Danish artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen has been selected from over 350 entrants following a global open call to creative practitioners to propose new architectures and complex or unbuildable structures that imagine new futures of the city and possibilities of the urban landscape. This inaugural Serpentine commission, in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, will be available to be experienced in augmented reality (AR) at the Serpentine Galleries over the summer months, alongside the 2019 annual architecture Pavilion.
Kudsk Steensen’s commission, The Deep Listener, explores themes of extinction, preservation and the emergence of new ecological realities. It takes as a starting point the ecosystems and the life in Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, the areas surrounding the Serpentine Galleries – and some of London’s greenest spaces. Kudsk Steensen’s spatial exploration in augmented reality takes as its foundation the exploration of contemporary links between air pollutants, trees and declining bird and insect populations within parks and further afield across London.
The resulting virtual landscape allows visitors to experience the complex ecological arrangements in which humans exist through the use of AR. Visitors encounter glimpses into the ecological assemblages that bind humans and non-humans together. The experience begins at the Serpentine Galleries and continues with a walk through the park, guided by The Deep Listener app.
In a new form of storytelling, Kudsk Steensen’s practice of developing digital worlds proposes new possibilities through an interdisciplinary engagement with emerging technologies, in light of our current environment emergency.
Serpentine Augmented Architecture is a pioneering digital commission for new forms of architecture developed in AR in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture and Sir David Adjaye OBE; exploring the potential of AR, an emerging tool and medium, to transform our spatial, social and structural experience of the city now and in the future.
The Serpentine Augmented Architecture Open Call was launched globally in February 2019 and applicants were invited to propose imaginary city spaces and speculations on the built environment to be developed and experienced in AR on site at the Serpentine Galleries. The commission was selected by: Virgil Abloh, artist & designer; Sir David Adjaye, OBE, architect and trustee of the Serpentine Galleries; Yonca Dervişoğlu, VP Marketing, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Google; Amira Gad, Curator, Exhibitions & Architecture, Serpentine Galleries; Ivaylo Getov, Technical Director, Serpentine Augmented Architecture; Freya Murray, Creative Lead, Google Arts & Culture Lab; Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries; Yana Peel, CEO, Serpentine Galleries; Amit Sood, Director, Google Arts & Culture; Ben Vickers, Chief Technology Officer, Serpentine Galleries; Kay Watson, Digital Curator, Serpentine Galleries; Jon Wiley, Director, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Google; Greg Williams, Editor-in-Chief, WIRED UK.