Danish artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen produces computer generated environments exhibited as video or VR installations. Created through collaborations with tech-companies and natural science institutions, his imaginary ecosystems map the relationships between technology, science fiction and ecology. A 2017-2018 member of NEW INC, The NEW MUSEUM’s technology incubator, Steensen develops futuristic simulations of existing landscapes to stimulate new types of ecological awareness. His work is informed by conversations with biologists and ethnographers, as well as cartographic research and real world landscape explorations. Photographs of organic material become the basis for his virtual worlds and their anthropomorphic inhabitants.
Using VR technology, AQUAPHOBIA (2017) allows users to explore a futuristic post-climate change rendering of Louis Valentino Jr. Park and Pier in Redhook, Brooklyn. The work allegorically uses the psychological study of aquaphobia, the fear of water, to transform our relationship to rising water levels and climate change. While journeying through a landscape composed of mud, water, subterranean infrastructures, roots and plants, users are guided by the voice of a microbe reciting a poem written by Steensen. Narrated by artist Rindon Johnson, the poem leads you through the five stages of a breakup story, which combines references to the steps involved in the treatment of aquaphobia.
Direction, concept, production, art and sound by Jakob Kudsk Steensen
Text by Jakob Kudsk Steensen, narrated by Rindon Johnson
Developed with support from NYC Mayors Office of Cultural Affairs and The Danish Arts Foundation