2019 SEP–OCT

Tuomas A. Laitinen is entangled with questions of ecology and science

Tuomas A. Laitinen, Habitat Cascade, 2019. Exhibition view from Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art. Photo: Ville Mäkilä / WAM

Tuomas A. Laitinen’s work, spanning from glass sculptures to artificial intelligence and performances, originates in his interest in various modes of knowledge production. Laitinen's current artistic research centers around microbiology, cognition, technology, and the environment – themes he will continue to explore further during his two-month residency in New York.

Tuomas A. Laitinen, Haemocyanin, 2019. Still image from video.

Since Laitinen’s last New York residency at the ISCP in 2016, his work has been increasingly influenced by the questions of ecology and science. The process started already back in 2013 with the artist considering the circulation of raw materials. Lately he has been focusing on the exceptional minds of octopuses. Laitinen’s recent projects include a commission for the 21st Biennale of Sydney, a solo exhibition at the Amado Art Space in Seoul, Cryptospores performance at the Flow Festival in Helsinki and Habitat Cascade installation at the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art in Turku, Finland.

Tuomas A. Laitinen, Habitat Cascade, 2019. Exhibition view from Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art. Photo: Ville Mäkilä / WAM

Laitinen often works in a modular style, where the works can be seen as organisms that behave differently depending on the context. In the past years the artist has invested in working with moving image, sound, and glass. Through working with materials that often seem to have a will of their own, he is interested in exploring the processes of agency and the limits of control.

" In my work I seek to create an ambience for reactions to happen in a given space or context. I am more interested in the premise of building up a porous situation or system that can then play itself in various forms than a finished, clearly framed product.”

Tuomas A. Laitinen, Dossier of Osmosis, 2018. Exhibition view, 21st Biennale of Sydney. Photo: Tuomas A.Laitinen

Laitinen is interested in the different aspects of knowledge production and the ethics of accumulation of scientific knowledge. Through his recent work, the artist has been approaching the idea of symbiotic living from various perspectives and material starting points.

“The core of my working process is full of layered entanglements. It is the process where things can become a bit messy but in such a way that they hopefully allow a synthesis to happen.”

During his residency in New York, Laitinen will focus his efforts on developing new sound pieces. He is also looking forward to immerse himself in ongoing research processes without a set deadline.

Tuomas A. Laitinen, Conductor, 2014. Exhibition view of Fundamental Matter 2014–2015 at EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Ari Karttunen / EMMA