Jakob Kudsk Steensen

Primal Tourism, 2016

VR experience for HTC Vive or Oculus Rift 

Primal Tourism (2016) is a virtual reality art project, where tourism, science fiction, technology and speculations on future climates merge with escapism. The core of the project is an exact and full-scale virtual replica of the iconic tourist island Borabora in French Polynesia. Primal Tourism is a replica of the entire landscape of 4x4 kilometers, which visitors in VR are invited to get lost in. The landscape is developed based on other people's imaginations and ways of looking at Bora Bora as an Island. The shape of the Island is based on satellite maps, have have been converted into the space of the landscape. Natural scientific illustrations of the region’s future water levels and ecosystems have been combined with native primal species from Bora Bora. On the Island are also a series of more narrative locations which are based on tourists photographs shared online, on reddit, as well as drawings of Bora Bora by Dutch explorers who went there on behalf of the Dutch East Indian Trading company during the 18th century. VR, climate speculations, tourism and a dream-like alluring form of landscape intertwine.




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.