetry. These elements combine in a chaotic way in the video, creating overlapping metafictive layers.
Dossier of Tentacular is a further exploration of the themes introduced in Laitinen’s previous works Receptor (2017) and A Porous Share (2017). Both of these works employed an artificial intelligence created by a customised neural network. Much like Dossier of Tentacular, Receptor too examined, alongside the AI, the peculiar intelligence of another non-human agent, an octopus. The word tentacular therefore refers not only to tentacles and bifurcation but also to the biological creature that appears in the stream of images. In Laitinen’s work, the exploration of non-human agency goes hand in hand with a critique of binary thinking, thereby seeking to open up models for diversity. The key is the porous interconnectedness of things that allows them to flow freely and build networks between different topics and motifs.
Tuomas Aleksander Laitinen (b. 1976) graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2008. He lives and works in Helsinki. Laitinen’s media ranges from moving images and performance to 3D animation, light and sound. He specialises in the exploration of the cycles of materials, biological reactions and ecological nodes. Laitinen has exhibited his work broadly both in Finland and internationally. He is the recipient of the 2013 prize of the Fine Arts Academy of Finland, which also included an extensive solo show at EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art. Next summer Laitinen’s works will be on display at the 21st Biennale of Sydney and at a solo exhibition at Amado Art Space in Seoul, Korea.
Dossier of Tentacular, 2018
Direction, 3D animation, editing, sound design: Tuomas Aleksander Laitinen
Lecture manuscript: Kimmo Modig
Voices: Kimmo Modig, Rebecca Clamp
Videography: Thomas Kinsman, Tuomas A. Laitinen, Ezra Gould
Neural network: Karmel Allison
Production assistant, 3D animation: Paul Flanders
Song: Ada Bergroth, Soila Lauronen, Jenni Meinilä, Outi Silfverberg, Herne Väätäinen
Harp: Lily-Marlene Puusepp
Music: Tuomas Aleksander Laitinen, Pekka Toivonen
Typeface: Schick Toikka
3D modelling of role playing dice: Peter Rinblad CC BY-NC 3.0
New England Aquarium / Chris Burgess
GRASP lab, University of Pennsylvania / Jeremy D. Brown and Katherine J. Kuchenberger
Part of the work is based on the four-channel video Receptor, which was on show in the ARS17 exhibition at Kiasma. The production of the work is supported by Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture/Kiasma
This exhibition is supported in part by the Ministry of Education and Culture.