Jenna Sutela


Panel: Open Systems

Jenna Sutela, I Magma, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

In the works of artist Jenna Sutela, we glimpse artificial intelligence as it becomes a connective tissue conjoining humans with imperceptible lifeforms and molecular structures. The AI she deploys can derive from the chemical and kinetic activity of elementary molecules or the configurations of form and motion by primordial organisms. Sutela poses such entities resemblant of yet recalcitrant toward human modes of communication and cognition. As a panelist with “Open Systems,” Sutela tells of her recent work with Professor Markus Buehler (MIT CEE and long-time CAST collaborator), to examine the sonic and visual form of “emotional molecules”.

Social: Instagram | Twitter

Janna Sutela. Credit: Ellie Lizbeth Brown.

Symposium Schedule

Panel: Open Systems
Live Presentation & Q&A
Thursday, April 8, 2021 / 11:00am–12:00pm EST
Location: Livestream

Related Works

I Magma

2019, Serpentine Galleries, London and Moderna Museet, Stockholm

I Magma explores the notion of an oracle through alternative forms of intelligence and the application of machinic and chemical processes. The work manifests in the coexistence between two elements: I Magma App, an application for mobile devices created in collaboration with Memo Akten and Allison Parrish, and Sutela’s community of blown glass lava-heads.


2021, MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) and Guggenheim, New York

Together with Markus J. Buehler, McAfee Professor of Engineering, MIT Civil and Environmental Engineering, Sutela explores the sonification and visualization of emotional molecules such as oxytocin and neurotransmitters. Buehler and his team specialize in turning molecular structures and vibrations into sound, while using neural networks to detect them in images.

nimiia cétiï

2018, Somerset House Studios and Google Arts & Culture

Inspired by experiments in interspecies communication and aspiring to connect with a world beyond our consciousness, nimiia cétiï documents the interactions between a neural network, audio recordings of early Martian language, and footage of the movements of extremophilic bacteria.