Maija Tammi – Empathy Machine
Finnish Museum of Photography
Archival Inkjet lightboxes with LED. Frames with special wooden stands.
Maija Tammi‘s exhibition Empathy Machine seeks to take apart how emotions are constructed and how they guide us. Us humans are biologically able to feel emotions. Emotions, however, do not simply happen. Instead, our surrounding cultural values, environment, experiences and everyday encounters affect how we learn to feel and how we understand the meanings of emotions.
Tammi’s installations take a peek at a deep sea octopus laying eggs, the feeding habits of a lizard, what an insect is fond of, how a human thinks and where this thinking takes place. The exhibition guests are requested to make choices, dive into documentary and fiction alike and come together to ponder the questions raised by the artworks.
The artworks in the exhibition make use of our faith in stories, the escapism in nature documentaries, and our habit of building characters. In this exhibition, anthropomorphism – seeing human-like features in other animals and beings – is calculated, and the guest might be led astray at a first glance.