Tuomas A. Laitinen’s new work, Protean Sap, consists of augmented reality filters and a single-channel video. 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 simulated from protein chains of viruses, bacteria, and other 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 by seer, who utters recipes and predictions.
Protean Sap also includes augmented reality filters where the viewer can experience protein structures becoming virtual body augmentations, and receive their own predictions from the seer.