Pelagic Dreams, 2021


Pelagic Dreams, 2021

Single Channel Video, HD Colour with Sound

Video duration: 00.02’.35”

Edition of 3 + 1AP​

Price: 1 Eth

Pelagic Dreams is part of an ongoing project that explores the latent capacity of the oceanic world to imagine speculative lifeforms through artificial intelligence, or what is known as generative adversarial networks (GANs), where unsupervised machine learning is trained to process patterns in input data so as to generate or output new examples based on the original dataset. Here, that output assumes the form of fictive, metamorphic morphologies based on the artist’s personal documentation of various marine species found in Southeast Asian waters - from cephalopods to starfish to anemones - as well as black-and-white illustrations of sea creatures made by German naturalist Ernst Haeckel. Toramae remarks that these phantasmal marine morphologies gesture at notions of ecological sustainability: “The work, at its core, focuses on the ability to co-exist together constantly. By making space for the pelagic to dream, to have agency to imagine and conjure species other than those discovered and indexed by humans, one is invited to rethink the underlying concept of sustainability to become less anthropocentric and towards the more-than-human world.”

Juria Toramae (b. 1983) is a visual artist whose practice is deeply engaged with the oceanic space. Working at the intersections of photography, cartography, installation, and moving image, she is interested in making visible histories and ecologies that would otherwise go unnoticed. Her work has been presented at international festivals and venues including the Singapore Art Museum, the Singapore International Photography Festival, The Photobook Exhibition for Athens Photo Festival (Greece), the Obscura Festival of Photography (Malaysia), the Chiang Mai University Art Center (Thailand), and The Substation (Singapore). She works and lives in Singapore. Read more about Juria Toramae and the Julius Baer Next Generation Art Prize here.

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