Tuomo Rainio’s exhibition Imaginary Bodies and Computer Visions examines images and observations produced by algorithms. In the displayed videos, Rainio utilizes artificial intelligence and machine vision software. As materials for his subtle works, the artist uses recorded cityscapes, historical portrait paintings, and 3D scans of classical sculptures. The algorithms employed by artificial intelligence reduce the visible world to data points—becoming newly interpreted artworks.
The video works on display in the gallery address the relationship between algorithms and human perception. In the art works human bodies appear as simple stick figures, and the historical portraits are reduced to empty masks, yet the visitor can still read remnants of human gestures and expressions from the digital fragments. As perceived by algorithms, the human figure remains a reduction; however, it simultaneously opens a view to the imaginary gaze of artificial intelligence.
The video piece presented in the studio examines the temporality of the image as something not-yet-representational or no-longer-representational. The pictorial quality of the abstract piece, created with computer graphics, derives from cross-sections of historical sculptures. The work oscillates on the border of representation, and it feels as if the constant motion of the lines might suggest the appearance of a figurative image.
In the exhibition, video works are accompanied by an acoustic piano, reminiscent of silent movies. However, no pianist can be seen in the exhibition space, as the keyboards of the player piano move on their own, operated by an invisible pianist. The music created for the exhibition by composer Jouni Hirvelä reflects the ‘mechanical humanity’ present in Rainio’s video works. The composition is in constant dialogue with the moving image as it follows the rhythms and movements of the human figures, in which algorithmic mechanics is equated with the actions of virtual bodies.
Tuomo Rainio is a visual artist based in Helsinki. His art works combines digital photography, video, and programming. He graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Photographic Art from Aalto University in 2011. Rainio works as a lecturer in art and technology at the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki. His works have been shown in solo and group exhibitions in Finland and abroad since 2005. Most recently, the Riga Photography Festival in Latvia included his work in 2020. His piece Untitled (Gravitational Waves) can be experienced virtually as part of the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma’s ARS17+ Online Art collection. Rainio’s works are included in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, the Museum of Finnish Photography and EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, as well as in the Finnish State Art Collection. Artist’s website: www.tuomorainio.fi
The exhibition has been supported by the Art Promotion Center Finland (The Arts Council of Uusimaa) and the Sibelius Academy.
Imaginary Bodies and Computer Visions
2–24 October 2021
Photographic Gallery Hippolyte & Hippolyte Studio