Dome of Gated Ecologies, 2017

VR experience for HTC Vive

Inspired by Amazon's current bio-dome offices under construction (link), Jakob Kudsk Steensen developed a simulation in virtual reality that positions visitors inside a bio-dome located in a future desert landscape with gated communities. The rocks, palms, buildings and dirt have been developed from photographic textures and photogrammetry (A technique used to convert real-life objects into 3D models). In the scene, a TV screen display my own video recording of a horse that Steensen found while exploring failed desert tourist infrastructures, in 2015. 

Dome of Gated Ecologies was made for the DIS and Scatter collaboration "Styles and Customs of the 2020s". The result of this commission was on display at The Hillman Initiative of photography at Canegie Museum of Art in Pittsburg, from March 16th. to September 4th, 2017.

"Debuting March 16 in CMOA’s Hall of Architecture, the VR experience takes users from a primeval cave setting, where wall paintings are animated by flickering firelight, and uncanny scenes in the not-too-distant future. Styles and Customs of the 2020s presents a digital dystopia inflected by rapid climate change, social unrest, and shifting global economics. The work was commissioned by the Hillman Photography Initiative, based on the prompt: How do new photographic technologies shape the virtual realm?"

Support for the Hillman Photography Initiative is provided by the William T. Hillman Foundation and the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.



Jakob Kudsk Steensen is a Danish artist based in New York, who uses the technologies, visual methods and production pipelines of media and technology industries to develop his own VR art works. Utilizing truly interdisciplinary approaches, Steensen exhibit at both art museums and at technology conferences and expos with his art, as well as film festivals, in attempts to create meaningful discussions between fields. With a decade of experience in using game engines for creative purposes, Steensen develops simulations of futuristic landscapes based on collaborations with scientific departments, public institutions and NGOs. He is concerned with how imagination, technology and ecology intertwine by developing futuristic virtual simulations of existing real-world landscapes, by combining past geologies with speculations on future climate conditions. His work also expands how we perceive the natural elements, by connecting us through VR with the lives of microbes, oceans, plants and entire land-masses. 

His art has recently been exhibited at Carnegie Museum of Art, The Moving Image Fair, NYC, MAXXI, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Modern Art, CopenX. As an art director, Steensen’s work has been shown at Sundance and TriBeCa film festival, among many other festivals. 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 Lumen Arts Price. He has been artist in residence at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, AADK, Centra Negra, MASS MoCA, BRIC, Mana Contemporary, and Steensen is currently a member of the technology-culture incubator NEW INC by the New Museum in NYC.

If you are interested in exhibiting or viewing this artistic VR experience, please send an email to us.