The award-winning Aquaphobia uses VR to connect inner psychological landscapes with exterior ecosystems. The work is inspired by psychological studies of the treatment of aquaphobia (fear of water) as an entry point to transform perceptions of our relationship to future water levels and climates. While travelling through the landscape, an alien morphing aquatic entity follows you around and emit scuba diving sounds and recites a poem, which tell a breakup story between the landscape and its virtual visitor.
About Jakob Steensen
Danish artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen investigates links between technology, ecology and the imagination, drawing inspiration from science fiction, and discussion with biologists and ethnographers. Much of his work is the result of intense excursions, which see the artist collect and photograph organic materials including plants, rocks and sediments. These are then translated into sensory installations and immersive VR environments, realised through 3D scanners, photogrammetry, satellite data and computer game software. Collaborative in approach, Steensen has worked with writers, performers, musicians, scientists and animators, simulating radical ecological scenarios, often populated by mythical beings.
Kudsk has exhibited at museums and galleries internationally. In 2017, he participated in the Serpentine Galleries Marathon, London, and presented work at the WIRED annual showcase and conference, organised by Acute Art, alongside artist Olafur Eliasson. He was the art director, designer and environmental artist on the VR project TREE VR (2017), which has shown at film festivals including Sundance and TriBeCa. He has received awards from the Danish Arts Foundation and The Augustinus Foundation and, in 2017, was the recipient of the Lumen Arts Prize. He has been artist in residence at institutions including the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Nebraska and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. He is currently a member of NEW INC, a technology and culture incubator by The New Museum in New York.
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