PROTO is a research group formed by four people working in different disciplines. Its members are Julian Gatto (PhD Canddiate, UC Davis, artist), Daphne Mohajer Va Pesaran (PhD, fashion designer), Cameron Allan McKean (Anthropologist, writer and photographer) and Mercedes Villalba (Anthropologist and writer). PROTO’s purpose is to gather knowledge about human relationships to raw materials using tools that come from different disciplines: critical theory, artistic performance, craft, investigative journalism and fictional narrative.

PROTO’s first project is around the subject of water and human interaction and its research takes place in Beppu city at Oita prefecture, Japan, the second major hot-spring emergence point in the world.