Saku Soukka’s Scope is a set of work that consists of photos, readymade installations, a voice poem and a video essay.
Soukka’s photographs are from 2015–2021 and, apart from two, he has distorted using a simple AI tool. The artist has selected some areas from his photos and allowed an image manipulation software to fill those areas with new pixel combinations. The AI has mimicked or at least attempted to imitate the “reality” shown in the photos—as if suggesting that the image in the selected area could transform into this instead of what the camera has captured. The results are often surreally whimsical or disturbed.
The artist’s installation of readymade objects brings together the technical communication devices used by humans or their parts, as well as organic elements such as pieces of wood. Soukka has worked the technical equipment with varying methods and altered their functions, usually to a seemingly broken state.
The title piece of the exhibition is a video essay titled Scope (2020). It consists of programmed photographs, text, and music. At the beginning, “I” and “you” merge, after which the human mind appears to be in a somewhat vacillating state. It flies impulsively to different countries and surprises itself in its wanderings, performs different actions and thoughts, and receives and sends different messages.
On the other hand, Sea Wants More Salt (2018) voice poem brings into the exhibition space slow, broad arcs of sound, in which the narrator’s voice stretches, echoes and rumbles / nags like a bot that has escaped from an airline customer service chat room and decided to try its wings. Narrator X flies, buries oneself, sleeps, contemplates one’s own existence, time travels and multiplies.
What all the pieces in Scope have in common is a reflection on the issue of authenticity. They highlight the fluidity of the self, the fragility of the human mind and the interaction between AI and humans.
The making and presentation of the work has been supported by The Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike), The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture (AVEK), Frame Contemporary Art Finland and The Finnish Cultural Foundation.
Saku Soukka works with video, photography and installation. The works reflect concepts of the self and otherness as well as hybridity. Encounters and dialogues between the internal and external, stagnation and movement as well as organic and industrial are present. Soukka graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in 2016. In addition to his exhibitions, he has published a book of photography and poetry, Paperipeili (Paper Mirror) (Noxboox 2016).www.sakusoukka.com
Saku Soukka (2020). Rita, from the series Scope.