The survival of organisms, their sustained capacity for interaction, depends on their capabilities of sensing and adapting to changes within their habitat.
In his solo exhibition at Sade L.A., Helsinki based visual artist and musician Tuomas A. Laitinen presents ‘Sensory Adaptation Devices’, a constellation of new sculptural, video, installation, and sound works. The exhibition examines how the use of particular materials transmits the human sensorial experience of the world and affects the ways in which we are able to perceive and relate to our environment.
The human existence has always been accompanied and thoroughly mediated by countless materials that act as transmitting substances in sensing and orientating in the world. A certain material catalyzes a certain type of sensory alliance. Human civilizations have evolved along with the constant introduction of new technologies based on specific materialities. One example of this is the coevolution of human cultures and Copper, which due to its conductive properties plays a crucial part in the fabrication of the globalized, networked societies.
Laitinen conducts in-depth and geographically wide-spanning artistic inquiries into these complex and often obscured co-dependencies between the human existence within constructed environments and the forms of life that are most often referred to as ‘natural resources’. In the exhibition, a series of sculptures created out of glass forms an interface for temporary adaptations of the senses and the corporeal experience. These objects seem to belong to another time, likely to an unidentified moment in the near future.
There is a long history of technologically assisted modification of human bodies for the purposes of adapting to different circumstances, for instance through the use of prostheses. The term originates from the Ancient Greek word prósthesis and signifies and artificial device to replace or augment a missing or impaired part of the body. An artificial replacement for a toe alters its wearer’s sense of balance, causes changes in posture and a different sensation of walking, whereas a mask made out of glass may provide protection, disguise, new ways of sensing one’s surroundings – or ritualistic powers.
Glass reflects, refracts and insulates, Copper conducts and cures. Like a virus attacking an immune system, a sonic space within the gallery space questions the boundaries of the exhibited artworks and the visitors alike, contaminating the situation. Through the mythical and chemical properties of the chosen materials Laitinen studies sensation and movement in our interactions with physical and virtual worlds, the complex co-dependencies between countless forms of unruly matter.
– Jenni Nurmenniemi, HIAP - Helsinki International Artist Programme