Online 16 Mar 2021 6:30 pm Free BSL Interpreted Closed Captions

Join artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen and friends in this experimental live multiplayer virtual event focused on the interrelationship between ecology, sustainability and advancing technologies.

Hosted in a unique and newly built VR gaming environment; a virtual island modelled on Bora Bora in French Polynesia, that was initially developed for Jakob’s work Primal Tourism (2016), the artist takes us on an immersive tour of his world. Crash landing, we navigate between an abandoned airport, a flooded beach resort, a deserted workers town, an old colonial office, and an overgrown forest, floor strewn with tsunami warning signs from a past future. Along the way we’ll meet some of his close collaborators: academic Alenda Chang, artist Rindon Johnson and writer Mikkel Rosengaard, and experience live readings that speak to our ecological present, discuss creative world-building practices and the ‘reimagination of nature’ through technology.

Come as you ava-tar.

Jakob Kudsk Steensen brings together physical, virtual, real and imagined landscapes in mixed reality immersive installations. Using a site specific and slow media approach, he reimagines stories of overlooked ecosystems and forgotten natural histories. He is concerned with how imagination, technology and ecology intertwine, investigating how people relate to the natural world on an emotional level. His immersive installations pull the audience into a deeply sensorial and meditative journey. Steensen has been dubbed the “digital gardener. His work stems from the idea that that technology and nature are transforming exponentially faster than we can comprehend and it is vital now more than ever that we connect back to the pulses and energies of the earth, of geological timescales.

Alenda Y. Chang is the author of Playing Nature: Ecology in Video Games (2019), and the co-founder of Wireframe, a digital media studio fostering creative pedagogy, research, and design aligned with issues of social and environmental justice. Chang is also a founding co-editor of the open-access journal, Media+Environment.

Rindon Johnson (b. 1990, San Francisco, United States) is an artist and writer. His most recent virtual reality film, Meat Growers: A Love Story, was commissioned by Rhizome and Tentacular. In 2021, Johnson will open two pendant solo exhibitions; first in spring at SculptureCenter, New York and later in autumn at Chisenhale, London. He is the author of Nobody Sleeps Better Than White People (Inpatient, 2016), the VR book, Meet in the Corner (Publishing-House.Me, 2017), Shade the King (Capricious, 2017) and forthcoming, The Law of Large Numbers: Black Sonic Abyss (Chisenhale, Inpatient, SculptureCenter 2021). He lives in Berlin.

Mikkel Rosengaard is the author of “The Invention of Ana” (HarperCollins, 2018). His writing has appeared in The Architectural Review, Art21, BOMB Magazine, Bookforum, Hyperallergic, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere. A MacDowell Fellow and a recipient of the Danish Arts Foundation’s Young Artistic Elite Fellowship, he lives in New York City.

Contributors: Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Ben Vickers, Kay Watson, Alenda Chang, Rindon Johnson and Mikkel Rosengaard

Artist Worlds is curated and produced by Tamar Clarke-Brown and Arts Technologies.
Additional Production by Alex Boyes
Virtual Event Production by Wouter Weynants
Network Programming by Sam Sewall
Livestream for both events by Proudfoot and Trickbox: Simon Richardson and Sonia Singh
Special Thanks to Elizabeth Kircher

Artist Worlds is an ongoing series of commissions and events that support artistic practices that engage with simulated realities, immersive story-telling and virtual world-building that invites audiences into these worlds to explore and offer insights into these advancing technologies and associated practices, processes and ideas.

You can watch a stream of this event on Twitch.

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