Press Release | ANIMAL CHARMS at Aalto Studios Gallery curated by Daata Editions

Exhibition Dates: 17th January – 15th February 2019
Private View: 16th January 2019 5pm-7pm

Daata Editions and Aalto Studios are excited to announce their first collaborative exhibition that introduces the Aalto x Daata Visiting Artist Programme to be launched in 2019.

Recently presented at NADA Miami during the Art Basel Miami week of events, the touring exhibition titled ANIMAL CHARMS consists of newly commissioned artworks by Ollie Dook, Jakob Kudsk Steensen and Puck Verkade. The films, each in their own way, deal with themes of evolution, extinction, preservation and new alternatively reconstructed realities where the boundaries between animal and human are blurred as part of the contemporary experience.

Jacob Kudsk Steensen’s RE-WILDLING is inspired by the reintroduction of a previously extinct crow to the Big Island of Hawaii seen through a cultural and scientific lens. RE-WILDLING is part of Kudsk Steensen’s year-long project on the theme of re-animation. Steensen interviewed ornithologists about their memories of now-extinct species, and collaborated with natural history archives, researchers, and science writers offering fresh perspectives on ecological issues. The resulting body of work is entirely composed of 3D scanned organic material and real audio recordings of extinct birds, from which Steensen has created virtual ecosystems and species existing between primal natural pasts and radical ecological futures.

Puck Verkade’s LUCY LIVE utilises various modes of image production such as claymation, low-res animation, altered found footage and on-cam performance to create a dystopian take on the story of human evolution through the eyes of early human ancestor Lucy. The reconstructions of Lucy feature as a kind of a multidimensional species, in disguise of a TV-show host, reflecting with her multiple doppelgängers on the story of the evolution, zapping back and forth between TV-channels as if they were some speculative alternative realities.

Ollie Dook’s Animal Stories takes re-occurring ideas of the animal image accessed and shared via YouTube, and re-tells them in an episodic tale harking back to the traditions of Disney’s Silly Symphony-series. Dook adopts the contemporary and popularised Pixaresque depiction of anthropomorphic cartoon animals as protagonists. Each story references a moment where the actions of the animal appear to imitate those of a human, yet pre-conceptions of how animals should behave affect how we interpret the animal’s agency reflecting our expectations instead.

David Gryn, Director of Daata Editions, will be introducing the exhibition at the Private View.

Daata Editions is acknowledged worldwide as a leading platform for commissioning and exhibiting digital artworks, working with both emerging and established artists. Available as limited editions, the 350+ artworks by 80 artists can be viewed and acquired as digital downloads through the website.

Aalto Studios Gallery provides the Aalto University community with an exhibition space for experimentation and reflection. The exhibitions relate to the multi-disciplinary fields of the Aalto University teaching, research and other activities. The gallery is a stage for encounters and events for students, the university and its partners.

For more information please contact Project Curator Anna Mustonen:, +44 77389098931