Danish artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen has been selected for Serpentine Galleries’ inaugural commission to create a complex or unbuildable structures which imagine new futures of the city and possibilities of the urban landscape. This commission; in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture will be available to be experienced in augmented reality at the Serpentine Galleries over the summer months, alongside the 2019 annual architecture Pavilion.

The Deep Listener;  Kudsk Steensen’s commission, 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 will take 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 visitors will be able to experience the complex ecological arrangements in which humans exist through the use of augmented reality. They will encounter glimpses into the ecological collections that bind human and non-humans together. The experience will begin at the Serpentine Galleries and continue 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.

Yana Peel, CEO and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director said: “With this inaugural Augmented Architecture commission we combine the expertise of the Serpentine Galleries in commissioning new architecture, with our work in championing the role of advanced technologies in the arts. Jakob Kudsk Steensen’s The Deep Listener builds connections to the urban landscape of the park and aligns with our General Ecology Programme, which considers our responsibility for the future of the planet.”

Serpentine Augmented Architecture is a pioneering digital commission for new forms of architecture developed in augmented reality 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.

Amit Sood, Director of Google Arts & Culture said: “In partnership with the Serpentine, this project aims to bring imaginative spaces through Augmented Reality to a new dimension, allowing everyone to experience new worlds of architectural possibilities. We look forward to seeing the winning design come to life and sharing the immersive imagery of it on Google Arts & Culture so that people around the world can discover how architecture unearths a creative rabbit hole to new ideas and concepts.”

Image: © Jakob Kudsk Steensen, The Deep Listener, 2019. AR Visualisation. Courtesy the artist

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