Protean Sap by Tuomas A. Laitinen
Tuomas Laitinen’s new project, Protean Sap, will be released on 24 September and presented until October 15 by Lighthouse in partnership with Daata, Finnish Institute and Helsinki Contemporary.
It consists of augmented reality filters, available via the Lighthouse instagram, and a single-channel video work.
The work creates a strange, dream-like reality where geometric formations encrust objects and bodies, paired with a mysterious seer’s text.
The forms are drawn from protein chains of viruses, bacteria, and microbial life. These shapes are then changed through simulations into masks and ceremonial artefacts which are morphed in a hallucinatory way.
In the video, the metaphor for protean change is a tide pool; an intertidal zone influenced by the moon and the sun. This is an ecosystem that requires many adaptations from its inhabitants. Furthermore, it could be said that the intertidal zones can be seen as a gauge for the change that is happening in the oceans. These places are looked at as models for studying ecological change in general because the effects are seen at a more rapid pace.The protein chains link us to our past and our future, and in the work they are mediated through a “looking device” and a seer, who utters recipes and predictions.
With the augmented reality filters, the viewer can experience protein structures becoming virtual body augmentations, and receive their own predictions from the seer.
The seer personifies our constant yearning to predict the future: to give weather forecasts, predict fluctuations in the stock markets, or predict the warming of the planet and its consequences.
Photo Tuomas Laitinen