The new project by Danish artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Primal Tourism (2016), is an impressive multimedia tour-de-force featuring a virtual reality art work, a series of prints, and a complete walk through. The recently created Island (2017) is an installation based on Primal Tourism,
a virtual reality art project, where colonialism, tourism and science fiction intertwine with one another. The core of the project is an exact virtual replica of the iconic tourist island Borabora in French Polynesia, developed in a scale of 1:3. In the work, it is possible for the visitor to explore the entire Island freely, or journey in-between 5 key destinations: A primal eco-system with tsunami warning signs, an abandoned futuristic site for colonial remembrance, a resort worker mountain town, a submerged luxury resort and an airport taken over by invasive mosquitos and foreign palm trees. The work was developed over eight months by the artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen in the program Unreal Engine, one of the industry leading software for big industry computer game development today. This gives the work a polished and alluring look on par with big budget VR productions of today, while the landscape of the virtual Island includes abandoned tourist resorts. The creation of the virtual Island was based on actual satellite data and travel journals, which anonymous people have shared online on the forum Reddit. In addition, the logbook of Jacob Roggeveen, who ventured to the region on behalf of the East West Indian Trading company in 1722, has been a key source of inspiration for the artist. (Jakob Kudsk Steensen)
Jakob Kudsk Steensen is a Danish installation artist based in New York, who combines satellite technologies with video, virtual reality and computer generated environments with real world landscape explorations and cartographic research. His work has most recently been exhibited at The Moving Image Fair, NYC, MAXXI, Museum of Modern Art in Rome, Museum of Modern Art Valencia, Podium in Oslo, Norway, and at Sleep Center in China Town, NYC. His work has been featured on Artnet, The Art Newspaper, Hyperallergic, Spike Art Quaterly, ARTREPORT, Politiken, Information, Worm, NEO2 and TSOEG. He has received awards from the Danish Arts Foundation, The Augustinus Foundation, and in 2016 he was a finalist for Climart. He has been artist in residence at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, AADK, Centra Negra, MASS MoCA and BRIC (Brooklyn Media Arts Center).
Prima Tourism: Island is an installation comprising wood, pool sand, artificial metal hook, rope, post-cards, monitor, lights, print on synthetic silk.
The project resembles a video game insofar as the artist released, among other things, a complete walk-though:
LINK: Jakob Kudsk Steensen (all images and videos (c) of the artist)