Pelagic Dreams 2

Juria Toramae

In an era of mass extinction and ecosystem collapse, amidst the emergence of interventionist conservation practices, and modern genetic technologies that might resuscitate extinct species, what does the future of life look like? How might humans, nature, and technology interact to produce new forms? Toramae’s Pelagic Dreams 2 poses these critical questions. It is part of an ongoing project that explores the oceanic capacity to imagine new lifeforms using artificial intelligence trained on the artist’s personal documentation of marine species found in Southeast Asian waters and colonial taxonomic illustrations of the same species.

Pelagic Dreams 2, 2021
Single-channel video (colour with sound)
2 min 36 sec, loop

What emerges are phantasmal metamorphic morphologies, ephemeral and hypnotic forms. The work explores the aesthetic and affective dimensions of a mutational sublime, in which the development of new forms of life are anticipated, appreciated, and even celebrated. The work also acknowledges our inescapable co-authorship with nonhuman organisms and technology, raising necessary questions about the limits of human agency and dominion, and the future to come.

Juria Toramae

Juria Toramae is a Singapore-based, Moroccan-Thai artist whose work engages themes of cultural dislocation and the natural environment. Her practice is fieldwork-oriented, driven by a longstanding interest in intertidal ecologies and oceanic imaginations and she is interested in making visible histories and ecologies that would otherwise go unnoticed. She works in the intersection of video, photography, cartography, painting and installation.

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).