Tuomas A. Laitinen

Photo: Diana Luganski

Tuomas A. Laitinen (b. 1976) graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2008. He lives and works in Helsinki. Laitinen works across and fuses together moving image, 3D-animation, light, sound, and installations. He often collaborates with different actors from glass artists to neural network researchers.

In recent years, Laitinen has been working around questions of ecology, the notion of the extended mind, and processes of knowledge production. The works are often made with transparent and translucent materials in order to find ways to layer different epistemological systems and narratives.

Laitinen’s work escapes dualistic thinking and aims at opening up models of diversity, where the idea of interconnectedness of beings is at the core. This means rethinking the epistemological assumptions underpinning Western capitalism, which sees these distinctions as the basic organising principle of the world. Describing how his art attempts to refute such value systems, Laitinen has said:

I’ve been using the concept of porosity as a kind of counter-argument against binary thinking, where things are typically put into clearly defined categories [...] I’m interested in how things and their relationships can be treated so that they freely flow and filter into each other, thus building entanglements between different topics and substances.

Laitinen has exhibited his work broadly, both in Finland and internationally. In 2009-2010 Laitinen took part in URBAN STORIES, at the NUT space in Shanghai, China followed by the Notch11 Festival in Beijing, China in 2011, and together with Tatu Tuominen Museum of Oblivion at Art+Shanghai gallery in 2011.

His extensive solo show at EMMA – Espoo, Finland Museum of Modern Art took place in 2014-15. He particpated in the exhibition S.O.S. Save Our Souls, Art for a Time of Urgencies in Seoul, Korea and was an artist-in-residency at ISCP in New York, NY in 2016. Laitinen’s recent gallery solo exhibitions include Sensory Adaptation Devices, 2015 at SADE LA, Los Angeles, A Porous Share, at Helsinki Contemporary and Thermoscene at Sinne Gallery, Helsinki in 2017. The video installation Receptor was shown at ARS17 Hello World!, a major international exhibition of contemporary art on the theme of digital revolution at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in 2017-2018. In 2018, Laitinen's video work Dossier of Tentacular was seen at Turku Art Museum and at Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Laitinen took part in the exhibition Edge Effects in Art Sonje Center in Seoul, Korea in 2017. A solo exhibition at Amado Art Space in Seoul, Korea was seen in May, 2018. Curated by Mami Kataoka, the 21st Biennale of Sydney, 2018, featured a commissioned work by Laitinen. In 2019, Laitinen's works were seen, for example, in Helsinki's central Library Oodi, as part of the project The Library's Other Intelligencies, in Fiskars Village Biennale, and in Screen City Biennal in Stavanger, Norway.

In 2021, Laitinen's works were shown in the Helsinki Biennial and he received the prestigious AVEK Award. A comprehensive article titled ”Reaching Beyond the Human” on Laitinen’s artistic practice was published in Art in America in 2022. Laitinen is one of the prestigious Ars Fennica 2023 Prize nominees.